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Record 6474

Reading Experience:

'Carter read and enjoyed fiction until the end of her life. Pennington reveals her enthusiasm for a number of novelists "of considerable genius, as well as strict morals", who provided "a very pleasing relaxation from her severer studies" (Letters... to Mrs Montagu, vol 1, p. 69). According to him, she disliked realist fiction, though she made an exception for Burney's which she read with "increasing approbation more than once": her favourite was "Evelina" (Memoirs, p. 299). She also enjoyed Jane West (who dedicated "A Tale of the Times" to her) and Ann Radcliffe, who impressed her, according to Pennington, by "the good tendency of all her works, the virtues of her principal characters... and her accurate, as well as vivid delineation of the beauties of nature" (Memoirs, p. 300). She thought "A Sicilian Romance" "elegant" and praised its "good" moral (Letters... to Mrs Montagu, Vol III, p. 323).'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: unknown
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
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:Elizabeth Carter
Age Unknown
Gender Female
Date of Birth 16 Dec 1717
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: Classicist / bluestocking
Religion: unknown
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: Ann Radcliffe
Title: A Sicilian Romance [and other novels]
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 6474  
Source - Print  
  Author: Jacqueline Pearson
  Editor: n/a
  Title: Women's reading in Britain, 1750-1835. A dangerous recreation.
  Place of Publication: Cambridge
  Date of Publication: 1999
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 140-1
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jacqueline Pearson, Women's reading in Britain, 1750-1835. A dangerous recreation. (Cambridge, 1999), p. 140-1,, accessed: 29 February 2024

Additional comments:

See Montagu Pennington (ed) Letters from Mrs Elizabeth Carter to Mrs Montagu (1817) and Montagu Pennington (ed) Memoirs of the Life of Mrs Elizabeth Carter (1807).



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