1 Defining Knowledge.
The Spread of Education.
Conflicts in Learning.
Poetry and Teaching: William Wordsworth.
Imagination and Fact.
Poetry and Schooling: Matthew Arnold.
Fiction and Memory: Charles Dickens.
2 Religious Learning.
A Complete Education.
The Uses of Ignorance: John Ruskin.
3 Teaching Women.
Gender and Education.
A Generation of Schoolmistresses.
Literary Case Studies.
The Educated Heart: Charlotte Bronte.
Teaching Independence: Ellen Wood.
Practical Faith: Elizabeth Sewell.
“School-Time”: George Eliot.
Finding the Way.
4 New Conversations.
Education, Education, Education.
“To School and Intelligence and Make it a Soul”.
The Mechanics of Learning.
Admiration, Hope and Love.
- Traces the roots of contemporary educational practice in the values of Victorian thinking
- Combines detailed consideration of Victorian sources, literary and non-literary, with reflections on their legacy in the 21st century
- Reflects on questions of social class, religion, and gender as the Victorians defined them in relation to educational ideals
- Suggests challenging connections between literary and social history and contemporary dilemmas