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Record Number: 19522


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

Elizabeth Barrett to Robert Browning, letter postmarked 1 October 1845: 'I have read to the last line of your Rosicrucian; & my scepticism grew & grew through Hume's process of doubtful doubts, & at last rose to the full stature of incredulity .. for I never could believe Shelley capable of such a book, (call it a book!) not even with a flood of boarding-school idiocy dashed in by way of dilution. Altogether it roused me to deny myself so far as to look at the date of the book, & to get up & travel to the other end of the room to confront it with other dates in the "Letters from Abroad" [...] & on comparing these dates in these two volumes before my eyes, I find that your Rosicrucian was "printed for Stockdale" in [italics]1822[end italics], & that Shelley [italics]died in the July of the same year[end italics]!! And unless the "Rosicrucian" went into more editions than one, & dates here from a latter one [...] the innocence of the great poet stands proved -- now does'nt it? For nobody will say that he published such a book in the last year of his life, in the maturity of his genius, & that Godwin's daughter helped him in it!'

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

Between 1 Sep 1845 and 1 Oct 1845

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:

Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

6 Mar 1806

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

Writer

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:

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Title:

St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian: A Romance. By a Gentleman of the University of Oxford

Genre:

Fiction, Astrology / alchemy / occult

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

First published 1811; read in apparently pirated 1822 edition printed London, for J. J. Stockdale

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

19522

Source:

Print

Author:

n/a

Editor:

Philip Kelley and Scott Lewis

Title:

The Brownings' Correspondence

Place of Publication:

Winfield

Date of Publication:

1993

Vol:

11

Page:

106

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Philip Kelley and Scott Lewis (ed.), The Brownings' Correspondence (Winfield, 1993), 11, p. 106, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=19522, accessed: 19 June 2024


Additional Comments:

In letter postmarked 2 October 1845, Browning replied to Barrett: 'Let us hope against hope in the sad matter of the novel -- yet, yet, -- it IS by Shelley, if you will have the truth -- as I happen to [italics]know[end italics] -- proof [italics]last[end italics] being that Leigh Hunt told me he unearthed it in Shelley's own library at Marlow once, to the writer's horror & shame [...] As for the date, that Stockdale was a notorious pirate and raker-up of rash publications .. and, do you know, I suspect the [italics]title-page[end italics] is all that boasts such novelty, .. see if the [italics]book[end italics], the inside leaves, be not older evidently! -- a common trick of the trade, to this day' (see p.108 in source).

   
   
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