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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 31505


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Meeting held at Frensham. Saturday 11th July ’42 H. R. Smith in the chair
[...]
3. The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed..
[...]
6. Two One Act Plays were then read. The first of these ‘The Proposal’ by Tchekov was chosen no doubt in tribute to our gallant allies. Howard Smith as a Russian landowner Muriel Stevens as his daughter and Arnold Joselin as a healthy, well- nourished but hypochondriacal suitor for the daughters hand in marriage, all displayed great histrionic ability. The author calls his play ‘A jest’ and it certainly was very funny. Howard Smith’s part was largely “and so on’ alternating with ‘and all the rest of it’ but the infinite variety of expression he managed to put into these few rather simple words soon reduced us to a state of helpless laughter, and the fervour of his prayer “Good Lord: what it is to have a grown up daughter” brought down the house.
7. The second play was “The Workhouse Ward” by Lady Gregory and no doubt a student of national character could draw many conclusions from the difference between the Irish and the Russian sense of humour as revealed in these two plays. Certainly this was altogether a quieter & more subtle work that The Proposal but it was also very amusing & well read by F. E. Pollard & A. B. Dilks as the two paupers and Rasamund Wllis as the Countrywoman relation.
[...]
[signed by] F. E. Pollard 17. IX. 42.'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

11 Jul 1942

Country:

England

Time

evening

Place:

city: Reading
county: Berkshire
specific address: Frensham, Northcourt Avenue

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary reactive unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

Muriel Stevens

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

n/a

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

n/a

Religion:

Quaker

Country of Origin:

Unknown

Country of Experience:

England

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

Members of the XII Book Club


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Anton Chekhov

Title:

The Proposal

Genre:

Drama

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

31505

Source:

Manuscript

Author:

Margaret Dilks

Title:

XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 4 (1938-1943)

Location:

private collection

Call No:

n/a

Page/Folio:

126–30

Additional Information:

Margaret Dilks was secretary to the XII Book Club from 1940 to 1970. It is inferred from this, and from the handwriting, that she was the author of this set of minutes.

Citation:

Margaret Dilks, XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 4 (1938-1943), private collection, 126–30, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=31505, accessed: 15 August 2020


Additional Comments:

This play is also known as A Marriage Proposal. Material by kind permission of the XII Book Club. For further information and permission to quote this source, contact the Reading Experience Database (http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/contacts.php).

   
   
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