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Record 28374

Reading Experience:

[Thomas Edwards to Samuel Richardson, 15 January 1755:] 'You have a very just opinion of St. John's works [...] As far as I have seen, and I read at Ember the last volume, which contains his essays, there is nothing in his objections but what has been published and answered over and over [...] I know not whether his system may be more properly called deistical, or atheistical; since, though in words he allows a God, he seems to make him such a one as Epicurus did; and to think that we are beneath his notice, or have very little to do with him. He laughs at all notions of revelation, or a particular providence, and reckons the present life the whole of man's existence. These essays, by the way, afford us abundant and irrefragable proof, that the plan of the Essay on Man was St. John's, and not Pope's [...] You have here the whole scheme, the thoughts and in many places the very words of the poem; and a more consistent scheme it is here, than it appears there, after the poet and the parson had laid their heads together to disguise and make it pass for a christian system [comments further].'
Century: 1700-1799
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:Thomas Edwards
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Writer
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: n/a
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke
Title: Essays
Genre: Other religious, Essays / Criticism, Philosophy
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 28374  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Anna Laetitia Barbauld
  Title: Correspondence of Samuel Richardson [...] Selected from the original manuscripts, bequeathed by him to his family
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1804
  Vol: 3
  Page: 109-110
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Anna Laetitia Barbauld (ed.), Correspondence of Samuel Richardson [...] Selected from the original manuscripts, bequeathed by him to his family  (London, 1804), 3, p. 109-110,, accessed: 02 December 2023

Additional comments:



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