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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 27289


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Since the age of five I have been a great reader [...]. At ten years of age I had read much of Victor Hugo and other romantics. I had read in Polish and in French, history, voyages, novels; I knew "Gil Blas" and "Don Quixote" in abridged editions; I had read in early boyhood Polish poets and some French poets, but I cannot say what I read on the evening [in September 1889] before I began to write myself. I believe it was a novel, and it is quite possible that it was one of Anthony Trollope's novels.It is very likely.My acquatance with him was then very recent. He is one of the English novelists whose works I read for the first time in English. With men of European reputation, with Dickens and Walter Scott and Thackeray, it was otherwise. My first introduction to English imaginative literature was "Nicholas Nickleby". It was extraordinary how well Mrs. Nickleby could chatter disconnectedly in Polish [...] It was, I have no doubt an excellent translation. This must have been in the year 1870.'

Century:

1850-1899

Date:

Between 1 Jan 1862 and 31 Dec 1867

Country:

probably Russia (Ukraine)

Time

n/a

Place:

n/a

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:

Joseph Conrad

Age:

Child (0-17)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

3 Dec 1857

Socio-Economic Group:

Gentry
'Szlachta', or Polish landed gentry/nobility

Occupation:

child

Religion:

Polish Catholic

Country of Origin:

Poland

Country of Experience:

probably Russia (Ukraine)

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

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz de Poraj

Title:

Pan Tadeuz

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

1834

Provenance

owned
Polish text almost certainly owned by Conrad's father


Source Information:

Record ID:

27289

Source:

Print

Author:

Joseph Conrad

Editor:

Mara Kalnins

Title:

A Personal Record

Place of Publication:

London

Date of Publication:

1998 (1912)

Vol:

n/a

Page:

73

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Joseph Conrad, Mara Kalnins (ed.), A Personal Record, (London, 1998 (1912)), p. 73, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=27289, accessed: 16 June 2024


Additional Comments:

Conrad's father had read Mickiewicz's main works including also 'Graznya' (1823) and 'Konrad Wallerod' (1828) to his son at an early age.See Frederick Karl 'Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives' (Faber: 1979, p.66). In the evidence from the primary source cited Conrad implies that he also read them himself.

   
   
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