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Tracking reading in nineteenth-century Melbourne diaries
journal contributionposted on 29.01.2021, 00:50 by Susan MartinSusan Martin
This article sketches some colonial responses to the wider ‘British’ field of Victorian reading by following the reading traces left in the diaries of three middle-class women living in Melbourne from the 1860s to the 1880s, Henrietta Jennings, Thomas Anne Cole and Joyce Sincock. The paper uses the diaries to consider the transcultural nature of Melbourne reading in the late nineteenth-century, and looks at ways to analyse diary records of reading which are always fragmentary. To what extent is it possible to read a list, read the reading, to legitimately interpret nineteenth-century reading practice, religious observance, the place of the popular novel for middle-class women, or the use of the diary in recording or shaping lived, or read, experience?