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Record 5033

Reading Experience:

'Growing up in Clapton during the Depression, Michael Stapleton needed a signature from his father (an Irish navvy) for a public library card, "but I asked him on the wrong evening and he merely shouted at me... So I... started examining every book in the house, ransacking forgotten cupboards and the hole under the stairs. I read everything I could understand, and begged twopenny bloods quite shamelessly from the boys at school who were fortunate enough to enjoy such things. I absorbed an immense amount of useless information, but occasionally a treasure came my way and I would strain my eyes under the twenty-watt bulb which lighted our kitchen. A month-old copy of the 'Wizard' would be succeeded by a handbook for vegetarians, and this in turn would be followed by 'Jane Eyre'. 'Tarzan and the Jewels of Ophir' was no sooner finished than I was deep in volumes three and four of a history of 'The Conquest of Peru' (the rest of the set was missing). I would go from that to 'Rip van Winkle' and straight on to a tattered copy of the Hotspur".'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: Between 1 Jan 1930 and 31 Dec 1939
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London, Clapton
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:Michael Stapleton
Age Child (0-17)
Gender Male
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: father a navvy
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:

Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Title: Tarzan and the Jewels of Ophir
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: borrowed (other)


Source Information:

Record ID: 5033  
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: 373
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 373,, accessed: 27 May 2024

Additional comments:

See Stapleton, 'Threshold' pp. 230-31



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