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

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Record Number: 21660


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Dr. Johnson and Mr. Wilkes talked of the contested passage in Horace's "Art of Poetry", "[italics] Difficile est proprie communia dicere.[end italics]' Mr. Wilkes according to my note, gave the interpretation thus; "It is difficult to speak with propriety of common things; as, if a poet had to speak of Queen Caroline drinking tea, he must endeavour to avoid the vulgarity of cups and saucers". But upon reading my note, he tells me that he meant to say, that "the word [italics]communia [end italics], being a Roman law term, signifies here things [italics]communis juris [end italics], that is to say, what have never yet been treated by any body; and this appears clearly from what followed, "[italics]--Tuque Rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus." [end italics] "You will easier make a tragedy out of the Iliad than on any subject not handled before".'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Until: 15 May 1776

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:

John Wilkes

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

17 Oct 1725

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

journalist / politician

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:

Horace

Title:

Ars poetica

Genre:

Classics, Essays / Criticism

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21660

Source:

Print

Author:

James Boswell

Editor:

R.W. Chapman

Title:

Life of Johnson

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1980

Vol:

n/a

Page:

771-2

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 771-2, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=21660, accessed: 13 April 2024


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791.

   
   
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