Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 1049

Reading Experience:

'[Mary Smith] found emancipation in Shakespeare, Dryden, Goldsmith and other standard male authors, whom she extolled for their universality: "These authors wrote from their hearts for humanity, and I could follow them fully and with delight, though but a child. They awakened my young nature, and I found for the first time that my pondering heart was akin to that of the whole human race. And when I read the famous essays of Steele and Addison, I could realize much of their truth an beauty of expression... Pope's stanzas, which I read at school as an eight year old child, showed me how far I felt and shared the sentiment that he wrote, when he says, Thus let me live unseen, unknown Thus unlamented let me die; Steal from the world and not a stone Tell where I lie".'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: unknown
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: specific address: School
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:Mary Smith
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1822
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: shoemaker's daughter
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Alexander Pope
Title: 'Ode on Solitude'
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 1049  
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: 45
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 45,, accessed: 27 February 2024

Additional comments:

See Mary Smith, 'The Autobiography of Mary Smith, Schoolmistress and Nonconformist' (London, 1892).



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)