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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 10129


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'at ten o'clock yesterday evening little Jem Parsons (the cabin boy), and his friend the black terrier, came on deck, and sat themselves on a gun-carriage, to read by the light of the moon. I looked at the boy's book, (the terrier, I suppose, read over the other's shoulder,) and found that it was "The Sorrows of Werter". I asked who had lent him such a book, and whether it amused him? He said that it had been made a present to him, and so he had read it almost through, for he had got to Werter's dying; though, to be sure, he did not understand it all, nor like very much what he understood; for he thought the man a great fool for killing himself for love. I told him I thought that every man a great fool who killed himself for love or for any thing else: but he had no books but "The Sorrows of Werter"? - oh dear yes, he said, he had a great many more; but he had got "The Adventures of a Louse", which was a very curious book, indeed; and he had got besides "The Recess", and "Valentine and Orson", and "Roslin Castle", and a book of Prayers, just like the Bible; but he could not but say that he liked "The Adventures of a Louse" the best of any of them.'

Century:

1800-1849

Date:

11 Dec 1815

Country:

At sea

Time

evening: 10 pm

Place:

other location: ship travelling to Jamaica

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

Jem Parsons

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

n/a

Socio-Economic Group:

Labourer (non-agricultural)

Occupation:

cabin boy

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

England?

Country of Experience:

At sea

Listeners present if any:
e.g family, servants, friends

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Title:

Sorrows of Young Werther

Genre:

Fiction

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

owned


Source Information:

Record ID:

10129

Source:

Print

Author:

Matthew Lewis

Editor:

n/a

Title:

Journal of a West India Proprietor, Kept During a Residence in The Island of Jamaica

Place of Publication:

Oxford

Date of Publication:

1999

Vol:

n/a

Page:

20

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Matthew Lewis, Journal of a West India Proprietor, Kept During a Residence in The Island of Jamaica, (Oxford, 1999), p. 20, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=10129, accessed: 06 May 2021


Additional Comments:

Matthew Lewis chanced upon the boy reading the book as he went for a walk round the ship during the trip to Jamaica.

   
   
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