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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

Listings for Author:  

Robert Michael Ballantyne


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Robert Michael Ballantyne : The Iron Horse

'Surely no book was ever read and re-read and talked over as that first new volume, although we went on to buy many more.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Mary Vivian (Molly) Hughes      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : [novels]

'"The words I didn't understand I just skipped over, yet managed to get a good idea of what the story was about", wrote James Murray, the son of a Scottish shoemaker. "By the time I was ten or eleven years old I did not need to skip any words in any books because by then I had a good grounding in roots and derivations". Crusoe so aroused his appetite for literature that, when his schoolteacher asked the class to list all the books they had read, Murray rattled off titles by Ballantyne, Kingston and Dickens until "I realised the eyes of everyone in the room were on me..."'

Century: 1850-1899 / 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: James Murray      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : Coral Island

'When old enough to read for herself, Rose Macaulay entered into other realms of fictitious brave adventure. She devoured Masterman Ready, Ivanhoe, The Talisman, Coral Island, Treasure Island, A Tale of Two Cities, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Prince and the Page

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Rose Macaulay      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : [unknown]

[A Sheffield Survey organised by Arnold Freeman in 1918, assessing 816 manual workers, gives the following case:] 'Private in an infantry regiment, formerly a skilled painter, age eighteen. Spends evenings painting, reading, working on model airplanes. Has attended art school....Patronizes Free Library. Has read The Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Bulwer Lytton, Ballantyne, Henty, Robinson Crusoe, Quentin Dirward, Ivanhoe, Waverley, Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Two Years before the Mast, as well as the travels of David Livingstone, Fridtjof Nansen, Matthew Peary and Scott of the Antarctic'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: questionaire respondent      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : 

'James Williams admitted that, growing up in rural Wales, "I'd read anything rather than not read at all. I read a great deal of rubbish, and books that were too 'old', or too 'young' for me". He consumed the Gem, Magnet and Sexton Blake as well as the standard boys' authors (Henty, Ballantyne, Marryat, Fenimore Cooper, Twain) but also Dickens, Scott, Trollope, the Brontes, George Eliot, even Prescott's "The Conquest of Peru" and "The Conquest of Mexico". He picked "The Canterbury Tales" out of an odd pile of used books for sale, gradually puzzled out the Middle English, and eventually adopted Chaucer as his favourite poet'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: James Williams      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : [unknown]

'Kipling had now been supplemented with Henty, Ballantyne, Rider Haggard and John Buchan, all with their own tales of imperial derring-do to tell theimpressionable young colonial'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Lawrence Durrell      Print: Book


Robert Michael Ballantyne : Hudson Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America

'there was nothing in the house which was worth reading, apart from the Bible, "The Pilgrim's Progress", "Gulliver's Travels", and a book by R.M. Ballantyne about Hudson Bay.'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Edwin Muir      Print: Book


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