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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:  

Battista Guarini


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Battista Guarini : Il Pastor Fido

'In Battista Guarini's "Il Pastor Fido" (1591) [Gabriel] Harvey sometimes places a tiny letter symbol above a textual passage and an explanatory note or translation in the margin text to a notation of the same tiny letter.'

Century: 1500-1599 / 1600-1699     Reader/Listener/Group: Gabriel Harvey      Print: Book


Giovanni Battista Guarini : Il Pastor Fido; tragicomedio pastorale

'read Ovid with Hogg (fin. 2nd fable). Shelley reads Gibbon and pastor fido with Clary - in the evening read Esprit des Nations (72). S. reads Pastor Fido (102) and Gibbon (vol 12 - 364) and the story of Myrrha in Ovid'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Percy Shelley and Claire Clairmont     Print: Book


Giovanni Battista Guarini : Il Pastor Fido

'Adam Smith, Sir [-] informed me, was no admirer of the Rambler or the Idler, but was pleased with the pamphlet respecting the Falkland Islands, as it displayed in such forcible language, the madness of modern wars. Of Swift, he made frequent and honourable mention, and regarded him, both in style and sentiment, as a pattern of correctness. He often quoted some of the short poetical addresses to Stella, and was particularly pleased with the couplet, Say Stella, - feel you no content, Reflecting on a life well-spent? Smith had an invincible dislike to blank verse, Milton's only excepted. "they do well", said he, "to call it blank, for blank it is". Beattie's Minstrel he would not allow to be called a poem; for he said it had no plan, beginning or end. He did not much admire Allan Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd", but preferred the "Pastor Fido", of which he spoke with rapture'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Adam Smith      Print: Book


Giovanni Battista Guarini : Il Pastor Fido

'You seem so much interested with the translation of "Pastor Fido" that I shall take the liberty of sending it to you, that you may judge of its merits: not being skilled in the Italian tongue I cannot possibly give an opinion of it as a [italics] translation [end italics]. As anything else, I do not like it, nor ever liked pastorals or pastoral writing, even of the first order, further than as vehicles for fine poetry; and then the poetry would have pleased me better had it spoken for itself, than from the mouth of a creature to me so inconceivable as a shepherd or shepherdess, whose chief, or rather [italics] only [end italics] characteristics are innocence and simplicity. I am sorry to say they are but too apt to be insipid and uninteresting to those who merely read about them [she continues this critique at length, concluding] It may be owing to some defect in my mind that I really never yet knew an interesting pastoral character, or cared a straw about whether they hanged themselves upon the first willow, or drowned themselves in the neighbouring brook. I can enter into the delights of Homer's gods, and follow to their darkest recesses Milton's devils, and delight in the absurdities and extravagancies of Shakespeare's men and women, but I never could sympathise in the sufferings of even Virgil's shepherd swains'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Miss V[-]      Print: Book


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