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Record 6113

Reading Experience:

'we first drew the curtains all round her four-post bed, so that it was quite dark inside; and then, having pulled them back again, we took off our shoes and all got into bed with her, while she read us a chapter of the current book... Aunt Etty was the best reader-aloud I have ever known. She could alter bits which she did not consider suitable, skip whole pages and episodes, and join the narrative up again with an invisible seam; or turn an unhappy ending into a happy one without anyone being able to guess at the liberties she had taken... After her death I found a book she had once read to us: "Don John" by Jean Ingelow. The story is about two changelings, a bad boy and a good one. By a series of accidents, nobody quite knows which boy belongs to which family. In the end it is proved that the good boy is the son of the bad parents, and vice versa. This was more than Aunt Etty's eugenic conscience could bear; and... she changed the entire sense of the book... none of us ever discovered the fraud... till, thirty years later, when I happened to find the book again'.
Century: 1850-1899
Date: unknown
Country: England
Time: night: In bed
Place: county: Kent
specific address: Down House
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:Henrietta Litchfield
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 1843
Socio-economic group: Gentry
Occupation: unknown
Religion: unknown
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Darwin children inc. Gwen (later Raverat)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Jean Ingelow
Title: Don John
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 6113  
Source - Print  
  Author: Gwen Raverat
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Period Piece
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1952
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 145-6
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Gwen Raverat, Period Piece (London, 1952), p. 145-6,, accessed: 03 July 2022

Additional comments:



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