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Record 8582

Reading Experience:

'When I come here we play at battlecock and shuttledore and mama reads Shakespear in the evening[.] When she goes with [Ann?] up stairs to sleep John Fred Will and I generally raill [sic] out a song with a machine that would frighten you in the great hall while the Men drink in the dining room'.
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Between 16 Nov 1797 and 17 Dec 1797
Country: England
Time: evening
Place: city: London
specific address: Devonshire 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 Frances Ponsonby
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth 16 Jun 1761
Socio-economic group: Royalty / aristocracy
Occupation: socialite, influential member of the Whig political elite
Religion: Christian
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Lady Caroline's brothers John William, Frederick, and William, and perhaps an unknown woman named Ann.
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Shakespeare
Title: unknown
Genre: Drama, Poetry
Form of Text: Unknown
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 8582  
Source - Print  
  Author: Lady Caroline Lamb (n?e Ponsonby)
  Editor: Paul Douglass
  Title: The Whole Disgraceful Truth: Selected Letters of Lady Caroline Lamb
  Place of Publication: New York
  Date of Publication: 2006
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 10-11
  Additional comments: Letter to Lady Georgiana Cavendish

Citation: Lady Caroline Lamb (n?e Ponsonby), Paul Douglass (ed.), The Whole Disgraceful Truth: Selected Letters of Lady Caroline Lamb (New York, 2006), p. 10-11,, accessed: 28 March 2023

Additional comments:

Lady Caroline's letter seems to imply that her mother read Shakespeare aloud to her brothers. Given that the letter describes her routine at Devonshire House, it would seem that the reading of Shakespeare was a serial event. The letter also seems to imply that Lady Caroline herself was not a listener.



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