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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 29742


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Meeting held at Hillsborough, Glebe Road: 15. V. 34.
    Reginald H. Robson in the chair.

1. Minutes of last read & approved

[...]

6. And so we turned, a little wistfully maybe, to Charles Stansfield reading from the “Earthy Paradise”, & its rather pathetic refrain “The idle singer of an empty day”. The word pictures of the Greek and Norse myths came vividly before our minds, and their beauty drew us very pleasantly.

7. Frank Pollard then gave us a general survey of Morris and his work, & Mary Pollard read a short poem. Those who had some familiarity with Morris’s writings compared their impressions & the rest of us caught something of Morris’s desire to present a different world from the unpleasant one he lived in, and also of the joy we have in praising great men and how we turn their stories over. The contribution of Morris, we gathered, was not so much the foregoing of life in order to live in some deeper sense, but the happier if less heroic creation of a life in some considerable accordance with his own ideals.

8. Howard Smith then talked to us of William Morris’s Prose Romances and read us extracts from them. These romances were turned off, we were told, during his leisure evenings in a thoroughly matter of fact manner reminding us perhaps of Trollope. But they were crammed full of the fanciful & even the fantastic. Not only did the author draw upon his imagination for quaint names like Utterhay, Evilshore, Bindalone: he also freely indulged his fancy for archaic expressions — hard by, whilom, Child (with capital C), dight, gayass[?], hight (for named) are a few examples.

9. Finally we heard from Reginald Robson an extract from “News from Nowhere.” In this ideal world of the poet’s dreaming there was no meanness and no money, no jarring jangle of train or tram with rolling smoke or strident screech, nothing more disturbing than the quiet plash of the oar upon the tranquil surface of the Thames. It may be that the the rowing boat was once itself anathema to the aesthetes of an earlier age, but for Morris its very antiquity had hallowed its shapely curves. Is it as well that he did not live to see the vermillion sports car [...]?'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

15 May 1934

Country:

England

Time

evening

Place:

city: Reading
county: Berkshire
specific address: Hillsborough, Glebe Road

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary reactive unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

Charles E. Stansfield

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

1865

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

Retired schoolmaster, then administrator

Religion:

Quaker or associated with the Friends

Country of Origin:

n/a

Country of Experience:

England

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

Members of the XII Book Club


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

William Morris

Title:

The Earthly Paradise

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

29742

Source:

Manuscript

Author:

Victor Alexander

Title:

XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 3 (1931-1938)

Location:

private collection

Call No:

n/a

Page/Folio:

102–106

Additional Information:

Victor Alexander was secretary to the XII Book Club from 1931 to 1940. It is inferred from this that he was the author of this set of minutes.

Citation:

Victor Alexander, XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 3 (1931-1938), private collection, 102–106, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=29742, accessed: 20 June 2024


Additional Comments:

Material by kind permission of the XII Book Club. For further information and permission to quote this source, contact the Reading Experience Database (http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/contacts.php).

   
   
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