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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 28684


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

Charlotte Bronte to her publisher, W. S. Williams, 12 April 1850:

'I have [...] read one of Miss Austen's works "Emma" — read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable — anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstration the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outre and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her [...] Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through [...] this Miss Austen ignores; she no more, with her mind's eye, beholds the heart of her race than each man, with bodily vision sees the heart in his heaving breast. Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete, and rather insensible (not senseless) woman, if this is heresy — I cannot help it.'

Century:

1850-1899

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1850 and 12 Apr 1850

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:

Charlotte Brontë

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

21 Apr 1816

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

Writer

Religion:

n/a

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:

Jane Austen

Title:

Emma

Genre:

Fiction

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

28684

Source:

Print

Author:

n/a

Editor:

Thomas James Wise and John Alexander Symington

Title:

The Brontes: Their Lives, Friendships and Correspondence

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1980

Vol:

2:3

Page:

99

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Thomas James Wise and John Alexander Symington (ed.), The Brontes: Their Lives, Friendships and Correspondence, (Oxford, 1980), 2:3, p. 99, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=28684, accessed: 24 February 2020


Additional Comments:

None

   
   
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