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Record 17305

Reading Experience:

Elizabeth Barrett to Richard Hengist Horne, letter postmarked 21 February 1844: '[italics]Have[end italics] I read "Festus"? Certainly I have [...] Oh yes! I was much struck by "Festus" [...] Both the "Festus" & the supplement apologetic to it, which appeared in the Monthly Repository (I think) filled me with admiration [...] Its [italics]fault[end italics] is an extraordinary inequality -- so really one falls down precipices continually; & from pinnacles of grandeur, into profundities of badness. Parts of the poem are as bad, & as weak as is well possible to be conceived of: and moreover [...] there is an occasional coarseness & gratuitous indelicacy [...] Also, I will not say that there is not some over-daring in relation to divine things [...] But when all is said, what poet-stuff remains!'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Sep 1839 and 21 Feb 1844
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
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: Philip James Bailey
Title: Festus
Genre: Poetry, Astrology / alchemy / occult
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: Published anonymously in 1839
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 17305  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson
  Title: The Brownings' Correspondence
  Place of Publication: Winfield
  Date of Publication: 1990
  Vol: 8
  Page: 217
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Philip Kelley and Ronald Hudson (ed.), The Brownings' Correspondence (Winfield, 1990), 8, p. 217,, accessed: 23 May 2024

Additional comments:

Text a version of the Faust myth. In letter quoted, Barrett also recalls her recommendation of the work to her friend Thomas Westwood, who was shocked by its content (see vol.7 p.176 in same edition of The Brownings' Correspondence).



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