CMP Review 2023-03-16

CMP Review 2023-03-16

March 16, 2023

Charlotte Mason did not live to see her final volume published. But she left behind plans for it. She originally conceived that it would be composed of three “books” each with multiple chapters. But when the volume was finally published, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Instead of three “books,” the volume ended up with only two books and a “Supplementary.” And the Supplementary contained only a single (but a very fine) chapter. Not included was the chapter meant to follow “Too Wide a Mesh.” A chapter taken from a paper Mason had written in 1910. A paper she carefully edited for volume 6 and left in her files. A paper that Elsie Kitching preserved.

Three years after the publication of Towards a Philosophy of Education, the ever-faithful Kitching applied Mason’s edits and published “Two Educational Ideals,” first in the Parents’ Review and then as a standalone booklet. For years the booklet appeared in PNEU book lists, just a few titles after volume 6, its originally intended home. It was reprinted again in the 1940 Parents’ Review, and then was gradually lost to oblivion.

Or so it seemed. But some papers are too good for oblivion. For the first time in history an edition of Towards a Philosophy of Education has been published that fulfills Mason’s original vision. Instead of a “Supplementary” there is a “Book III,” and instead of ending with “Too Wide a Mesh,” it includes “Two Educational Ideals.”

Mason wrote and edited her paper so it would be remembered, not so it would be forgotten. I am so thankful to @smidgenpress for bringing the past back to life. Find out about all the lovely versions of this new edition here.