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Record 3835

Reading Experience:

'Ethel Mannin was an exceptionally liberated letter-sorter's daughter, an early reader of Freud who made something of a career championing sexual freedom in the popular press. But when she approached the subject as a girl, she was far more fearful than informed: "At the board school all the girls were morbidly interested in parturition, menstruation, and procreation... We raked the Bible for information, and those of us who came from homes in which there were books made endless research, looking up in encyclopaedias and home medical works, such words as 'confinement', 'miscarriage', 'after-birth'... We were both fascinated and horrified. At the age of twelve I ploughed through a long and difficult book on embryology"... She copied passages from The Song of Songs into her commonplance book, but was disgusted when she came across the phrase, "Esau came forth from his mother's belly": "It seemed unspeakably dreadful, conjured up visions of sanguinary major operations. I was very miserable...".'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: unknown
Country: n/a
Time: n/a
Place: specific address: home
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:Ethel Mannin
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1900
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: letter-sorter's daughter
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:

Author: n/a
Title: [encyclopaedias]
Genre: Reference / General works
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 3835  
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: 214
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 214,, accessed: 23 June 2024

Additional comments:

See Ethel Mannin, 'Confessions and Impressions' (London, 1930) pp.39-41



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