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Record 20531

Reading Experience:

'I take this opportunity of returning you A.K.'s fragments. I do believe it has been of material service... as for A.K.'s French pasage, you will be surprised at the impression it makes on my mind - as neither more nor less than [italics] commonplace [end italics] Perhaps she has not, but I have read so many descriptions of concentrated feelings, boiling passion under [italics] un froid exterieur [end italics], dark and gloomy minds, that this strikes me as only what I have seen fifty times before [LS then critiques 'The school of Sentiment'] By her further description I should pronounce it [italics] unwholesome [italics] reading. The smallest grain of [italics] amour physique [end italics] poisons the whole, renders it literally and positively [italics] beastly [end italics], for it is describing the sensations of a brute animal. And here lies the difference between even [italics] bad [end italics] English books and the French ones, which everyone reads without blushing. Mrs Bellamy and Mrs Baddeley, two women of the town, whom I remember as actresses, wrote their Memoirs. They painted their first false steaps either as the effect of seduction, they were victims to the arts employed to ruin them, or else they had been led away by their [italics] affections [end italics]; they had conceived a violent passion for such and such a man, whom they took pains to paint as formed to captivate the [italics] heart [end italics]. Madame Roland, one of the heroines of the French Revolution, a [italics] virtuous [end italics] woman, so far as chastity goes, writes her Memoirs and tells you what were her [italics] sensations towards the opposite sex in general [end italics] (without any particular object) at 14 or 15 years old!!! And young ladies were taught to read and admire this who would not have been allowed to open "Tom Jones", where Fielding does describe [italics] l'amour physique [end italics] between Tom and Molly Seagrim, but I daresay would as soon have given Sophia an inclination to commit murder as hinted that she ever had Madame Roland's [italics] sensations[end italics], or even that Tom had them towards her'.
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Until: 31 Jan 1832
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:Louisa, Lady Stuart
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 12 Aug 1757
Socio-economic group: Royalty / aristocracy
Occupation: n/a
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: George Anne Bellamy
Title: Memoirs of George Anne Bellamy
Genre: Autobiog / Diary
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 20531  
Source - Print  
  Author: Louisa Stuart
  Editor: R. Brimley Johnson
  Title: Letters of Lady Louisa Stuart, The
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1926
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 243-4
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Louisa Stuart, R. Brimley Johnson (ed.), Letters of Lady Louisa Stuart, The (London, 1926), p. 243-4,, accessed: 04 December 2023

Additional comments:

Letter to Louisa Clinton



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