Saturday, June 30, 2012

A 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.


Shelly said...

He was more of a visionary than we thought. I pray for our nation everyday. It's hard to believe the turn of some events these days-

vanilla said...

Shelly, I'm not sure it is the case that the author was a visionary, or rather that the erosion of our Constitution has been going on for a long time. Certainly we need to pray for our country.

Rebecca said...

Indeed, our Constitution has been under attack since -- well, since Day One! But before, the Americans people stood up against the attack. Now, all we hear are cries of "Bread and circuses!"

Oh prayer and backbone is what we all need....

vanilla said...

Rebecca, that the prayer warriors and those of steel spine will outnumber the "bread and circuses" crowd is our only hope. Keep the faith!