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

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Record Number: 21101


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

Passages quoted in E. M. Forster's Commonplace Book (1940) include remarks on value of cultural works for successive generations of civilised people from Lord Acton's Lecture on the Study of History ('A speech of Antigone, a single sentence of Socrates [...] come nearer to our lives than the ancestral wisdom of barbarians who fed their swine on the Hercynian acorns'). Forster responds with comment that 'Lord Acton is right, but [...] He forgot that that most people do not respond to culture or intellectual honesty [...] he appears to this generation as an old man lecturung in a cap and gown,' having also noted 'This afternoon (29-2-40) I was at Bishops Cross, where new born lambs were dying in the cold, and Hughie Waterson, a Nazi by temperament, was trying to save them [...] Him the ancestral wisdom inspired.' Forster goes on to quote, for comparison, eight lines from The Prelude XII (opening 'I could no more / Trust the elevation which had made me one / With the great family which still survives [...]', and three lines from Wordsworth's 'Sonnet on Napoleon' (beginning with 'The great events with which old story rings'), continuing with remark: 'I glanced at these two books of the Prelude to see whether Wordsworth's Imagination and Taste had been impaired in the same way as my own.'

Century:

1800-1849, 1900-1945

Date:

Between 1 Feb 1940 and 31 Dec 1940

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:

Edward Morgan Forster

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

1 Jan 1879

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

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:

William Wordsworth

Title:

'Sonnet on Napoleon'

Genre:

Poetry, Politics

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21101

Source:

Print

Author:

E. M. Forster

Editor:

Philip Gardner

Title:

Commonplace Book

Place of Publication:

London

Date of Publication:

1985

Vol:

n/a

Page:

117-119

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

E. M. Forster, Philip Gardner (ed.), Commonplace Book (London, 1985), p. 117-119, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=21101, accessed: 02 March 2024


Additional Comments:

None

   
   
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