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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 4990


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Weaver-novelist William Holt extolled the standard greats ("Noble Carlyle; virtuous Tolstoi; wise Bacon; jolly Rabelais; towering Plato...") and, having taught himself German, memorized Schiller while working at the looms. But he did not limit himself to classics: "I read omnivorously, greedily, promiscuously", from dime novels and G.A. Henty to Hardy and Conrad. Holt disparaged popular authors such as Ethel M. Dell and Elinor Glyn for "peddling vulgar narcotics", yet he was closely attuned to the mass reading public. His own autobiography sold a quarter of a million copes and he once owned a fleet of bookmobiles. He reconciled taste with populism through this logic: though most readers consume a certain amount of junk, it does them no harm because they recognize it as junk'.

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

unknown

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

Yorkshire

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:

William Holt

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

1897

Socio-Economic Group:

Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder

Occupation:

weaver then 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:

Leo Tolstoy

Title:

n/a

Genre:

Fiction

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

4990

Source:

Print

Author:

Jonathan Rose

Editor:

n/a

Title:

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes

Place of Publication:

New Haven

Date of Publication:

2001

Vol:

n/a

Page:

370

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, (New Haven, 2001), p. 370, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=4990, accessed: 29 February 2020


Additional Comments:

See William Holt, 'Japanese Parasol' pp110-17 - no further ref. traceable in Rose notes.

   
   
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