Saturday, December 12, 2009

One Century Ago

A few days ago, I took this volume from the bookcase. I have been enjoying the perusal of the children's reading material, 1909. A mere one hundred years ago, ten and eleven year old tykes were reading this. The heroes were such as the gentleman pictured in the frontispiece. I found no mention of "Power Rangers" or Harry Potter.
If you can magnify this preface, you might read a statement of the aims of the compilers for the youngsters who were exposed to this. I'll assist you a bit. The penultimate paragraph says,
"As the best literature makes a distinct moral appeal to the reader, it is evident that the subtle influence of such selections as this book contains will help boys and girls to live more happily and helpfully." (Double click on the image to enlarge.)
As there are nearly 400 pages in the book and since there are about 100 authors represented, it would be too tedious to list the contents, but a suggestion thereof might be made by listing just a few of the authors represented. Some of them are Robert Browning; Edward Everett Hale; William Cullen Bryant; Helen Hunt Jackson; Henry David Thoreau; John Milton; John Bunyan; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Louisa May Alcott; James Whitcomb Riley; Robert Burns; James Fenimore Cooper; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Benjamin Harrison. I think you may get the idea.
I offer here no moralizing, no judgments; but I do ask that you reflect on this a bit. You might look at your kids' current reading materials as you do so.
Good day.

2 comments:

Marydon Ford said...

Good point, but how few kids 'read' today ... Have a lovely Sunday.
TTFN ~Marydon

vanilla said...

Too right, Marydon. Too few people 'read' these days.