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Record 1935

Reading Experience:

'When radical weaver Samuel Bamford first discovered Pilgrim's Progress, it impressed him as a thrilling illustrated romance: woodcuts of Christian's fight with Apollyon and his escape from Giant Despair encouraged "the exercise of my feeling and my imagination". Then The New Testament became "my story book and I read it all through and through, but more for the interest the marvellous passages excited, than from any religious impression which they created". At a bookshop he picked up stories about witches, Robin Hood, Jack the Giant Killer, St George and the Dragon and the History of the Seven Champions, all with the same deliciously garish woodcuts he had found in Bunyan. Since these stories followed the same narrative conventions, there was no reason to doubt them. "For my part I implicitly believed them all, and when told by my father or others that they were 'trash' or 'nonsense', and 'could not be true', I, innocently enough contrasted their probability with that of other wondrous things which I had read in books that 'it were a sin to disbelieve'."'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: unknown
Country: n/a
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:Samuel Bamford
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1788
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: later a weaver
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: n/a
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Title: [Story of St George and the Dragon]
Genre: Fiction, Children's Lit
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: illustrated edition
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 1935  
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: 04 March 2024

Additional comments:

See Samuel Bamford, 'Early Days'.



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