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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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Title of text being read: Robinson Crusoe

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 √ Century of ExperienceEvidenceName of Reader / Listener / Reading GroupAuthor of TextTitle of TextForm of Text
1800-1849"And how fared the growth of this child's mind the while? Thanks to the care of his mother, who had sent him to the penny school, he had learnt to read, and the desire to...Gerald Massey Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1850-1899"I began Robinson Crusoe with Laura. I think that she will be up to it & we made a pretty good start."Leslie Stephen Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1850-1899"Robert Blatchford, growing up in Halifax in the 1860s, read from the penny library there Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Southey's Life of Nelson, Dickens's The Old Curiosity S...Robert Blatchford Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'"I next succeeded in discovering for myself a child's book, of not less interest than even The Iliad." It was Pilgrim's Progress, with wonderful woodcut illustrations. A...Hugh Miller Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
'"The words I didn't understand I just skipped over, yet managed to get a good idea of what the story was about", wrote James Murray, the son of a Scottish shoemaker. "By...James Murray Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'... in 1811 S[ara] H[utchinson] mentioned that Herbert Southey "can read Robinson Crusoe or any Book".'Herbert Southey Daniel DefoeLife and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, written by...Print: Book
1850-1899'Although mainly an outdoor boy Rider began to read several popular romances of the day...: "I loved those books that other boys love and I love them still. I well rememb...Henry Rider Haggard Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1700-1799'Among these books was a brief abstract of that amusing story "Robinson Crusoe", which I read with much eagerness and satisfaction. I only regretted its brevity, for I be...Thomas Carter Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'As a child, William Heaton the Yorkshire weaver-poet, "rambled with Christian from his home in the wilderness to the Celestial City; mused over his hair-breadth escapes,...William Heaton Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1850-1899'At age twelve, recalled ploughboy John Ward, "I devoured - not read, that's too tame an expression - Robinson Crusoe, and that book gave me all my spirit of adventure, w...John Ward Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
'At the close of the nineteenth century, on a farm in Derbyshire Peak District, Robinson Crusoe was read aloud every winter and never palled on the audience. As Alison Ut...Alison Uttley Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'Charles Shaw's dependance upon a small Sunday school library in Tunstall [...] imparted a magnificent if involuntary scope to his education: '"I read "Robinson Crusoe...Charles Shaw Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1900-1945'During these early years [Daphne du Maurier] filled her head with tales of adventure, romances, histories and popular novels, including such books as Treasure Island, Th...Daphne du Maurier Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
'East End socialist Walter Southgate remembered that Dick Turpin and Buffalo Bill stories "were condemned by our teachers (all from middle class backgrounds) who would co...Walter Southgate Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1900-1945'every day Spike Mays ran to his East Anglia school, where he studied "Robinson Crusoe", "Gulliver's Travels" and "Tales from Shakespeare".'Spike Mays Daniel Defoe"Robinson Crusoe"Print: Book
'For John Clare [Robinson Crusoe] was "the first book of any merit I got hold of after I could read", and it set in motion an early ferment: "New ideas from the perusal o...John Clare Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'For weeks after reading that book [i.e. Robinson Crusoe], I lived as if in a dream; indeed I scarcely dreamt of anything else at night. I went to sleep with the cave, it...Letitia Elizabeth Landon Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1700-1799'He [Johnson] told us, that he had given Mrs. Montagu a catalogue of all Daniel Defoe's works of imagination; most, if not all of which, as well as of his other works, he...James Boswell Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1800-1849'I got my [first] peep into "Robinson Crusoe" and the "Arabian Nights" at the home of an old uncle of mine. But even though these two wonderful books have been read and e...William Tinsley Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book
1850-1899'I have been reading "Robinson Crusoe". It is a splendid story. But I think Robinson need not have stayed so long on the island. He made a boat and hoisted a sail, and I ...Andrew J.C. Daniel DefoeRobinson CrusoePrint: Book

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