The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Tales from Maria Edgeworth, with an introduction by Austin Dobson and illustrations by Hugh Thomson (Wells, Gardner Darton, 6/-). We all know how Amelia Osborne (nee Sedley) sold her Indian shawl and ran to "Darton's shop in St. Paul's Churchyard and there purchased The Parent's Assistant and the Sandford and Merton Georgy longed for," and how, as she was carrying the books to place them on George's table, "the gilt bindings of the seven handsome little volumes caught the old lady's (her mother's) eye," and how there was a grand fracas. History repeats itself, and again from "Darton's shop" we get tales from The Parent's Assistant, fresh and delightful as ever, a fitting birthday gift for many a George and Lucy. An introduction from Mr. Austin Dobson has, of course, the right literary flavour. Perhaps, after all, we do owe something to Mr. Edgeworth. His insistence on "the bare skeleton" may have done something to produce the narrative skill and the clear characterisation, which, as Mr. Dobson says, make Miss Edgeworth's tales for children fully as delightful to their elders. Here we have the best known of the old favourites, Lazy Lawrence, Simple Susan, The Orphans, Waste not, Want not, and others, thirteen in all. The illustrations by Mr. Hugh Thomson are very delightful, gems of characterisation.
The Children's Book of London, by G. E. [Geraldine Edith] Mitton (A. & C. Black). Another children's book about London. We cannot have too many, for London is an inexhaustible theme, and an author who cooperated with Sir Walter Besant in producing The Fascination of London writes with authority. Book I. treats of London as it is, including its streets and shops, odds and end, the King's palaces, and other matters. Book II. contains historical stories of Sir Thomas More, Lady Jane Grey, King Edward V., and more. Book III. deals with the sights of London, in which the Tower of London and the Zoological Gardens play a large part. Mr. Williamson's coloured illustrations are effective. The book is written with the sort of ease and intimacy with the subject which will win the confidence of young readers.
The Original Poems and Others, by Ann and Jane Taylor and Adelaide O'Keefe (Wells, Gardner, Darton, 6/-). Here we have another treat from Messrs. Wells, Gardner, Darton & Co., in the shape of a centenary edition of the Original Poems. That Mr. E. V. Lucas edits and Mr. F. D. Bedford illustrates the volume gives confidence to the lovers of Ann and Jane Taylor. In the delightful introduction we have portraits of Ann and Jane, the silhouette of Jane confirming her sister's words, "I can remember that Jane was always the saucy, lively, entertaining little thing." There is also a reproduction of the portrait of the two young sisters in the National Gallery. It is interesting to consider how far the young generation of the pre-Victorian era, as well as the early Victorian, were practically brought up upon the poems of these two gifted sisters; poems which had the secret of appealing, in playful or in serious vein, to the conscience, as well as to the sense of the ludicrous in children. Little boys and girls who learnt their Original Poems were aware not only in matters of right and wrong, but in questions of public opinion; they could not unconsciously make spectacles of themselves. We commend the volume to parents.
Turkish Life in Town and Country by L. M. [Lucy Mary Jane] Garnett (Newnes, 3/6). Like all the volumes of the Our Neighbours series, this on Turkish Life is, before all things, interesting. One would like to know the editor's secret for discovering persons to write upon each country who have the capacity for, and experience of, intimacy with that country. Like the other volumes, too, this is full of surprises. We need to read no further than page 10 to discover that a Turkish woman has, as a wife, uncontrolled disposal and possession of her own property, and can will it away as she chooses, can sue or be sued, independently of her husband, and can sue or be sued by him. It appears it is Turkish ladies who buy numbers of Circassian slaves as children, and train them up with all indulgence and various accomplishments to womanhood--when an Osmanli marries one of these slaves by choice, as being less encumbered by conditions than an Osmanli maiden! We wonder, has Miss Garnett's intimacy with Turkish ways made her the least bit of a partisan? Any way, the details regarding Turkish life and thought are extremely interesting.
The Schoolmaster's Year Book (Swan, Sonnenschein, 5/-). The Schoolmaster's Year Book has come to stay, and with regard to the right name for it, why does not the editor disclose his own? Then we could say, "Look it up in Robinson (?)" as now we say, "Look it up in Crockford." The scope of the volume is simply amazing. There is a list of some 1,200 secondary schools for boys, with various statistics of fees, numbers, scholarships, etc., biographical details of some 9,000 masters, and a well written and comprehensive review of the year which should be studied by everyone who wishes to keep the progress of the Education Act and the problems of secondary education. An able summary of the administration of secondary education is a real boon to persons who wish to know shortly what has been said and done under the auspices of the Board of Education during the past year. There is an interesting bibliography of educational books and magazines and "much other information."
Typed by Blossom Barden, May, 2023; Proofread by LNL, June, 2023
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