By Alan Richardson
During this cutting edge examine Alan Richardson addresses matters in literary and academic heritage by no means tested jointly prior to. He argues that modifications in education and literacy in Britain among 1780 and 1832 contributed to shaping the supply of literature as we now are aware of it. themes comprise definitions of adolescence, academic equipment and associations, children's literature and feminine schooling. Richardson charts how social family have been reworked via studying and schooling, and Romantic texts are reinterpreted within the mild of historic and social matters.
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Extra info for Literature, Education, and Romanticism: Reading as Social Practice, 1780-1832
And insofar as experience can be controlled, the child's nature can be engineered: "of all the Men we meet with, Nine Parts of Ten are what they are, Good or Evil, useful or not, by their Education. 'Tis that which makes the great Difference in Mankind" (114). The child is a blank text to be inscribed almost at will, or, as Godwin puts it, a "raw material put into our hands, a ductile and yielding substance, which, if we do not ultimately mould in conformity to our wishes, it is because we throw away the power committed to us, by the folly with which we are accustomed to exert it" (112).
Ronald Paulson, building on this account, remarks on the relative youthfulness of some notable leaders of both the American and French revolutions, and quotes Tom Paine stating in Common Sense that "Youth is the seed-time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals "; he refers us also to Blake, whose Ore seems to epitomize the youthful virility of revolution, and in whose Songs of Experience "the 'innocence' of the Biblical lambs and children Christ suffers to come unto Him is overdetermined by the growing sense of ' innocence' in the newborn, unfettered, unexperienced, and so (to his parents) dangerous child of the newborn American and French Revolutions.
The child is a blank text to be inscribed almost at will, or, as Godwin puts it, a "raw material put into our hands, a ductile and yielding substance, which, if we do not ultimately mould in conformity to our wishes, it is because we throw away the power committed to us, by the folly with which we are accustomed to exert it" (112). Working from associationist premises, social theorists as diverse as Godwin, Adam Smith, Wollstonecraft, Robert Owen, and James Mill saw early education as crucial in forming (or reforming) society.