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Record 16846

Reading Experience:

Elizabeth Barrett to Mary Russell Mitford, 8 December 1841: 'I have not read Self formation, -- & [italics]have[end italics] read "Gaston de Blondeville". perhaps you don't know it, but I am, have been .. in all sorts of tenses -- a profound reader of romances. I have read Gaston [...] The fault of Mrs Radcliffe's preceeding works was her want of courage in not following back the instincts of our nature to their possible causes. She made the instinct toward the supernatural too prominent, to deny & belie the thing [...] Can anything be more irritating than the Key to her mysteries [...]? 'Just in proportion to the degree of this disagreeableness, is Gaston better & nobler in [italics]design[end italics]. Inasmuch as the ghost is real, it is excellent, but inasmuch as the book hath three volumes (or two) -- it is naught. It did hang upon me (with all its advantages as a ghost story) with a weight from which her preceeding works are sacred. It quite disappointed me! [...] the whole appeared to me heavy & not impressive -- &, what is strange, not so terrible with its actual marvels, as were the waxen mimicries of the Castle of Otranto.'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Nov 1841 and 8 Dec 1841
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
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:Elizabeth Barrett
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 6 Mar 1806
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Writer
Religion: Evangelical
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: Ann Radcliffe
Title: Gaston de Blondeville
Genre: Fiction, History
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: 1826; this edition also containing Radcliffe's narrative poem St Alban's Abbey; lyric poems, and a prefatory memoir by Thomas Noon Talfourd.
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 16846  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson
  Title: The Brownings' Correspondence
  Place of Publication: Winfield
  Date of Publication: 1987
  Vol: 5
  Page: 184-185
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson (ed.), The Brownings' Correspondence (Winfield, 1987), 5, p. 184-185,, accessed: 29 February 2024

Additional comments:



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