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Record 4995

Reading Experience:

'Weaver-novelist William Holt extolled the standard greats ("Noble Carlyle; virtuous Tolstoi; wise Bacon; jolly Rabelais; towering Plato...") and, having taught himself German, memorized Schiller while working at the looms. But he did not limit himself to classics: "I read omnivorously, greedily, promiscuously", from dime novels and G.A. Henty to Hardy and Conrad. Holt disparaged popular authors such as Ethel M. Dell and Elinor Glyn for "peddling vulgar narcotics", yet he was closely attuned to the mass reading public. His own autobiography sold a quarter of a million copes and he once owned a fleet of bookmobiles. He reconciled taste with populism through this logic: though most readers consume a certain amount of junk, it does them no harm because they recognize it as junk'.
Century: 1900-1945
Date: unknown
Country: England
Time: daytime
Place: county: Yorkshire
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:William Holt
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1897
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: weaver then writer
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:

Title: [dime novels]
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: cheap 'dime novels'
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 4995  
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: 370
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 370,, accessed: 19 June 2024

Additional comments:

See William Holt, 'Japanese Parasol' pp110-17 - no further ref. traceable in Rose notes.



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