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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: 5296


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Derek Davies could not recall that his mother had ever read a book. His father, a die-caster in an automobile factory, read only local and sports papers and two novels a week - a Western or a detective thriller: "Yet quite unintentionally he gave me... a love of reading... He never seemed to vary the diet, he never discussed either the books he read or newspaper items, and he never urged me to read for myself... I... was soon reading everything he read. by the age of eleven or twelve I must have read a couple of hundred of his novels..." In addition to the newspapers and his father's novels, he consumed books for younger children and travel books for adults ("Tibet, I remember, was one passionate preoccupation"). He jumped from the "Wizard" and "Hotspur", which his parents considered "trash" to their twenty-two bound volumes of "The Illustrated New History of the 1914-18 War". "Undeterred by the fact that I had neither the space nor the money to embark on even the most modest layout, I consumed book after book on the building of model railways. Gradually, as I found out how to use the School Library and the Public Library, some degree of selection took place, but as nobody at school before the sixth form advised me what to read the selection remained distinctly erratic... At about fourteen... I read every word of T.E. Lawrence's 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', although I had only the faintest glimmer of its real significance".'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

unknown

Country:

n/a

Time

n/a

Place:

location in dwelling: home

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:

Derek Davies

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

1923

Socio-Economic Group:

Labourer (non-agricultural)

Occupation:

die-caster's son

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

n/a

Country of Experience:

n/a

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

[unknown]

Title:

[children's books]

Genre:

Children's Lit

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

5296

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:

377-8

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 377-8, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=5296, accessed: 04 July 2022


Additional Comments:

See Derek Davies in Goldman, 'Breakthrough', pp.29-32

   
   
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