Reading

I just found an old booklist from a few years back.

Some of the books Pip and Jenny enjoyed when they were were about 8 and 10 y.o. (they are only 17 months apart)
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Wonder Tales
Swiss Family Robinson
Pilgrim’s Progress
a retelling of Beowulf by Rosemary Sutcliffe
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass,
The Good Master and other books by Kate Seredy
books by Elizabeth Enright
The poetry of Emily Dickenson

These were unabridged, naturally, except for the Sutcliffe retelling of Beowulf. They did read Beowulf a few years later.

The House and Home: A Practical Book, Volume 1, Published 1894-1896 contains various chapters by different experts of the time on topics of interest to homemakers of the day. Kate Douglas Wiggin wrote one section on kindergarten. Lyman Abbot wrote a chapter on the education of women. The book is packed now, but according to my notes one section is on the importance of continuing to educate oneself through reading widely and well. The writer tells of a lady who once entertained several teachers attending a nearby teacher’s institute. The lady was surprised at how little literature they knew. Authors she supposed universally familiar they only vaguely recognized as someone whose work was perhaps represented in the fifth reader.

“All literature… was to them not a familiar world, but a remote region from which samples had been brought, to be displayed, as in a museum, in some part of the series of “readers.”

I don’t want our Progeny to view the marvelous world of books and letters as some remote region which they have only visited through simplified rewrites and small chunks ‘displayed, as in a museum’ in a reader.

Like Emily Dickinson I want them to be able to know:

THERE is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
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