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

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Record Number: 16935


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'You must be tired of my ugly handwriting - yet your book is so suggestive that one wants to talk about it - the more I read the more I am enchanted by it. - I have been struck however by your mention of Dante - which seems founded entirely on the Inferno - a poem I can only read bits of - the subject being to me so antipatetica but the Purgatorio & Paradiso - the Poet revels in beauty & joy there to the full as much as the horrors below - and some of his verses & even whole Cantos lap one in a gentle sort of Elysium - or carry one into the skies - Can anything be so wondrously poetical as the approach of the boat with souls from earth to Purgatory - Shelley's most favourite passage - the Angels guarding Purgatory from infernal spirits - the whole tone of hope - & the calm enjoyment of Matilda is something quite unearthly in its sweetness - & then the glory of Paradise - I do not rely on my own taste but the following verses appear to me to belong to the highest class of imagination; they occur in the last Canto of the Pardiso after the vision he has of beatitude -il mio veder fu maggio Che'l parlar nostro, ch'a tal vista cede. E cede la memoria al tanto oltraggio Quale e colui ch soguando vede, E dopo 'l sogno la passione impressa Rimane, e l'altro alla menta non riede Cotal son io, che quassi tutta cessa Mia visione, e ancor mi distila Nel cuor lo dolce, che nacque da essa. Cosi la neve al sole disigilla Cosi al vento nele foglie lievi Si perdea la sentenzia di Sibilla - Will you think me hypercritical about a most beautiful stanza of Keats - It was the sky lark not the nightingale that Ruth heard "amid the alien corn" - the sky lark soars and sings above the shearers perpetually - The nightingale sings at night - in shady places - & never so late in the season - May is her month - Excuse all this' [letter to Leigh Hunt]

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

Until: 15 Nov 1844

Country:

n/a

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:

Mary Shelley

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

30 Aug 1797

Socio-Economic Group:

Gentry

Occupation:

writer

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

England

Country of Experience:

n/a

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

John Keats

Title:

'Ode to a Nightingale'

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

included in Hunt's anthology, 'Imagination and Fancy'

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

16935

Source:

Print

Author:

n/a

Editor:

Betty T. Bennett

Title:

The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Place of Publication:

Baltimore / London

Date of Publication:

1988

Vol:

III

Page:

161

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Betty T. Bennett (ed.), The Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Baltimore / London, 1988), III, p. 161, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=16935, accessed: 29 June 2022


Additional Comments:

None

   
   
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