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Record 4242

Reading Experience:

'Percy Wall described his [colliery] institute as a "blatantly utilitarian" building with a "square cemented front" and a "drab, poorly lit" reading room, but it offered a wonderful escape from a dull Welsh village: "I could view the future through the words of H.G. Wells, participate in the elucidation of mysteries with Sherlock Holmes,... or penetrate darkest Africa with Rider Haggard as my guide. I could laugh at the comic frustrations of coaster seaman or bargee at the call of W.A. Jacobs. What a gloriously rich age it was for the storyteller!... When the stories palled there was always the illustrated weeklies with their pictures of people and conditions remote from my personal experience... I could laugh with Punch or Truth, although some of the humour was much too subtle for my limited education. Above all I could study the Review of Reviews and learn therein the complexities of foreign affairs.
Century: 1900-1945
Date: unknown
Country: Wales
Time: n/a
Place: specific address: colliery institute library
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:Percy Wall
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1883
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: collier
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Wales
Country of experience: Wales
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Herbert George Wells
Title: n/a
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: read in situ
colliery institute


Source Information:

Record ID: 4242  
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: 243-4
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 243-4,, accessed: 31 January 2023

Additional comments:

See Percy Wall, 'Hour at Eve', Ch.15, no further ref. traceable in Rose.



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