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Record 1290

Reading Experience:

Henry Mayhew interviews a boy of 16, a vagrant and inmate of a casual ward of a London workhouse: "My father had no books but religious books; they were all of a religious turn, and what people might think dull. But they never made me dull. I read Wesley's and Watt's hymns, and religious magazines of different connexions. I had a natural inclination for the sae, and would like to get to it now. I've read a good deal about it since -Clark's 'Lives of Pirates', 'Tales of Shipwrecks', and other things in penny numbers (Clark's I got out of the library though). I was what people called a deep boy for a book; and am still. Whenever I had a penny, after I got a bellyful of victuals, it went for a book, but I haven't bought many lately. I did buy one yesterday -the 'Family Herald' -one I often read when I can get it. There's good reading in it; it elevates your mind -anybody that has a mind for studying. It has good tales in it... I've read "Windsor Castle" and "The Tower", -they're by the same man. I Liked "Windsor Castle" and all about Henry VIII and Herne and Hunter. It's a book that's connected with history, and that's a good thing. I like adventurous tales."
Century: 1800-1849, 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1840 and 31 Dec 1859
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
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 Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: boy vagrant in London workhouse
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: John Wesley
Title: n/a
Genre: Other religious, Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 1290  
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: 388-389
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor (London, 1861), 3, p. 388-389,, accessed: 03 December 2023

Additional comments:



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