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: 32312


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'The last words unveiling the mystery of the Erebus and Terror expedition were brought home and disclosed to the world by Sir Leopold M’Clintock in his book "The Voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas". It is a little book but it records with manly simplicity the tragic ending of a great tale. It so happened that I was born in the year of its publication. Therefore I may be excused for not getting hold of it till ten years afterwards. I can only account for it falling into my hands by the fact that the fate of Sir John Franklin was a matter of European interest, and that Sir Leopold M’Clintock’s book was translated I believe into every language of the white races. My copy was probably in French. But I have read the work many times since. I have now on my shelves a copy of a popular edition got up exactly as I remember my first one. It contains the touching facsimile of a printed form filled in with a summary record of the two ships, with the name of “Sir John Franklin commanding the expedition” and written in ink, and the pathetic underlined entry “All well”.[...]. There can hardly have been imagined a better book to let in the breath of the stern romance of Polar exploration into the existence of a boy[...]

Century:

1850-1899, 1900-1945

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1859 and 31 Dec 1924

Country:

Poland or Ukraine

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:

Joseph Conrad

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

3 Dec 1857

Socio-Economic Group:

Gentry
'Szlachta' or Polish landed gentry/nobility

Occupation:

child

Religion:

Roman Catholic

Country of Origin:

Poland

Country of Experience:

Poland or Ukraine

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Leopold M'Clintock

Title:

The Voyage of the 'Fox' in the Arctic Seas: A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and his Companions

Genre:

Geography / Travel

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

First published London 1859. French translations read either by V . A Malte-Brun, Paris 1860 or an adolescent re-telling by F.de Lanoye Paris 1865 see note p.405 of source text

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

32312

Source:

Print

Author:

Joseph Conrad

Editor:

Harold Ray Stevens and J.H.Stape

Title:

Last Essays

Place of Publication:

Cambridge

Date of Publication:

2010 (1926)

Vol:

n/a

Page:

10

Additional Comments:

This evidence is from the essay 'Geography and Some Explorers' first published 1924, subsequently collected into 'Last Essays' J.M.Dent 1926

Citation:

Joseph Conrad, Harold Ray Stevens and J.H.Stape (ed.), Last Essays, (Cambridge, 2010 (1926)), p. 10, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=32312, accessed: 20 July 2019


Additional Comments:

This extract privileging Conrad's early reading of this text has nevertheless been given in detail as it provides evidence both of childhood and of later reading, of wide translation, of Conrad's serial ownership of identifiable versions of the same text, and of a cherished memory of its early impact, as well as Conrad’s adult response. Clearly Conrad is incorrect in saying that the book was published in the year of his birth, as it was published 2 years later.

   
   
Green Turtle Web Design