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Record 5703

Reading Experience:

'[Patrick McGill] read virtually nothing, not even the daily papers until, working on the rail line, he happened to pick up some poetry written on a page from an exercise book. somehow it spoke to him and he began to read "ravenously". He brought "Sartor Resartus", "Sesame and Lilies" and Montaigne's essays to work. "Les Miserables" reduced him to tears, though he found "Das Kapital" less affecting. Each payday he set aside a few shillings to buy secondhand books, which after a month's use were almost illegible with rust, grease and dirt....[eventually he] went on to become a popular novelist.'
Century: 1900-1945
Date: unknown
Country: n/a
Time: daytime
Place: other location: at work
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:Patrick McGill
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1890
Socio-economic group: Labourer (non-agricultural)
Occupation: navvy
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: Ireland
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: John Ruskin
Title: Sesame and Lilies
Genre: Essays / Criticism, Social Science
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 5703  
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: 418-19
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 418-19,, accessed: 23 June 2024

Additional comments:

See Patrick McGill, 'Children of the Dead End' (London, 1914).



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