Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 12958

Reading Experience:

'It is about ten days since I got rid of a severe inflam[m]ation-of the throat, which confined me to the house for two weeks. During two or three days, I was not able to speak plainly; & you will easily conceive, that I passed my time very heavily. I endeavoured to read several things: I tried a book of modern Biography "The British Plutarch"; but soon finding it to be a very miserable book, I shut it for good and all. I next opened the "Spectator" - and tho' his ja[u]nty manner but ill accorded with my sulky humours, I toiled thro' a volume & a half, with exemplary patience. Lastly, I had recourse to Lord Chesterfield's "advice to his son"; and I think I never before so distinctly saw the pitiful disposition of this Lord. His directions concerning washing the face & paring the nails are indeed very praiseworthy: and I should be content to see them printed in a large type, and placed in frames above the chimneypieces of boarding-schools - for the purpose of enforcing the duties of cleanliness, upon the rising generation. But the flattery, the dissimulation & paltry cunning that he is perpetually recommending, leave one little room to regret that Chesterfield was not his father. Such was the result of my studies, in my sickness: - a result highly unfavourable to those feelings of prostration before high birth & weight of purse, which (many tell us) it is so eminently the duty of all men to cultivate. Indeed this is not the first time that I have noticed in my mind, a considerable tendency to undervalue the great ones of this world'.
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Jun 1816 and 15 Jul 1816
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
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: Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
Title: Letters to His Son
Genre: Conduct books, Letters
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 12958  
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: 77
  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. 77,, accessed: 10 June 2023

Additional comments:



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