I’m pleased to find a retroactive endorsement of my method in The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1913). Butler refers to Molière’s practice of reading his work aloud to the housemaid. Butler dismisses the idea that Molière sought to “make her a judge of his work” – that is, turn her into a literary critic. Instead, Butler says he read to her because
“…the mere act of reading aloud put his work before him in a new light and, by constraining his attention to every line, made him judge it more rigorously. I always intend to read, and generally do read, what I write aloud to some one; any one almost will do, but he should not be so clever that I am afraid of him. I feel weak places at once when I read aloud…”
I’ve never been that clever.