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Record 19832

Reading Experience:

'[her mother having forbidden her to learn to read due to her weak eyes] I was at this time about five Years of Age, and my Mother being one Day abroad, I had happily laid hold on "Alexander's Feast", and found something in it so charming, that I read it aloud; - but how like a condemned Criminal did I look, when my Father, softly opening his Study-door, took in the very Fact; I dropt my Book, and burst into Tears, begging Pardon, and promising never to do so again: But my Sorrow was soon dispell'd, when he bade me not be frighten'd, but read to him, which to his great Surprize, I did very distinctly, and without hurting the beauty of the Numbers. Instead of the whipping, of which I stood in Dread, he took me up in his Arms, and kiss'd me, giving me a whole Shilling, as a Reward, and told me, "He would give me another, as soon as I got a Poem by Heart"; which he put into my Hand, and prov'd to be Mr [italics] Pope[end italics]'s sacred Eclogue, which Task I perform'd before my Mother return'd Home. They were both astonish'd at my Memory, and from that Day forward, I was [permitted to read as much as I pleas'd'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Between 1 Jan 1713 and 31 Dec 1714
Country: Ireland
Time: daytime
Place: city: Dublin
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:Laetitia van Lewen
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1708
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: doctor's daughter
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: Ireland
Country of experience: Ireland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
her father
Additional comments: later Laetitia Pilkington


Text Being Read:

Author: Alexander Pope
Title: Sacred Eclogue in Imitation of Virgil’s 'Pollio'
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (other)
belonged to her father


Source Information:

Record ID: 19832  
Source - Print  
  Author: Laetitia Pilkington
  Editor: A.C. Elias
  Title: Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington
  Place of Publication: Athens GA
  Date of Publication: 1997
  Vol: I
  Page: 13
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Laetitia Pilkington, A.C. Elias (ed.), Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington (Athens GA, 1997), I, p. 13,, accessed: 24 May 2022

Additional comments:

Date of birth either 1708 or 1709



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