Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 161

Reading Experience:

'Robert Colyer, who rose to become a celebrated Unitarian minister, deliberately chose to dwell upon the moment when, as a child labourer in a Fewston linen factory, he bought his first book, "The History of Whittington and his Cat":..."in that first purchase lay the spark of a fire which has not yet gone down to white ashes, the passion which grew with my growth to read all the books in the early years I could lay my hands on, and in this wise prepare me in some fashion for the work I must do in the ministry... I see myself in the far-away time and cottage reading, as I may truly say in my case, for dear life".'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: unknown
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: Fewston
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:Robert Collyer
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1823
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: Unitarian Minister eventually, but child labourer at this time
Religion: Unitarian
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:

Title: The History of Whittington and his Cat
Genre: Fiction, Children's Lit
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 161  
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: 3
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 3,, accessed: 04 February 2023

Additional comments:

See Robert Collyer, "Some Memories" (Boston, n.d.) pp.14-22.



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