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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 21789


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'After wandering about in a kind of pleasing distraction for some time, I got into a corner, with Johnson, Garrick, and Harris. GARRICK: (to Harris.) "Pray, Sir, have you read Potter's Aeschylus?" HARRIS. "Yes; and think it pretty." GARRICK. (to Johnson.) "And what think you, Sir, of it?" JOHNSON. "I thought what I read of it verbiage: but upon Mr. Harris's recommendation, I will read a play. (To Mr. Harris.) Don't prescribe two." Mr. Harris suggested one, I do not remember which. JOHNSON. "We must try its effect as an English poem; that is the way to judge of the merit of a translation. Translations are, in general, for people who cannot read the original." I mentioned the vulgar saying, that Pope's Homer was not a good representation of the original. JOHNSON."Sir, it is the greatest work of the kind that has ever been produced" BOSWELL. "The truth is, it is impossible perfectly to translate poetry. In a different language it may be the same tune, but it has not the same tone. Homer plays it on a bassoon; Pope on a flagelet".'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Until: 9 Apr 1778

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:

Homer

Title:

Iliad and Odyssey

Genre:

Classics, Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

Alexander Pope's translation

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

21789

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:

920

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 920, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=21789, accessed: 04 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791

   
   
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