Switch to English Switch to French

The Open University  |   Study at the OU  |   About the OU  |   Research at the OU  |   Search the OU

Listen to this page  |   Accessibility

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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
  RED International Logo

RED Australia logo


RED Canada logo
RED Netherlands logo
RED New Zealand logo

Record Number: 16088


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'During these eight months [of striving for literary fame, aged eleven] I never felt myself of ore consequence or had a better opinion of my own talents -- In short I was in infinite danger of being as vain as I was inexperienced! During this dangerous period I was from home & the fever of a heated imagination was perhaps increased by the intoxicating gai[e]ties of a watering place Ramsgate where we then were and where I commenced my poem "The Battle of Marathon" [...] When we came home one day after having written a page of poetry which I considered models of beauty I ran downstairs to the library to seek Popes Homer in order to compare them that I might enjoy my OWN SUPERIORITY [...] I brought Homer up in triumph & read first my own Poem & afterwards began to compare -- I read fifty lines from the glorious Father of the lyre -- It was enough -- I felt the whole extent of my own immense & mortifying inferiority -- 'My first impulse was to throw with mingled feelings of contempt & anguish my composition on the floor -- my next to burst into tears! & I wept for an hour and then returned to reason and humility [...] From this period for a twelvemonth I could find no pleasure in any book but Homer. I read & longed to read again and tho I had it nearly by heart I still found new beauties & fresh enchantments'.

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

Between 6 Mar 1817 and 6 Mar 1818

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

city: Ramsgate

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:

Elizabeth Barrett

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

6 Mar 1806

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

child

Religion:

Evangelical

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:

Homer

Title:

unknown

Genre:

Classics, Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

In translation by Alexander Pope

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

16088

Source:

Print

Author:

n/a

Editor:

Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson

Title:

The Brownings' Correspondence

Place of Publication:

Winfield

Date of Publication:

1984

Vol:

1

Page:

351

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson (ed.), The Brownings' Correspondence (Winfield, 1984), 1, p. 351, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=16088, accessed: 23 June 2024


Additional Comments:

Evidence from Elizabeth Barrett's 'Glimpses into My Own Life and Literary Character' (composed 1820-21). Not clear whether Pope's translation of the Odyssey and/or the Iliad referred to.

   
   
Green Turtle Web Design