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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 20929


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'On Tuesday, July 18, I found tall Sir Thomas Robinson sitting with Johnson. Sir Thomas said, that the King of Prussia valued himself upon three things;—upon being a hero, a musician, and an author. Johnson. "Pretty well, Sir, for one man. As to his being an author, I have not looked at his poetry ; but his prose is poor stuff. He writes just as you may suppose Voltaire's footboy to do, who has been his amanuensis. He has such parts as the valet might have, and about as much of the colouring of the style as might be got by transcribing his works." [Boswell tells how he repeated this to Voltaire, who was amused as he was on bad terms with Frederick the great]. But I think the criticism much too severe; for the "Memoirs of the House of Brandenbergh" are written as well as many works of that kind. His poetry, for the style of which he himself makes a frank apology, "[italics] Jargonnant un francois barbare [end italics]", though fraught with pernicious ravings of infidelity, has, in many places, great animation, and in some a pathetick tenderness.'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Until: 18 Jul 1763

Country:

n/a

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:

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:

n/a

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Frederick II King of Prussia

Title:

Memoirs of the house of Brandenburg. From the earliest accounts, to the death of Frederick I.

Genre:

History, Biography

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

20929

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:

308

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 308, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=20929, accessed: 04 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791.

   
   
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