In the past, education was limited to the privileged few. Intelligence was often measured by breeding, position, wealth or even physiognomy. It was apparent that many of the wealthy, upper class males abused and wasted the privilege while the rest were denied the opportunity. Mary Cholmondeley aptly describes the products of this system:
He had the spare, wiry figure, tall and lightly built, square in the shoulders and thin in the flank; he had the clear, weather-beaten complexion, the clean, nervous, capable hand, and the self-effacing manner, which we associate with myriads of well born, machine trained, perfectly groomed, expensively educated, uneducated Englishmen. Our public schools turn them out by the thousand.
However, it became obvious towards the middle of the 19th century that this was not quite appropriate. School attendance became compulsory in the United Kingdom in 1880.
The themes are explored more fully on page two.
The following books, containing some education content, can be read on this website and are also in the West Midlands Creative Literature Collection:
The Grammar school boys (1854)
Children of Cloverley (1865)
The Channings (1862)
Helen with the high hand (1910)
The Chalet School series by Eleanor Brent-Dyer (1894-1969) are also of interest
Further information on the education theme can be obtained by following the links to other websites.
Page created 13 January 2003 and last
updated 24 January 2003
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