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

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
 
 
 
 

Record Number: 30431


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Meeting held at “Oakdene”, Northcourt Avenue. 14.2.44
    S. A. Reynolds in the chair.

[...]

2. The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed.

[...]

5. After an interval for refreshment we turned our thoughts to the Study of the Life and Works of André Maurois, which proved to be a subject of absorbing interest. Rosamund Wallis was his Biographer up to the time of the outbreak of this war — her chief source of information being Maurois’ autobiography “Call no man happy” from which she read several extracts. She revealed to us the child Emil Hertzog, born an Alsatian Jew & brought up in the sheltered atmosphere of French family life. Brilliantly successful at school, in business, as a soldier and under the name of André Maurois as a writer. Success was his easily and immediately for allied to his native genius was an infinite capacity for hard work.

6. Readings from Maurois’s works were given as follows:-
    Howard Smith from ‘The Silence of Colonel Bramble’
    Isabel Taylor [from] Ariel
    F. E. Pollard [from] Disraeli
    Frank Knight [from] Byron
    Knox Taylor [from] History of England
Maurois has been very fortunate in his translators and all the readings were much enjoyed. Colonel Bramble was his first book & remains the most widely read & generally acclaimed of them all. ‘Ariel’ his life of Shelley gained him a reputation for writing ‘Romanticized Biography’ which he resented and tried to counteract in his lives of Byron and Disraeli. The general opinion of the Book Club was that he writes always with more charm and wit than accuracy & Knox Taylor’s criticism of the ‘History of England[’] was that in trying to give a general impression without much detail, Maurois has picked out the wrong details and therefore gives the wrong impression.

7. Kenneth Nicholson then continued the story of Maurois’ life up to the present day, when he is living in America with his wife, while their children remain in France.

[signed as a true record by] J. Knox Taylor 13/3/44.'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

Between 1944 and 14 Feb 1944

Country:

England

Time

evening

Place:

city: Reading
county: Berkshire

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:

Rosamund Wallis

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Female

Date of Birth:

n/a

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

n/a

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:

André Maurois

Title:

Call No Man Happy

Genre:

Autobiog / Diary

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

first published 1943 in a translation by Denver and Jane Lindley

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

30431

Source:

Manuscript

Author:

Margaret Dilks

Title:

XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 5 (1944-1952)

Location:

private collection

Call No:

n/a

Page/Folio:

3-5

Additional Information:

Margaret Dilks was secretary to the XII Book Club from 1940 to 1970. It is inferred from this, and from the handwriting, that she was the author of this set of minutes.

Citation:

Margaret Dilks, XII Book Club Minute Book, Vol. 5 (1944-1952), private collection, 3-5, http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/record_details.php?id=30431, accessed: 14 June 2024


Additional Comments:

Reading done in preparation for a biographical essay on André Maurois presented to the XII Book Club on 14 Feb 1944 .
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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