Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 1836

Reading Experience:

'As a boy, stonemason Hugh Miller first learned to appreciate the pleasures of literature in the "most delightful of all narratives - the story of Joseph. Was there ever such a discovery made before! I actually found out for myself that the art of reading is the art of finding stories in books, and from that moment reading became one of the most delightful of my amusements". Once Miller had learned to read Scripture as a story, he soon found similar and equally gripping tales in chapbooks of Jack the Giant Killer, Sinbad the Sailor, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. And then, he recalled, from fairy tales "I passed on, without being conscious of break or line of division, to books on which the learned are content to write commentaries and dissertations, but which I found to be quite as nice children's books as any of the others": Pope's Iliad and Odyssey. "With what power, and at how early an age, true genius impresses!"'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: unknown
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:Hugh Miller
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1802
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: later a stonemason
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:

Title: Beauty and the Beast
Genre: Children's Lit
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: chapbook edition
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 1836  
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: 95
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 95,, accessed: 27 January 2023

Additional comments:

See Hugh Miller, 'Schools and Schoolmasters', pp.28-30.



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