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This free course, History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past, consists of a series of essays, drawn from material contained in the Reading Experience Database, that illustrate different aspects of reading in Britain during the period from 1450 to 1945. These essays are designed for you as the reader to dip in and dip out, allowing you to pick which essays best suits your purpose.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- recognise an increased interest in exploring the history of reading
- understand a range of examples of research into the history of reading
- use RED to follow up any personal interests in the history of reading.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Reading the English Bible
- 2 Charles Dickens and his readers
- 3 Jane Austen’s readers
- 4 A famous novel and its readers: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847)
- 5 Childhood reading in the 1870s and 1880s: the recollections of Molly Hughes
- 6 Reading and World War I
- 7 Reading places
- 8 Reading while travelling
- 9 Samuel Pepys: diarist, book collector and reader
- 10 Robert Louis Stevenson’s reading
- 11 Reading Culture in the Victorian Underworld
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
History of reading: An introduction to reading in the past
The 11 essays comprising this course cover a wide range of topics in the history of reading, each designed to whet your appetite to explore the subject further, by searching the UK Reading Experience Database RED yourself. We have designed this course for you to dip in and dip out of, allowing you to select the area that interests you most. Click on the links below to select the essays you’d like to read.
- Reading the English Bible
- Charles Dickens and his readers
- Jane Austen’s readers
- A famous novel and its readers: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847)
- Childhood reading in the 1870s and 1880s: the recollections of Molly Hughes
- Reading and World War I
- Reading places
- Reading while travelling
- Samuel Pepys: diarist, book collector and reader
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s reading
- Reading culture in the Victorian underworld
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Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 17th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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