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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:  

Edith Goadby


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Edith Goadby : Glastonbury

Meeting held at Oakdene, Northcourt Av, 20.3.34.

Sylvanus A. Reynolds in the Chair.

1. Minutes of last read and approved, in the teeth of one dissident.


5. We then proceeded to the anonymous essays and members felt on excellent terms with themselves at the prospect of hearing some attractive reading and of eluding or inflicting a good hoax or two.

The first essay opened discreetly without title on the theme of “Newcomers to Reading”, going on to a description of the neighbourhood, its beauties its quaint place names and historical associations. […]

6. Next came a paper on “Uniforms”. The writer was considered by one or two to show the observation of the masculine mind and the style of the feminine. […]

7. Then came a letter to "My dear Twelve" written with the unmistakeable touch of the practised writer. […]

8. We listened, too, with equal interest to a paper called “Canaries”, telling us something of the progress and perambulations of our latest migrant members. Moreover two or three of our number were able to follow their doings with particular appreciation, having mad much the same trip themselves. […]

9. All of us were a good deal non plussed by “Hors d’Oeuvres”, an essay not inappropriately named, for it contained a perplexing mixture of fare, and certainly stimulated our appetite. […]

10. Hardly less difficult was “Glastonbury”. Many of us had visited it, and so were able to follow closely the author’s points. But few of us knew enough of its history and legend to be sure whether or no our one professional historian had set his wits before us. So we gave up reasoning and just guessed. […]

11. Finally we heard “Spoonbill”. It was a noteworthy paper, combining the love of the naturalist for the birds he watches with the craft of the writer in the language he uses. […]

12. Here is the complete list. —

“Newcomers to Reading” by H. R. Smith, read by F. E. Pollard
“Uniforms” by Janet Rawlings, read by Elizabeth Alexander
“My dear Twelve” by H. M. Wallis, read by S. A. Reynolds
“Canaries” by C. E. Stansfield, read by Dorothy Brain
“Hors d’Oeuvres” by Dorothy Brain, read by R. H. Robson
“Glastonbury” by Mrs Goadby, read by H. R. Smith
“The Spoonbill” by W. Russell Brain, read by Mrs. Robson

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Howard Smith      Manuscript: Unknown


Edith Goadby : [A paper on the desirability of living in the second half of the nineteenth century]

'Meeting held at 30 Northcourt Avenue
    19. II. 1935
    Ethel Stevens in the Chair.
1. Minutes of last read (by F. E. Pollard in the regretted absence of the Secretary), heard with wonder and admiration, & approved.


4. Edgar B. Castle, passing over the the Garden of Eden owing to a dislike of snakes, the Roman Empire from an unwillingness to feed the lions, & other intervening ages by reason of other prejudices, took us to Reading in 2000 A.D. Our eyes opened & our mouths watered as we heard of the beautiful, free, sober & happy borough to be, its advent due to the efforts of Mr Lloyd George & the Old Boys of Leighton Park. [...]'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Edith Goadby      Manuscript: Unknown


Edith Goadby : [An evocation of Old London]

'Meeting held at 70 Northcourt Avenue: 18. 6. 35.

Charles E. Stansfield in the Chair

1. Minutes of last read and approved.

2. The Secretary then read a letter from Marjorie C. Cole, expressing her interest in the Book Club and offering us a book “Gone Rambling” by Cecil Roberts which she had recently read with enjoyment. [...]


6. The large subject of London was then opened by Howard Smith. He spoke of the extraordinary insistence of the divergent views as its origin, leaning to the opinion that it owed its beginnings to to a variety of causes.


7. Extracts from Defoe’s Journal of the Great Plague were then read by Victor Alexander.


8. From Defoe we turned to Pepys, and Reginald Robson described the Great Fire.


9. We next enjoyed a delightful picture of old London which Edith Goadby gave us, making the acquaintance of Gabriel Bardon the locksmith, his pretty daughter Dolly and Simon the apprentice. It was all too short, but at least we left them happily seated before their jolly round of beef, their Yorkshire cake and quaintly shaped jug of ale.

10. A further scene was depicted for us by Ethel Stevens, old Crosby Hall, Chelsea Hospital, Cheyne walk as it used to be, and Carlyle’s house, where he entertained Tennyson in the kitchen. We were introduced to John Stuart Mill and his great concern over the loss of his fiend’s manuscript of the French Revolution, and we took glimpses at William de Morgan + Sir Thomas More.

11. Finally Charles Stansfield read us Wordsworth’s Sonnet composed on Westminster Bridge, and Henry Marriage Wallis quoted happily ten lines from William Morris.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Edith Goadby      


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