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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
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Record Number: 5029


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Growing up in Clapton during the Depression, Michael Stapleton needed a signature from his father (an Irish navvy) for a public library card, "but I asked him on the wrong evening and he merely shouted at me... So I... started examining every book in the house, ransacking forgotten cupboards and the hole under the stairs. I read everything I could understand, and begged twopenny bloods quite shamelessly from the boys at school who were fortunate enough to enjoy such things. I absorbed an immense amount of useless information, but occasionally a treasure came my way and I would strain my eyes under the twenty-watt bulb which lighted our kitchen. A month-old copy of the 'Wizard' would be succeeded by a handbook for vegetarians, and this in turn would be followed by 'Jane Eyre'. 'Tarzan and the Jewels of Ophir' was no sooner finished than I was deep in volumes three and four of a history of 'The Conquest of Peru' (the rest of the set was missing). I would go from that to 'Rip van Winkle' and straight on to a tattered copy of the Hotspur".'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1930 and 31 Dec 1939

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

city: London, Clapton

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:

Michael Stapleton

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

n/a

Socio-Economic Group:

Labourer (non-agricultural)

Occupation:

father a navvy

Religion:

n/a

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:

anon

Title:

['twopenny bloods']

Genre:

Fiction, Children's Lit, Ephemera

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

cheap editions, penny dreadfuls

Provenance

borrowed (private library)
from boys at school


Source Information:

Record ID:

5029

Source:

Print

Author:

Jonathan Rose

Editor:

n/a

Title:

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes

Place of Publication:

New Haven

Date of Publication:

2001

Vol:

n/a

Page:

373

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 373, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=5029, accessed: 09 December 2022


Additional Comments:

See Stapleton, 'Threshold' pp. 230-31.

   
   
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