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

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Record Number: 17578


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'[Rev Charles Burney's] Abridgement of Pearson's Exposition of the Creed, is printed, though not yet published. He gave to my father & me each a Copy. His Motto, I think a most happy one, taken from some work of the great Bentley's - "The most excellent Bishop Pearson - the very dust of whose writings is gold". - I have read above half the volume; it is all fudge to call it a book for the use of [underlined] young persons [end underlining] - Unless they are such Young Persons as Moll, who reads Lock on Human Understanding in two days, & says it is easy, & fancies she understands it - And the same farce she played regarding Butler's Analogy, the toughest book (allowed by learned men) in the English language, which she spoke of with the familiar partiality I would speak of Tom Hickerthrift, & bamboozled me into trying to read - and, Good Lord! when I had pored over a dozen pages & shook my ears, and asked myself - "Well, Sal, how dost like it? Dost understand one word?" "O, yes; all the [underlined] words [end underlining], but not one of their meanings when put together." "Why, then, Sal; put the book away; and say nothing about it; but say thy prayers in peace, & leave the reasons [underlined] why [end underlining] thou art impelled to say them, and all the [underlined] fatras [end underlining] of analyzation, to those who have more logical brains, or more leisure to read what they do not comprehend". But, however, a great part of Dr Charles's abridgement, I flatter myself I [underlined] do [end underlining] understand; and what is too deep for me, Moll may explain. He has retained a heap of hard words, which send me to Dr Johnson's dictionary continually - Some of them, are expressive, & worth reviving, others, we have happier substitutes for, and it was ungraceful to admit them, and shewed a false and pedantic taste'.

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

Until: 29 Dec 1809

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

city: London
specific address: Chelsea College

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:

Sarah Harriet Burney

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

29 Aug 1772

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

writer

Religion:

n/a

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:

Samuel Johnson

Title:

Dictionary of the English Language, A

Genre:

Reference / General works

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

17578

Source:

Print

Author:

Sarah Harriet Burney

Editor:

Lorna J. Clark

Title:

Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, the

Place of Publication:

Athens GA / London

Date of Publication:

1997

Vol:

n/a

Page:

108

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Sarah Harriet Burney, Lorna J. Clark (ed.), Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, the (Athens GA / London, 1997), p. 108, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=17578, accessed: 02 February 2023


Additional Comments:

letter to Charlotte Barrett, 29th December 1809.

   
   
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