In the novel How Green Was My Valley, the boy, Huw, is reading from Shakespeare, and encounters the word misled. He pronounces it "mizzled," and is ridiculed by the teacher. He replies that he can't be faulted for having read more words than he has ever heard spoken.
This was me, exactly. I even made Huw's mistake with 'misled', but only in my head. I was reading Dickens, Wells, Lawrence(!) when I was 8. In that year, 1960, Penguin Books published the unexpurgated version of Lady Chatterley's Lover
and were prosecuted. They were acquitted. The prosecuting counsel famously asked the jury, "Would you want your wife or servants to read this book?" After the trial, Penguin sold 3 million copies, one of which found its way into a drawer in my parent's bedroom, whence* I would extract it whenever they were out, until I had read it all. I later went to Alleyn's School, and was surprised to learn that the headmaster had given evidence for the defence. At the time I thought he was too stuffy to have done that. How ignorant I was.
*I always think from whence
is redundant, but apparently you find it in Shakespeare and, the other day, in the Guardian
. The old death sentence wording used by judges was “you shall be taken to the place whence you came and thence to a place of execution where you shall be hanged by the neck until you should be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”