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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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Salomon Gessner


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Salomon Gessner : The Death of Abel

My companions at the breakfast-table through this summer were many of our popular English Classics. Among these may be enumerated "The Death of Abel" which I read emphatically aloud. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Pope's Homer, Cicero's Letters, Elizabeth, or the Exile of Siberia, Dr Johnson's Rasselas, with many other works of established reputation.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: John Cole      Print: Book


Salomon Gessner : La Mort d'Abel

[Elizabeth Carter to Catherine Talbot, 30 May 1761:] 'To make you amends for all the nonsense which I have collected from all the frippery shelves throughout Westminster and London, I will mention a book which, if you have not read it, it is fit you should, 'La Mort d'Abel.' It is a High Dutch poem translated into French prose. This general account of it, does not, I confess, look very promising, but I think you will be pleased with the book. I believe it may not by any means be conformable to the rules of Epic poetry, but the manner and the sentiments are charming, and to me it was extremely affecting. There are two pastorals in the same volume, by the same author, which pleased me better than almost any thing I have met with of that kind.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Carter      Print: Book


Salomon Gessner : La Mort d'Abel

[Catherine Talbot to Elizabeth Carter, 1 August 1761:] 'I am ashamed to say I have not yet sent La Mort d'Abel to Mrs Donnelan; but the truth is, I began reading it to my mother, and cannot find in [sic] my heart to send it away till I have done. It has taught us to be fond of a sweet flowery spot in the garden, which is our reading place, and we impatiently sigh for a quiet hour or two to finish it [...] It is not faultless to be sure, but it seems to me absolutely one of the most charming and instructive things I ever read.'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Catherine Talbot      Print: Book


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