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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 1028


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'In 1926 [Catherine McMullen] was herself a workhouse laundress, struggling to improve her mind by reading T.P. and Cassell's Weekly. The magazine was full of literary gossip that made her aspire to be a writer, but she had no idea which books to read until she came across Elinor Glyn's The Career of Catherine Bush. In this story of a romance between a duke and a secretary, the secretary is advised to read the Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his Son. Catherine McMullen visited a public library for the first time in her life and borrowed the book: "And here began my education. With Lord Chesterfield I read my first mythology. I learned my first history and geography. With Lord Chesterfield I went travelling the world. I would fall asleep reading the letters and awake around three o'clock in the morning my mind deep in the fascination of this new world, where people conversed, not just talked..." ... He launched her into a lifetime course of reading, beginning with Chaucer in Middle English, moving on to Erasmus, Donne, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and even Finnegan's Wake.'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

From: 1926

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:

Catherine McMullen

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

27 06 1906

Socio-Economic Group:

Labourer (non-agricultural)

Occupation:

washerwoman, later a bestselling novelist

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

England

Country of Experience:

England

Listeners present if any:
e.g family, servants, friends

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

John Donne

Title:

n/a

Genre:

Sermon, Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

1028

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:

40

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, (New Haven, 2001), p. 40, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=1028, accessed: 13 December 2019


Additional Comments:

See Catherine Cookson, 'Our Kate' (London, 1959)

   
   
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