Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 1370

Reading Experience:

'Percy Wall, jailed for defying draft notices in the First World War, was inspired in part by a copy of Queen Mab owned by his father, a Marxist railway worker. But neither father nor son applied ideological tests to literature. In the prison library - with some guidance from a fellow conscientious objector who happened to be an important publishing executive - Percy discovered Emerson, Macaulay, Bacon, Shakespeare and Lamb. It was their style rather than their politics he found liberating: from them "I learned self-expression and acquired or strengthened standards of literature".'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 1914 and 1918
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: specific address: in prison
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:Percy Wall
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1893
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: son of railwayman
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: William Shakespeare
Title: n/a
Genre: Drama, Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (institution library)
Prison Library


Source Information:

Record ID: 1370  
Source - Print  
  Author: Jonathan Rose
  Editor: n/a
  Title: The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
  Place of Publication: New Haven
  Date of Publication: 2001
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 51
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 51,, accessed: 24 April 2024

Additional comments:

See Percy Wall "Hour at Eve", Brunel University Library archive of Working Class Autobiographies



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