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Record 1285

Reading Experience:

Henry Mayhew interviews a street entertainer -a 'blind reader': "I was not born blind, but lost my sight four years ago, in consequence of an aneurism... At last I thought I might earn a little by reading in the street. The Society for the Indigent Blind gave me the Gospel of St John, after Mr Freer's system, the price being 8s.; and a brother-in-law supplied me with the Gospel of St Luke which cost 9s. ...I first read in public in Mornington Crescent. For the first fortnight or three weeks I took from 2s6d to 2s9d a day... Since the 1st of January I haven't averaged more than 2s6d a week by my street reading and writing... There are now five or six blind men about London who read in the streets. We can read nothing but the Scriptures, as 'blind-printing' -so it's sometimes called -has only been used in the Scriptures."
Century: 1800-1849, 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1850 and 31 Dec 1859
Country: England
Time: daytime
Place: city: London
specific address: Euston Square and Mornington Crescent
other location: on street corners
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
passive reactive 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: street entertainer blind reader
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:

Title: Gospel
Genre: Bible
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: brail edition for the blind
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 1285  
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: 154-155
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor (London, 1861), 3, p. 154-155,, accessed: 04 February 2023

Additional comments:

Mayhew writes that the blind reader is about 38 years of age



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