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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

Listings for Author:  

Elinor Glyn


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Elinor Glyn : The Career of Catherine Bush

'In 1926 [Catherine McMullen] was herself a workhouse laundress, struggling to improve her mind by reading T.P. and Cassell's Weekly. The magazine was full of literary gossip that made her aspire to be a writer, but she had no idea which books to read until she came across Elinor Glyn's The Career of Catherine Bush. In this story of a romance between a duke and a secretary, the secretary is advised to read the Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his Son. Catherine McMullen visited a public library for the first time in her life and borrowed the book: "And here began my education. With Lord Chesterfield I read my first mythology. I learned my first history and geography. With Lord Chesterfield I went travelling the world. I would fall asleep reading the letters and awake around three o'clock in the morning my mind deep in the fascination of this new world, where people conversed, not just talked..." ... He launched her into a lifetime course of reading, beginning with Chaucer in Middle English, moving on to Erasmus, Donne, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and even Finnegan's Wake.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Catherine McMullen      Print: Book


Elinor Glyn : Halcyone

' ... [F. H. Bradley] appeared as the retired professor, Cheiron, in [Elinor] Glyn's Halcyone (1912), having assiduously read the manuscript, corrected her spelling, and supplied Greek quotations.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Francis Herbert Bradley      Manuscript: Codex


Elinor Glyn : 

'Growing up in Lyndhurst after the First World War, R.L. Wild regularly read aloud to his marginally literate grandmother and his completely illiterate grandfather - and it was his grandparents who selected the books... "I shall never understand how this choice was made. Until I started reading to them they had no more knowledge of English literature than a Malay Aborigine... I suppose it was their very lack of knowledge that made the choice, from "Quo Vadis" at eight, Rider Haggard's "She" at nine. By the time I was twelve they had come to know, intimately, a list of authors ranging from Shakespeare to D.H. Lawrence. All was grist to the mill (including Elinor Glyn). The classics, poetry, essays, belles lettres. We took them all in MY stride. At times we stumbled on gems that guided us to further riches. I well remember the Saturday night they brought home "The Essays of Elia". For months afterwards we used it as our roadmap...".'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: R.L. Wild      Print: Book


Elinor Glyn : [novels]

'When her novels were finished, she would take them up herself to Gerald Duckworth at 3, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. She was by this time on extremely cordial terms with her publisher and he encouraged her to read her books, or large portions of them, aloud to him. Her books, she maintained, were intended to be read aloud and lost their proper effect if they were read in silence. She herself was extremely proud of her reading voice;* she would read slowly with long dramatic pauses and Duckworth would meekly put aside all other work and listen, while Margot often waited patiently in the hansom outside.' * It was the mark of a gentlewoman to be able to read aloud beautifully. All her heroines had it, or acquired it painfully, and practice it frequently.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Elinor Glyn      Manuscript: Unknown


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