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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Record Number: 10373


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'I could not do without a Syringa, for the sake of Cowper's Line.'

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

unknown

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

n/a

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

Jane Austen

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

16 Dec 1775

Socio-Economic Group:

Clergy (includes all denominations)
daughter of clergyman

Occupation:

Novelist

Religion:

Anglican

Country of Origin:

England

Country of Experience:

England

Listeners present if any:
e.g family, servants, friends

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

William Cowper

Title:

The Task

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

10373

Source:

Print

Author:

Jane Austen

Editor:

Deirdre LeFaye

Title:

Jane Austen's Letters

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1995

Vol:

n/a

Page:

119

Additional Comments:

Letter from Jane to Cassandra Austen, Sunday 8 - Monday 9 February, 1807, from Southampton.

Citation:

Jane Austen, Deirdre LeFaye (ed.), Jane Austen's Letters (Oxford, 1995), p. 119, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=10373, accessed: 17 January 2022


Additional Comments:

Jane Austen knew Cowper's poem "The Task" extremely well. According to her brother, Cowper was her favourite poet. She quotes The Task elsewhere - notably in "Mansfield Park" ["Myself creating what I saw"]. The line alluded to here is "...Laburnum, rich / In streaming gold; syringa, iv'ry pure." 'The Winter Walk at Noon', vi, 149-50. For more on Austen's use of Cowper's The Task, See Katie Halsey, 'Spectral Texts in Mansfield Park', "Forum for Modern Language Studies" 42:3 (July, 2006).

   
   
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