Education,  Read Along,  Show Notes

Episode 143: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Bk. 3, Ch. 1-3

On The Literary Life this week our hosts cover the next section of Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Angelina opens the conversation highlighting the structure of the book and the storytelling devices Dickens uses in this book. Cindy talks about the failure of educational systems in general, and the confrontation between Louisa and her father. Thomas shares a little about Jeremy Bentham and his utilitarian economic theory in relation to Hard Times. One of the main points they discuss in today’s episode is the importance of motherhood and the quiet work that goes on in the family unit.

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

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Commonplace Quotes:

Persuasion enters like a sunbeam, quietly and without violence.

Jeremy Taylor

To me the greatness of the story, the horror of the story, and the threat to humanity the story portrays lie in the fact that Frankenstein has usurped the power, not of God, but of women. He has made a man without a mother. His science has eliminated the principle of femininity from the creation of human life.

Through the miracle of science a woman can now medicate her body so that men may use it for pleasure without consequence or attachment.

Andrew Klavan

In the first place, we naturally wish to help the students in studying those parts of the subject where we have most help to give and they need help most. On recent and contemporary literature their need is least and out help least. They ought to understand it better than we, and if they do not then there is something radically wrong either with them or with the literature. But I need not labour the point. There is an intrinsic absurdity in making current literature a subject of academic study, and the student who wants a tutor’s assistance in reading the works of his own contemporaries might as well ask for a nurse’s assistance in blowing his own nose.

C. S. Lewis, from “Our English Syllabus”

Death and the Lady

by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

TURN in, my lord, she said ; 
    As it were the Father of Sin 
  I have hated the Father of the Dead, 
    The slayer of my kin ; 
  By the Father of the Living led, 
    Turn in, my lord, turn in. 
  We were foes of old ; thy touch was cold, 
    But mine is warm as life ; 
  I have struggled and made thee loose thy hold, 
   I have turned aside the knife. 
 Despair itself in me was bold, 
   I have striven, and won the strife. 
 But that which conquered thee and rose 
   Again to earth descends ; 
 For the last time we have come to blows. 
   And the long combat ends. 
 The worst and secretest of foes, 
   Be now my friend of friends.

Book List:

Holy Living and Dying by Jeremy Taylor

The Truth and the Beauty by Andrew Klavan

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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