By David Allan
This pioneering exploration of Georgian males and women's stories as readers explores their use of ordinary books for recording favorite passages and reflecting upon what they'd learn, revealing forgotten elements in their complex courting with the broadcast observe. It indicates how indebted English readers usually remained to thoughts for dealing with, soaking up and considering texts that have been rooted in classical antiquity, in Renaissance humanism and in a considerably oral tradition. It additionally unearths how a chain of comparable assumptions in regards to the nature and function of studying stimulated the jobs that literature performed in English society within the a long time of Addison, Johnson and Byron; how the behavior and techniques required via commonplacing affected readers' tastes and so assisted in shaping literary models; and the way the event of studying and responding to texts more and more inspired literate women and men to visualize themselves as individuals of a well mannered, dependable and severely conscious public.
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Extra resources for Commonplace Books and Reading in Georgian England
Xi, xv. 2 3 What is a commonplace book? 27 subsequently been, given this particular designation. Needless to say, this too is a significant hindrance to the prospective historian of commonplacing. 5 This in turn, of course, makes it hopelessly unrealistic for us to expect to piece together a comprehensive body of evidence for the history of the English commonplace book during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries simply by working systematically through the standard finding aids and other familiar bibliographical tools.
107. 24 Montaigne, Essays, pp. 97–106 (quotation at p. 101). 20 22 A very short history of commonplacing 41 If this was indeed the true purpose of reading, it was, of course, in choosing and conserving extracts for future re-use that a commonplace book, or something very much like it, would come into its own. Philipp Melanchthon similarly recognised the highly structured commonplace book as an incomparable boon to reading. Now, however, it was also a tool for promoting the intense piety and formidable learning that the Protestant cause in particular demanded of its most literate devotees.
I am grateful for discussion of this material with Susan Halpert. 26 32 Commonplace Books and Reading in Georgian England James Dallaway, a Gloucestershire banker in the second half of the eighteenth century, was responsible for a broadly similar offering that travelled in the opposite direction, to his son and namesake, with educational purposes clearly very much in mind. Indeed, we can say this with some confidence because Dallaway went further than either Beere or Munbee and offered an explicit explanation.
Commonplace Books and Reading in Georgian England by David Allan