Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 12971

Reading Experience:

'My habits have been so much deranged by change of place, that I have not yet got rightly settled to my studies. I have read little since I saw you: and of that little, I doubt, I have not made the best use. Have you seen Playfairs introductory essay in the Encyclopedia? I am sure you will like it. It is distinguished for its elegance & perspicuity. I perused it some weeks ago, and thought it greatly preferable to Stewarts. Indeed I have often told you, that I am somewhat displeased with myself because I cannot admire this great philosopher, half as much as many critics do. He is so very stately - so transcendental - and withal so unintelligible, that I cannot look upon him with the needful veneration. I was reading the second volume of his "Philosophy of the human mind", lately. It is principally devoted to the consideration of Reason. The greater part of the book is taken up with statements of the opinions of others; and it often required all my penetration to discover what the Author's own views of the matter were. He talks much about Analysis & Mathematics, and disports him very pleasantly upon geometrical reasoning; but leaves what is to me the principal difficulty, untouched. Tell me if you have read it.'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Jan 1817 and 12 Feb 1817
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Kirkcaldy
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: John Playfair
Title: Dissertation Second: Exhibiting a general View of the Progress of Mathematical and Physical Science
Genre: Essays / Criticism, History, Science, Mathematics
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: included in 4th, 5th and 6th editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 12971  
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: 90-1
  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. 90-1,, accessed: 26 May 2024

Additional comments:



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