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Record 20345

Reading Experience:

'Your mention of Hawthorne puts me in mind to tell you what rabid [underlined] admirers we are of his [...] There is no prose write of the present day I have half the interest in I have in him, his style, in my mind is so beautifully refined and there is such exquisite pathos and quaint humour, and such an awfully [underlined] deep knowledge of human nature, not that hard unloving detestable, and, as it is purely one sided (or wrong [underlined] sided) false reading of it that one finds in Thackeray. He reminds me in many things of Charles Lamb, and of heaps of our rare old English humourists, with their deep pathetic nature--and one faculty he possesses beyond any writer I remember (not dramatic, for then I would certainly remember Shakespeare, and others on further though perhaps) viz. that of exciting you to the highest pitch without on any [underlined] occasion that I am aware of making you feel by his catastrophe ashamed of having been excited. What I mean is, if you have ever read it, such a case as occurs in the "Mysteries of Udolpho" where your disgust is beyond all expression on finding that all your fright about the ghostly creature that has haunted you throughout the volumes has been caused by a pitiful wax image! [...] And no Author I know does [underlined] try to work upon them [i.e. the passions] more, apparently with no [underlined] effort to himself. I cannot satisfy myself as to whether I like his sort of Essays contained in the twice told tales best, or his more finished works such as Blithedale romance. Every touch he adds to any character gives a higher interest to it, so that I should like the longer ones best, but there is a concentration of excellence in the shorter things and passages that strike, in force like daggers, in their beauty and truth, so that I generally end in liking that best which I have read last [...] There are beautiful passages in Longfellow, above all, as far as my knowledge goes in the Golden Legend, some of which in a single reading impressed themselves on my memory.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Jan 1852 and 8 Jan 1853
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Lasswade
specific address: Mavish Bush
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:Margaret De Quincey
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1818
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: part-time secretary for her father, Thomas De Quincey
Religion: unknown
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: Thomas De Quincey's daughter


Text Being Read:

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Title: Blithedale Romance
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 20345  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Willard Hallam Bonner
  Title: De Quincey at Work
  Place of Publication: Buffalo, NY
  Date of Publication: 1936
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 22
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Willard Hallam Bonner (ed.), De Quincey at Work (Buffalo, NY, 1936), p. 22,, accessed: 16 June 2024

Additional comments:

From a letter from Margaret to De Quincey's American publisher James T. Fields, dated January 8, 1853.



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