CMP Review 2024-03-19

CMP Review 2024-03-19

March 19, 2024

I have long sought to understand the role of Latin in the Charlotte Mason method. Did Miss Mason assign the language in her programmes due to contextual factors specific to her time? If so, then one would expect references to Latin to gradually fade from view in the PNEU literature over time.

So I attempted to follow the trail of Latin. I followed it through the year that The Parents’ Review changed its name. That was 1966, when the editor of Mason’s flagship journal wrote, “In the second half of the twentieth century changes of all kinds are taking place more rapidly than during any similar period known to man, so that it seems appropriate that we should during the second half of this year 1966, make a change in the general appearance of our magazine.” And so The Parents’ Review became The PNEU Journal. Was that the time for Latin to go away too?

With eager curiosity I paged through volume after volume of The PNEU Journal at the national library. When I reached volume 9, I found what I was looking for. Dated 1973, the article I discovered was written fifty years after the death of Charlotte Mason and published fifty years before the date I was reading it. In this little gem in Charlotte Mason’s journal, the author asked and answered the questions many of us still ask today.

I shared the article and my other findings with Angela Reed who kindly agreed to write a detailed editor’s note summarizing the story of 100 years of Latin in the PNEU. But it is no mere history lesson. Just like Latin itself, it is a story that can be our story too — if we open our hearts and minds to the elegant tongue. Read or listen here.