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Record 1283

Reading Experience:

Henry Mayhew interviews a penny mouse-trap maker (cripple): "I found books often lull my pain... I can't afford them no, for I have no wish to incur any extraneous expense, while the weight of the labour lies on my family more than it does on myself. Over and over again, when I have been in acute pain with my thigh, a scientific book, or a work on history, or a volume of travels, would carry my thoughts far away ...I always had love of solid works. For an hour's light reading, I have often turned to a work of imagination, such as Milton's Paradise Lost, and Shakespeare's plays; but I prefer science to poetry... I think it is solely due to my taste for mechanics and my love of reading scientific books that I am able to live so comfortably as I do in my affliction."
Century: 1800-1849, 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1840 and 31 Dec 1859
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
specific address: Bethnal Green
location in dwelling: at his lodgings
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:

Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: penny mouse-trap maker
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: n/a
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Shakespeare
Title: n/a
Genre: Drama
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 1283  
Source - Print  
  Author: Henry Mayhew
  Editor: n/a
  Title: London Labour and the London Poor
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1861
  Vol: 3
  Page: 22
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor (London, 1861), 3, p. 22,, accessed: 23 April 2024

Additional comments:



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