Switch to English Switch to French

The Open University  |   Study at the OU  |   About the OU  |   Research at the OU  |   Search the OU

Listen to this page  |   Accessibility

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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 20924


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'I at this time kept up a very frequent correspondence with Sir David [Dalrymple]; and I read to Dr. Johnson to-night the following passage from the letter which I had last received from him: "It gives me pleasure to think that you have obtained the friendship of Mr. Samnel Johnson. He is one of the best moral writers which England has produced. At the same time, I envy you the free and undisguised converse with such a man. May I beg you to present my respects to him, and to assure him of the veneration which I entertain for the author of the 'Rambler' and of 'Rasselas'? Let me recommend this work to you; with the 'Rambler' you certainly are acquainted. In 'Rasselas' you will see a tender-hearted operator, who probes the wound only to heal it. Swift, on the contrary, mangles human nature. He cuts and slashes, as if he took pleasure in the operation, like the tyrant who said, [italics] Ita feri ut se sentiat emori [end italics]." Johnson seemed to be much gratified by this just and well-turned compliment.'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

14 Jul 1763

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

city: London

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:

James Boswell

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

29 Oct 1740

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

writer and lawyer

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

Scotland

Country of Experience:

England

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

Dr Johnson


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

David Dalrymple

Title:

[letter to Boswell]

Genre:

letter

Form of Text:

Manuscript: Letter

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

20924

Source:

Print

Author:

James Boswell

Editor:

R.W. Chapman

Title:

Life of Johnson

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1980

Vol:

n/a

Page:

306-7

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 306-7, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=20924, accessed: 04 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791.

   
   
Green Turtle Web Design