Education,  Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 141: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Book 2, Ch. 1-5

The Literary Life Podcast’s new episode this week continues our series on Hard Times by Charles Dickens. After Angelina ties up a few loose ends from Book 1, Thomas leads us into Book 2 and introduces us to Mr. Harthouse. Cindy highlights the dangers of not allowing children learn self-government as illustrated in the character of Tom Gradgrind. They then look again at Stephen Blackpool and his position as the martyr in the story. Our hosts also discuss Dickens’ focus on demonstrating the problems facing people in his day, not moralizing or trying to present solutions.

Head over to to get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

You can also get the replay of Angelina’s mini-class on The Taming of the Shrew at

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Commonplace Quotes:

It is ill for a country, Gentlemen – I fear we must acknowledge it – when her destiny passes into the guidance of professors.

Arthur Quiller-Couch, from “Studies in Literature”

It is the old story. Utilitarian education is profoundly immoral in that it defrauds a child of the associations which should give him intellectual atmosphere.

Charlotte Mason

That evil may spring from the imagination, as from everything except the perfect love of God cannot be denied. But infinitely worse evils would be the result of its absence. Selfishness, avarice, sensuality, cruelty, would flourish tenfold; and the power of Satan would be well established ere some children had begun to choose. Those who would quell the apparently lawless tossing of the spirit, called the youthful imagination, would suppress all that is to grow out of it. They fear the enthusiasm they never felt; and instead of cherishing this divine thing, instead of giving it room and air for healthful growth, they would crush and confine it–with but one result of their victorious endeavors–imposthume, fever, and corruption. And the disastrous consequences would soon appear in the intellect likewise which they worship. Kill that whence spring the crude fancies and wild day-dreams of the young, and you will never lead them beyond dull facts–dull because their relations to each other, and the one life that works in them all, must remain undiscovered. Whoever would have his children avoid this arid region will do well to allow no teacher to approach them–not even of mathematics–who has no imagination.

George MacDonald

The Golf Links

by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn

The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day 
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.

Book List:

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

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