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Record 1814

Reading Experience:

[According to Flora Thompson], "Modern writers who speak of the booklessness of the poor at that time must mean books as possessions...there were always books to borrow"... One could borrow Pamela and the Waverley novels from a neighbour, Christies Old Organ from the Sunday School library. Her uncle, a shoemaker, had once carted home from a country-house auction a large collection of books that no-one would buy: novels, poetry, sermons, histories, dictionaries. She read him Cranford while he worked in his shop... Later she could borrow from her employer (the village postmistress) Shakespeare and Byron's Don Juan, as well as Jane Austen, Dickens and Trollope from the Mechanics' Institute library.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1890 and 31 Dec 1899
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: county: Oxfordshire
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:Flora THompson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 05 Dec 1876
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: worked for postmistress, then a writer
Religion: n/a
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: Samuel Richardson
Title: Pamela
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (other)


Source Information:

Record ID: 1814  
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: 85
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 85,, accessed: 21 May 2024

Additional comments:

See Flora Thompson, Lark Rise to Candleford (Harmondsworth, 1987)



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