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Record 17357

Reading Experience:

'I have read aloud my death-cycles from Walt Whitman this evening. I was very much affected myself, never so much before, and it fetched the auditory considerable. Reading these things that I like aloud when I am painfully excited is the keenest artistic pleasure I know: it does seem strange that these dependant arts ? singing, acting and in its small way, reading aloud ? seem the best rewarded of all arts. I am sure it is more exciting for me to read, than it was for W.W. to write: and how much more must this be so with singing!'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: 16 Jul 1874
Country: Scotland
Time: evening
Place: city: Swanston (according to the editors)
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary reactive unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Robert Louis Stevenson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 13 Nov 1850
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Aspiring writer and intermittent law student
Religion: Church of Scotland (wavering)
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Number of listeners not indicated.
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Walt Whitman
Title: probably Leaves of Grass
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: Probably 1867; see Section Three, Additional Comments
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 17357  
Source - Print  
  Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  Editor: Bradford A. Booth
  Title: Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July1879
  Place of Publication: New Haven and London
  Date of Publication: 1994
  Vol: 2
  Page: 31
  Additional comments: From section dated Thursday [16 July 1874] of Letter 294, To Frances Sitwell.Co-editor Ernest Mehew. Date in square brackets has been added by the editors.

Citation: Robert Louis Stevenson, Bradford A. Booth (ed.), Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, April 1874-July1879 (New Haven and London, 1994), 2, p. 31,, accessed: 21 February 2024

Additional comments:

Claire Harman, in her Robert Louis Stevenson, London: Harper Perennial, 2006, pbk, writes on p.73: ?Stevenson had discovered Leaves of Grass soon after its publication in 1867, and kept a copy hidden..."



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