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Record 1632

Reading Experience:

[Macaulay's marginalia in Plato's Gorgias]: "This is not pure morality; but there is a good deal of weight in what Callicles says. He is wrong in not perceiving that the real happiness, not only of the weak many, but of the able few, is promoted by virtue. [...] When I read this dialogue as a lad at college, I wrote a trifling piece for Knight's Magazine, in which some Athenian characters were introduced, I made this Callicles the villain of the drama. I now see that he was merely a fair specimen of the public men of Athens in that age. Although his principles were those of aspiring and voluptuous men in unquiet times, his feelings seem to have been friendly and kind."
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 May 1837 and 31 Dec 1839
Country: India
Time: n/a
Place: city: Calcutta
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 Babington Macaulay
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 25 Oct 1800
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Historian and critic
Religion: Church of England
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: India
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Plato
Title: Gorgias
Genre: Classics
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: The edition published in Frankfort, 1602, with a parallel Latin translation by Marsilius Ficinus
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 1632  
Source - Print  
  Author: Thomas Babington Macaulay
  Editor: George Otto Trevelyan
  Title: The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1978
  Vol: 2
  Page: 437
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Thomas Babington Macaulay, George Otto Trevelyan (ed.), The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay (Oxford, 1978), 2, p. 437,, accessed: 07 February 2023

Additional comments:

This entry records Macaulay's later experience of reading the Gorgias, while a government official in Calcutta. Note the reference to his previously reading this text at College.



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