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Started by darkhorse on May 25, 2021 7:09:05 PM
What was the oldest work of literature you read before the age of 14?

I recall struggling, but not completing an illustrated edition of Morte d'Arthur (1485) in my early teenage years.

How early, or late, did you delve into the canon in your youth?

What did you read? Did you enjoy it or gain something from it? Or were you just baffled or bit off more than you could chew?

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Shadrack22 - 25 May 2021 19:15:07 (#1 of 131)

Probably A Christmas Carol or Alice in Wonderland. They didn’t inspire further explorations of Victorian literature.

Snarlygog - 25 May 2021 19:15:30 (#2 of 131)

I was given the penguin 3 Gothic novels compendium of Castle of Onterio, Vathik and Frankenstien at the age of 13.

flossiefoe - 25 May 2021 19:16:37 (#3 of 131)

Not sure, but I think I had probably read the Iliad and the Odyssey by then. In translation, natch.

moto748 - 25 May 2021 19:17:33 (#4 of 131)

The Bible, obv.

ReverendBlueJeans - 25 May 2021 19:17:54 (#5 of 131)

The Carlo Collodi Pinnochio was the first proper book I read. Not sure how old it is.

flossiefoe - 25 May 2021 19:19:12 (#6 of 131)

I think we also read The Merchant of Venice in first year at school.

Verdigris - 25 May 2021 19:20:54 (#7 of 131)

I can remember being given a hardback edition of Kidnapped at too young an age. I don't think I ever finished it.

coshipi - 25 May 2021 19:24:23 (#8 of 131)

#4

My thunk precisely, moto.

Although I suppose the date of the translation is maybe really the relevant bit. Although 1611 (King James version) is still well before some of the other things people are mentioning.

flossiefoe - 25 May 2021 19:24:27 (#9 of 131)

Kidnapped was fun in a scary sort of way. Thoughts of Uncle Ebenezer’s porridge drawer still haunt me. I’ve never managed to get through Catriona though.

helbel - 25 May 2021 19:24:27 (#10 of 131)

Shakespeare for sure. Both for English and for fun. Other than that Grimms fairy tales.

I didn’t get in to Austen until I was nearer 16. And I’ve never managed any Bronte.

moto748 - 25 May 2021 19:24:43 (#11 of 131)

I tried to plough through Ivanhoe, too, which was bloody hard work. And Hereward the Wake. Would have been when I was around 9-10, I guess.

Kids today don't know what they escaped!

yumyum - 25 May 2021 19:25:49 (#12 of 131)

Treasure Island.

uranrising - 25 May 2021 19:25:58 (#13 of 131)

My Dad had a hardback copy of the 'original' Robinson Crusoe.

I started it when I was about 7, but soon gave up, simply because I was having to go to the dictionary too frequently.

I took it up again at around 14, and read it all. I think that was before I started on Chaucer's prologue at school.

coshipi - 25 May 2021 19:27:39 (#14 of 131)

I loved Wuthering Heights when I was maybe thirteen or fourteen. Never read any other Bronte.

thisonehasalittlehat - 25 May 2021 19:31:01 (#15 of 131)

Can't remember.

redginger - 25 May 2021 19:37:01 (#16 of 131)

We had to read "The Heroes" at school which I loved, but the first book I remember reading as Literature was "The Water Babies".

TauCeti - 25 May 2021 19:47:01 (#17 of 131)

The Iliad , amongst others.

thisonehasalittlehat - 25 May 2021 19:48:52 (#18 of 131)

Think we should rule out translations e.g. Bible.

coshipi - 25 May 2021 19:50:47 (#19 of 131)

Think we should rule out translations e.g. Bible.

Oh, I don't know - as long as you consider the date of the translation rather than the original.

darkhorse - 25 May 2021 19:52:11 (#20 of 131)

Ah, you all have reminded me I did actually read the whole of Coral Island (1857) aged 11. I suppose it may have been an abridged edition. But it was pretty long and novel sized.

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