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

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Record Number: 21521


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'The best trumpet that I can suggest is to read Thomas Carlyle’s Essay on Burns. Sick as I am of reading anything in which so much as Burns’s name appears, I was really electrified (beg pardon for such a "Daily Telegraphism") by this. It is full of very fine criticism, expressed here and there in rather an old-fashioned academical style, full of beautiful humanity − see the noble passage about Burns having refused money for his songs − and full of wonderful wisdom. The whole conclusion is indeed admirable; as where he says that all fame, riches, fortune of all sorts is to true peace no more than “mounting to the house top to reach the stars”; and again about Byron: “the fire that was in him, was the mad fire of a volcano; and now we look sadly into the ashes of a crater which erelong[sic] will fill itself with snow.”. I subscribe to that essay. My own is quite unnecessary. Do read it; it will do you good; it would do the dead good. It has reminded me once again of the great mistake of my life − and of everybody else’s; that we are all trying to gain the whole world if you will, except what alone is worth keeping; our own soul. God bless T.Carlyle, say I. […] Read that essay, it is in volume two, […]'

Century:

1850-1899

Date:

Until: Oct 1875

Country:

Probably Scotland

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:

Robert Louis Stevenson

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

13 Nov 1850

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

Writer

Religion:

Uncommitted

Country of Origin:

Scotland

Country of Experience:

Probably Scotland

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Thomas Carlyle

Title:

Essay on Burns

Genre:

Essays / Criticism, Biography

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

RLS’s reading experience was from an unspecified edition (of Carlyle’s works?) consisting of at least 2 vols.

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21521

Source:

Print

Author:

Robert Louis Stevenson

Editor:

Bradford A. Booth

Title:

The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879

Place of Publication:

New Haven and London

Date of Publication:

1994

Vol:

2

Page:

161-2

Additional Comments:

Letter 420, To Frances Sitwell, [4 October 1875], [17 Heriot Row]. Co-editor Ernest Mehew. The material in square brackets has been added by the editors.

Citation:

Robert Louis Stevenson, Bradford A. Booth (ed.), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July 1879 (New Haven and London, 1994), 2, p. 161-2, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=21521, accessed: 02 December 2022


Additional Comments:

Carlyle (1795-1881)’s essay on Burns first appeared as the leading article in the Edinburgh Review, no. 96, in 1828, as a review of The Life of Robert Burns by J.G. Lockhart, Edinburgh, 1828.

   
   
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