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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 32398


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

(1) 'We have all been plunged in misery here for the last week because no one can remember the context or the author of a quotation that we all know as well as our own names. It started by Mrs. K. seeing it in the "In Memoriam" part of the paper and asking casually what it was from: since then we have ransacked our memories and books of reference in vain. You will laugh us to scorn when I tell you that it is the familiar, "E'en as he trod that day to God So walked he from his birth, In simpleness and gentleness In honour and clean mirth." but I am dashed if I can remember where it comes from. Some time I am sure it is Kipling, and again in other moods it seems impossible. Try and enlighten us.' (2) 'Yes! That was a bad lapse of memory, and now that the mystery is solved, I wonder how I could possibly have forgotten it. Perhaps the fact of its being printed as 3 lines (the "God" and "trod" rhymes having lines to themselves) had something to do with it. Still, ... I thought I knew my Kipling better than that. Like all quotations from good authors, it is much finer in its setting than when we read it alone: that whole poem ought to settle for good and all K's question as to whether Kipling is a poet.'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

Between 6 Oct 1916 and 19 Oct 1916

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

Great Bookham
Surrey
'Gastons'

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:

Clive Staples Lewis

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

29 Nov 1898

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

Student

Religion:

Church of England

Country of Origin:

Northern Ireland

Country of Experience:

England

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

Certainly Mrs. Kirkpatrick, who first drew Lewis's attention to the poem; probably all the other members of the household:'we have all been plunged in misery...'


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Rudyard Kipling

Title:

[Untitled]

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Newspaper

Publication Details

On or shortly after 13 October 1916, the 'In Memoriam' section of (probably) The Times

Provenance

owned
Owned by the Kirkpatrick household


Source Information:

Record ID:

32398

Source:

Print

Author:

C. S. Lewis

Editor:

Walter Hooper

Title:

C. S. Lewis Collected Letters

Place of Publication:

London

Date of Publication:

2000

Vol:

1

Page:

233, 237

Additional Comments:

(1) From a letter to his father, 12 October 1916 (2) From a letter to the same, 19 October 1916 'K' is presumably his tutor, William Kirkpatrick.

Citation:

C. S. Lewis, Walter Hooper (ed.), C. S. Lewis Collected Letters, (London, 2000), 1, p. 233, 237, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=32398, accessed: 19 January 2020


Additional Comments:

Kipling's 'Barrack-Room Ballads' were first published in 1892, and dedicated to his brother-in-law, the American writer Wolcott Balestier. Balestier had died of typhoid fever the previous year, the same year in which his sister Carrie married Kipling. The poem from which the quotation is taken has no title, but simply follows the dedicatory page. It celebrates the life of Balestier and those like him. It begins: Beyond the path of the utmost sun through utter darkness hurled - Further than ever comet flared or vagrant star-dust swirled - Live such as fought and sailed and ruled and loved and made our world.

   
   
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