Reading Experience Database

Basic Search

Advanced Search

Record 4022

Reading Experience:

'My dear Norton, since I wrote to you last, I have read Mr Chauncey Wright?s book or nearly all & - to say the truth ? found it a tolerably thorough morsel. It is like walking across a plough field, where one has to look very carefully at one?s footing & get every now & then stuck above the ankles. I admired & respected the man but found it hard to enjoy his work. This, however, can hardly be expected even from a professed metaphysician. He is strong & thoroughgoing; but one longs for a little liveliness & more capacity for bringing things to a focus. Perhaps I am a little spoilt by article-writing & inclined to value smartness of style too highly. The only point wh. struck me unpleasantly in the substance of the book was his rather contemptuous tone about Spence & Lewes. I don?t doubt that his criticisms of Spencer are tolerably correct; though I can see that Spencer really means to concede so much to the enemy as C. W. supposes; but I confess that Lewes seems to me to be a remarkably acute metaphysician & one who will really make his mark. C. W.?s criticism is unluckily so short that I could not quite catch the grounds of his antipathy. He seems to me to be too staunch a Millite & hardly to recognise the fact that we have got to go beyond the Mill school. But I can?t attempt a criticism here, if indeed, I were really capable of it. Anyhow Wright must be a great loss. Nobody can mistake the soundness & toughness of his intellect & his thorough honesty of purpose.'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: 1877
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:Leslie Stephen
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 28 Nov 1832
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Literary critic, historian, journalist, biographer
Religion: Christian
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: Chauncey Wright
Title: Philosophical Discussions
Genre: Philosophy, Science, Mathematics
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: 1877
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 4022  
Source - Print  
  Author: Leslie Stephen
  Editor: John Bicknell
  Title: The Selected Letters of Leslie Stephen Vol. 1 1882-1904
  Place of Publication: Ohio State University Press
  Date of Publication: 1
  Vol: 1996
  Page: 202
  Additional comments: Letter from Stephen to Charles Eliot Norton (4/5/1877)

Citation: Leslie Stephen, John Bicknell (ed.), The Selected Letters of Leslie Stephen Vol. 1 1882-1904 (Ohio State University Press, 1), 1996, p. 202,, accessed: 28 November 2023

Additional comments:



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