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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 22169


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'So easy is his style in these "Lives", that I do not recollect more than three uncommon or learned words; one, when giving an account of the approach of Waller's mortal disease, he says, "he found his legs grow tumid"; by using the expression his legs swelled, he would have avoided this; and there would have been no impropriety in its being followed by the interesting question to his physician, 'What that swelling meant?' Another, when he mentions that Pope had emitted proposals; when published or issued would have been more readily understood; and a third, when he calls Orrery and Dr. Delany, writers both undoubtedly veracious, when true, honest, or faithful, might have been used. Yet, it must be owned, that none of these are hard or too big words; that custom would make them seem as easy as any others; and that a language is richer and capable of more beauty of expression, by having a greater variety of synonimes. His dissertation upon the unfitness of poetry for the aweful subjects of our holy religion, though I do not entirely agree with with him, has all the merit of originality, with uncommon force and reasoning.'

Century:

1700-1799

Date:

Until: 31 Dec 1781

Country:

Scotland

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:

Scotland

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Samuel Johnson

Title:

Lives of the Poets

Genre:

Essays / Criticism, Biography

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

22169

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:

1093-4

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson, (Oxford, 1980), p. 1093-4, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=22169, accessed: 02 March 2021


Additional Comments:

Originally published 1791. Boswell had read the 'Lives' in MS too.

   
   
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