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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 59

II.] FICTION AS AGAINST PICTORIAL HISTORY. 53 teachers to attract the minds of boys to the picturesque and dramatic sides of the subject, to the neglect of the greater lesson, the investigation of causes and effects and the connexion of events. I would almost rather that boys were attracted by the reading of Ivanhoe and the Talisman, books which do not pretend to be true, and are full of strange misrepresentations of manners and thought, than by a serious history composed with a view to the picturesque only or mainly. The ivy may conceal the structure of the building far too much for safety. We cannot safely content ourselves with fanciful grouping or imaginary drawing of character and situation. Let us trust the novelist so far. There are novels that may well be trusted so far; Miss Yonge's Chaplet of Pearls, and Dove in the Eagle's Nest, for instance—beautiful and, I think, perfect pictures of manners and reflexions of ideas. We will attract but not educate by such books. Our real education in History must not be less precise or severe than the discipline of language or of natural science ; it cannot be valuable if it be desultory. One point more. If the study of periods of History is to become part of a school education, I trust that due care will be taken not to dwell unnecessarily on, or to choose for exaggerated illustration, those periods which are connected most closely with the questions and controversies of to-day. Of all things in the world except a controversial woman, a controversial boy is the most disagreeable, the most pragmatic, the most irrepressible, the most aggressive. Now even in the training of children we want to train the judgment. That training is the great educational or disciplinary object of historic teaching, the formative as distinct from the material acquisition that results or should result from it. The judgment must be trained in cooler air and by milder methods than are found in the battle-field of modern politics. Surely boys and girls should be taught elementary history,

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