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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 19247


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'As you ask me for my opinion I shall try and give it as truly as I can; otherwise it will be of no use [...] In the first place you say you do not call The 3 paths a novel; but the work is in the form which always assumes that name, nor do I think it is one to be quarrelled with. I suppose you mean that you used the narrative form merely to {convey} introduce certain opinions & thoughts. If so you had better have condensed them into the shape of an Essay. Those in Friends in Council &c. are admirable examples of how much may be said on both sides of any question without any {dogma} decision being finally arrived at, & certainly without any dogmatism. [Gaskell then discusses the merits of the concise essay form] But I believe in spite of yr objection to the term 'novel' you do wish to 'narrate', - and I believe you can do it if you try, - but I think you must observe what is [italics] out [end italics] of you, instead of examining what is [italics] in [end italics] you. [Gaskell explains the merits of this at length]. Just read a few pages of De Foe &c - and you will see the healthy way in which he sets [italics] objects [end italics] not [italics] feelings [end italics] before you. [She advises Grey to use what he observes through every day contact with real people] Think if you can not imagine a complication of events in their life which would form a good plot. (Your plot in The Three paths is very poor; you have not thought enough about it - simply used it s a medium. [She discusses the advantages of tight plotting and advises] Don't intrude yourself into your description. If you but think eagerly of your story till [italics] you see it in action [end italics], words, good simple strong words will come. [she then criticises his overuse of epithets, overlong conversations and allusions, concluding] You see I am very frank-spoken. But I believe you are worth it.'

Century:

1850-1899

Date:

Until: 31 Mar 1859

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 Cleghorn Gaskell

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

29 Sep 1810

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

author and clergyman's wife

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:

Daniel Defoe

Title:

[unknown]

Genre:

Fiction, Geography / Travel

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

19247

Source:

Print

Author:

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Editor:

J.A.V. Chapple

Title:

Letters of Mrs Gaskell, The

Place of Publication:

Manchester

Date of Publication:

1997

Vol:

n/a

Page:

541-2

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, J.A.V. Chapple (ed.), Letters of Mrs Gaskell, The, (Manchester, 1997), p. 541-2, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=19247, accessed: 30 November 2021


Additional Comments:

Additional editor, Arthur Pollard. Letter to Herbert Grey.

   
   
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