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Record 12643

Reading Experience:

Author describes being put into cell in Reading Gaol for the first time: 'That completed the furniture in the cell. But wait! I forgot the Bible! A humane Prison Commission had provided the cell with a Bible. I remember how, to stave off the hysteria I felt rising within me, I took it down and scanned it casually, noting passages in fine English which set forth the fate of those who rebel against the Lord of Hosts. Turning the leaves reapidly, I came to the New Testament, the Gospel of Love. Finally I laid it down and looked around my cell, stray passages of what I had read running through my mind - "All ye are God's children...bear ye one another's burdens...Verily I say unto you, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...Father forgive them, for they know not what they do..." The Bible! And mind and heart cried out, "What utter rot!"'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 1 Sep 1901 and 30 Sep 1901
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: Reading
county: Berkshire
specific address: Reading County Gaol
other location: in his prison cell
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:Stuart Wood [pseud?]
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 27 Feb 1885
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: son of master craftsman, but habitual criminal
Religion: family Methodist but becomes athiest
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: [n/a]
Title: The Bible
Genre: Bible
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (institution library)
prison issue


Source Information:

Record ID: 12643  
Source - Print  
  Author: Stuart Wood
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Shades of the prison house: A personal memoir
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1932
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 24
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Stuart Wood, Shades of the prison house: A personal memoir (London, 1932), p. 24,, accessed: 01 February 2023

Additional comments:



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