Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An Essay on Education by Miss Frances Blogg

Parents Review Volume XI 1900 pages 772-774

"To travel deliberately through one's ages, is to get the heart out of a liberal education."
R.L. STEVENSON (Dedication of the Vol. Virginibus Puerisque)

In reading the essays and delightful letters of that "child curious innocent," as Henley so aptly called his friend R.L.S., one is struck more and more each time with the extraordinarily elemental personality of the man. We all know the way in which children give themselves up to the matter in hand, and the utter impossibility that grow-up people find of explaining to a child that the charm of jumping off the table into the arms of the patient nurse or sister ceases after the ninth or tenth time. "Again," or "more," is all the answer one receives. Stevenson, realizing that he possessed "the knowledge sure he should endure a child until he died," perhaps consciously cultivated this power of intentness on the matter under consideration--this getting to the heart of things which, he maintained, could only come by a full and fixed determination on the part of each human being to go through life in the spirit of the true explorer.

This one remark of Stevenson's, which I have quite at the head of this little paper, seems to me so full of meaning and of courage, that I have thought it worth while to try and piece together some of the many suggestive hints it seems to hold as to this very essential aspect of education.

To read more, click on the link above.


  1. Many thanks, Nancy--I'd never read an essay by Frances before. (Her witticisms, on the other hand, are justly famous.)

  2. Yes, that's what I found fascinating. She has more listed on this site (linked from the title of the post) but they aren't transcribed. I noticed Knollys (her brother) had some articles and poems listed in there, as well as our man GKC.


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