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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

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 √ Century of ExperienceEvidenceName of Reader / Listener / Reading GroupAuthor of TextTitle of TextForm of Text
1700-1799'There was a very long list of Arrivals here, in the Newspaper yesterday, so that we need not immediately dread absolute solitude.'Jane Austen  Print: Newspaper
1700-1799None went to Church. Aunt gave us coffee. Mother read scriptures.Barbara Savile BiblePrint: Book
1850-1899'I ought to have written last month to thank you and your able contributor for the flattering mention made of me in the article on Magazines, but the coming here complica...Margaret Oliphant Blackwood's MagazinePrint: Serial / periodical
1850-1899'I read with sad interest the references to your brother's battery in the 'Times' this morning.'Margaret Oliphant Times, ThePrint: Newspaper
1850-1899'I think this extract from a western newspaper pretty nearly beats the record (slang again) for confusion of metaphors: "He [Sir Stafford Northcote] is a statesman, the b...Francis Romano (Cecco) Oliphant [newspaper]Print: Newspaper
1800-1849'On the 28th September I was reading "Blackwood", when the magazines of our metropolis were just getting on their outer garments; while their northern brethren were quiet...Charles Knight Blackwood's MagazinePrint: Serial / periodical
'Austen read especially novels by women, including Mary Brunton, Frances and Sarah Harriet Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Charlotte Lennox, Lady Morgan, Ann Radcliffe, Regina M...Jane Austen Lady's MagazinePrint: Serial / periodical
'Susan Sibbald knew Scottish shepherd Wully Carruthers who was a fellow-subscriber to the circulating library at Melrose, but while she borrowed Ann Radcliffe, he read "A...Wully Carruthers [ancient and modern history]Print: Book
1800-1849'Princess Charlotte wrote of reading as a "great passion"; in a poignant attempt to construct bourgeois domestic intimacy in the dysfunctional household of the divorced P...Princess Charlotte [memoirs and history]Print: Book
1800-1849'Weeton's reading becomes important in communication with friends, but also a point of conflict: when she visits her brother and his wife, they complain that she spends a...Ellen Weeton [newspaper]Print: Newspaper
1800-1849'Weeton's reading becomes important in communication with friends, but also a point of conflict: when she visits her brother and his wife, they complain that she spends a...Ellen Weeton [magazine]Print: Serial / periodical
1800-1849'Robert Colyer, who rose to become a celebrated Unitarian minister, deliberately chose to dwell upon the moment when, as a child labourer in a Fewston linen factory, he b...Robert Collyer The History of Whittington and his CatPrint: Book
1800-1849"Bought the John Bull Magazine out of curiosity to see if I was among the black sheep it grows in dulness thats one comfort to those that it nicknames 'Humbugs' [.]"John Clare John Bull MagazinePrint: Serial / periodical
1800-1849'came home & read a chapter or two in the New Testament'John Clare The New TestamentPrint: Book
1500-1599' A Jesuit reported on a Puritan meeting in the late 1580s: "Each of them had his own Bible, and sedulously turned the pages and looked up the texts cited by the preacher...Puritans The BiblePrint: Book
1800-1849Read the September No of the London Mag: only 2 good articles in it-'Blakesmore in H-shire' by Elia & review of 'Goethe' by De Quincey these are excellent and sufficient ...John Clare The London MagazinePrint: Serial / periodical
1800-1849'I have read the first chapter of Genesis the beginning of which is very fine but the sacred historian took a great deal on credit for this world when he imagines that go...John Clare The BiblePrint: Book
1700-1799'Aucterderran, Fife: In common with the rest of Scotland, the vulgar are, for their station, literate, beyond all other nations. Puritanic and abstruse divinity come in f...the people of Auchterderran, Fife [Puritanic and abstruse divinity texts]Print: Book
1700-1799'They likewise read, occasionally, a variety of other books unconnected with such subjects [religion]... Although the parish consists wholly of the poorer ranks of societ...the people of Auchterderran, Fife [newspapers]Print: Newspaper
1700-1799'Kirkpatrick-Juxta, Dumfries: Several of the farmers read history, magazines and newspapers. The vulgar read almost nothing but books on religious subjects'.the people of Kirkpatrick-Juxta, Dumfries [newspapers]Print: Newspaper

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