53 pages 1 hour read

Alan Bennett

The Uncommon Reader

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 2007

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Answer Key

Page numbers refer to the 2007 edition of the text from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Reading Check

1. “Norman was himself and seemed incapable of being anything else.” (Page n16)

2. “[T]hat in royal circles reading, or at any rate her reading, was not well looked upon” (Page 20)

3. She describes Norman as an “amanuensis” and herself as an “opsimath.” (Page 32)

4. He is “eased out” and encouraged to attend university in East Anglia by Sir Kevin. (Page 43)

5. That she will abdicate the throne (Page 68)

Short Answer

1. As she begins to read more, she realizes that she wasted several opportunities to speak with the authors who wrote these texts about their subjects (because she had not read them at the time). Additionally, she wishes that people were more honest with her and told her how they felt at the time, as opposed to writing them down later. (Page 18)

2. Prior to her interest in reading, Her Majesty would follow a simple conversational guide on which the people would be prepped in advance; however, after her newfound interest in reading, she begins to ask people about the books they are reading currently.

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By Alan Bennett