CMP Review 2023-02-07

CMP Review 2023-02-07

February 7, 2023

One cannot get far into Charlotte Mason’s volumes without encountering the name William Wordsworth. In fact, she mentions his name 64 times in her Home Education Series, making more references to him than to any other writer. In School Education, she devotes three chapters to an in-depth exploration of The Prelude. In Parents and Children, for the chapter subtitled “Feelings Educable by Parents,” she can find no better source text than Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.” And in Home Education, she says that the only person who can express the child’s estate better than Wordsworth is Jesus Christ Himself.

But not everyone has such high regard for this Romantic poet. The Romantics have come under attack, and Romanticism itself has been identified as the source for many of society’s ills. In an influential critique, theologian and historian Carl Trueman reveals his own exposition of The Prelude and offers this ominous assessment: “William Wordsworth stands near the head of a path that leads to Hugh Hefner and Kim Kardashian.”

What is the student of Charlotte Mason to make of Romanticism? Is it to be appreciated or feared?

Theologian and father Morné Marais grew up in South Africa amidst the beauty of nature. But something besides nature gave him a new appreciation for life: his heart was stirred by the words of poets. We are blessed today to share Marais’s deeply personal reflections not only on the Romantic movement, but also on the movement’s relationship to Charlotte Mason. Whether you are concerned with the fate of the West or with the next poetry lesson for your child, you won’t want to miss Marais’s thoughtful, inspiring, and most of all personal praise of Romanticism.