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: 21541


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Mr. Scott of Amwell's "Elegies" were lying in the room. Dr. Johnson observed "They are very well; but such as twenty people might write." Upon this I took occasion to controvert Horace's maxim, " [italics] mediocribus esse poetis Non Di, non homines non concessere columnae:" [end italics] For here, (I observed,) was a very middle rate poet, who pleased many readers, and therefore poetry of a middle sort was entitled to some esteem; nor could I see why poetry should not, like every thing else, have different gradations of excellence, and consequently of value. Johnson repeated the common remark, that "as there is no necessity for our having poetry at all, it being merely a luxury, an instrument of pleasure, it can have no value, unless when exquisite in its kind".'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Until: 10 Apr 1775

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:

Samuel Johnson

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

18 Sep 1709

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

writer

Religion:

Anglican

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 Scott

Title:

[Elegies]

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21541

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:

618

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 618, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=21541, accessed: 01 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791.

   
   
Green Turtle Web Design