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

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Record Number: 21783


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'No − my “Burns” is not done yet, it has led me so far afield that I cannot finish it ; every time I think I see my way to an end, some new game (or perhaps wild goose) starts up and away I go. And then again, to be plain, I shirk the work of the critical part, shirk it as a man shirks a long jump. It is awful to have to express and differentiate Burns, in a column or two. All the more as I’m going to write a book about it. "Ramsay, Fergusson and Burns: an Essay" (or "A Critical Essay" but then I’m going to give lives of the three gentlemen, only the gist of the book is the criticism) “by Robert Louis Stevenson, Advocate, MS., P.P.C., etc.” How’s that for cut and dry? And I [italics]could[end italics] write that book. Unless I deceive myself in a superior style, I could write it pretty adequately. I feel as if I was really in it, and knew the game thoroughly. You see what comes of trying to write an essay on Burns in ten columns.'

Century:

1850-1899

Date:

Until: Nov 1875

Country:

Scotland

Time

n/a

Place:

city: Edinburgh
county: Lothian

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:

Scotland

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Robert Burns

Title:

unknown

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book, Unknown

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21783

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:

164-5

Additional Comments:

Letter 424, To Sidney Colvin, [November 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. 164-5, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=21783, accessed: 29 March 2023


Additional Comments:

On p. 165, the Editors’ Note to Letter 424 reads: “Allan Ramsay (1686-1758), author of the pastoral drama "The Gentle Shepherd" (1725), a pioneer editor and populariser of Scots vernacular poetry. Robert Fergusson (1750-74), the Edinburgh poet acknowledged by Burns as ‘My elder brother in Misfortune, By far my elder brother in the Muse’ whose life ended tragically in a madhouse. RLS always felt a strong sense of kinship with him.” The Reading Experience evidence seems related to the reading by RLS, in preparation for the projected book, of unspecified works by and on Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson as well as by and on Roberts Burns. See separate entries on them drawing on the same evidence.

   
   
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