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Record 12912

Reading Experience:

[Carlyle tells how he was trying to write a learned exegesis and came to a dead halt] 'One cannot long be idle - you will not wonder that I took up the first book that came in my way - and tho' it was the dullest of all dull books, yet by a fatality attendant on those things, I could not give it up. It purported to be a "history of a lover" - showing how Cecilia (somebody) being poor but honest went to Paris, with some Brandy Irish Dowager (of Tipperary) and was much astounded at their goings on - yet very much liked by the beaux. Shewing how after divers trials and temptations she married with a lord (something) who had been a very great rascal in his early days but was now become a most delectable personage; how the[y] lived in great harmony of souls till the honest man one day riding on som[e] wold and happening to fall from his beast in the presence of this notable lady, she fell into hystericks or convulsions and was taken home in a wo[e]ful plight - where she loitered on till she was "brought to bed", when she took her leave of the good man and all the world - Would you believe me, I read & read this horrid story & might have been reading yet had not a most dolorous ode to Matrimonial - no "Monody on the Death of a beloved" &c compelled me to throw past the book; and set to writing you a letter.'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: 24 Mar 1815
Country: Scotland
Time: night
Place: city: Annan
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:Thomas Carlyle
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 4 Dec 1795
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: teacher, later man of letters
Religion: Christian
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: [unknown]
Title: [unknown novel]
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 12912  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Charles Richard Sanders
  Title: The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle
  Place of Publication: Durham, NC
  Date of Publication: 1970
  Vol: I
  Page: 42
  Additional comments: Letter to Robert Mitchell

Citation: Charles Richard Sanders (ed.), The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (Durham, NC, 1970), I, p. 42,, accessed: 21 February 2024

Additional comments:

editors suggest this was a novel by a Maria Edgeworth imitator.



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