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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 12926


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'I am highly indebted to you for Hume. I like his essays better than any thing I have read these many days. He has prejudices, he does maintain errors - but he defends his positions, with so much ingenuity, that one would be almost sorry to see him dislodged. His Essays on "Superstition & Enthusiasm", on "the Dignity & meanness of Human Nature" and several others, are in my opinion admirable both in matter & manner: - particularly the first where his conclusions might be verified by instances, with which we are all acquainted. The manner, indeed, of all is excellent: - the highest & most difficult effect of art - the appearance of its absence - appears throughout. But many of his opinions are not to be adopted - How odd does it look for instance to refer all the modifications of "National character", to the influence of moral causes. Might it not be asserted with some plausibility, that even those which he denominates moral causes, originate from physical circumstances? Whence but from the perpetual contemplation of his dreary glaciers & rugged glens - from his dismal broodings in his long & almost solitary nights, has the Scandinavian conceived his ferocious Odin, & his horrid "spectres of the deep"? Compare this with the copper-castles and celestial gardens of the Arabian - and we must admit that physical causes have an influence on man. I read "the Epicurean," "the Stoic," "the Platonist" & "the Sceptic" under some disadvantage. They are perhaps rather clumsily executed - and the idea of David Hume declaiming, nay of David Hum[e] making love appears not less grotesque than would that of ad ? -oc [covered by seal: d]ancing a French cotillon. As a whole however [I am de]lig[hted w]ith the book, and if you can want it, I shall mo[reover] give it a second perusal.'

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1815 and 24 May 1815

Country:

Scotland

Time

n/a

Place:

city: Annan

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:

Thomas Carlyle

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

4 Dec 1795

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

teacher, later man of letters

Religion:

Christian

Country of Origin:

Scotland

Country of Experience:

Scotland

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

David Hume

Title:

Essays Moral, Political and Literary

Genre:

Essays / Criticism, Politics, Philosophy

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

borrowed (other)
borrowed from Mitchell


Source Information:

Record ID:

12926

Source:

Print

Author:

n/a

Editor:

Charles Richard Sanders

Title:

The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle

Place of Publication:

Durham, NC

Date of Publication:

1970

Vol:

I

Page:

47-8

Additional Comments:

Letter to Robert Mitchell

Citation:

Charles Richard Sanders (ed.), The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle, (Durham, NC, 1970), I, p. 47-8, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=12926, accessed: 02 March 2021


Additional Comments:

None

   
   
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