Monday, February 04, 2013

Tracking down "the twins" and "Lord Reay" (Charlotte Mason)

I don't know if anyone's ever bothered to track down "the twins" that Charlotte Mason mentions in the "Supplementary" (epilogue) section of Towards a Philosophy of Education.  You know, the ones who have such great schooling but such a poor education?

Anyway, it turns out that the book she had read must have been
Francis and Riversdale Grenfellby John Buchan (yes, that John Buchan), published in 1920. 

The sad part is that they were both killed in the war.  Charlotte kind of alludes to this but doesn't say it straight out; maybe she assumes that her 1923 readers would all be familiar with the story.

"It was on this visit that Rivy heard Mr. Balfour and Lord Rayleigh praising Alice in Wonderland. Deeply impressed, he bought the book as soon as he returned to London and read it earnestly. To his horror he saw no sense in it. Then it struck him that it might be meant as nonsense, and he had another try, when he concluded that it was rather funny. But he remained disappointed. He had hoped for something that would afford political enlightenment."

P.S.  Here's another tiny tidbit for CM marker-uppers:  in the above quote, at least in the paperback version, it says "Mr. Balfour and Lord Reay."  The full text shows "Lord Rayleigh," and that's what it should be, I'm pretty sure.  There was a Lord Reay, but since a) Lord Rayleigh was Mr. Balfour's son-in-law and b) the e-text of Buchan's book has it as Rayleigh, I think that's right.  And if you're wondering why CM's lapse in names matters, it seems to me that the winner of a Nobel prize in physics, not to mention the man who finally explained why the sky is blue, deserves to have his name (or at least his title) down right.

4 comments:

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

Fascinating! I love that you figured this out. I will have to tell my reading group. We just finished Vol. 6...

Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks, Brandy, and also for the FB link. I actually got more interested in Lord Rayleigh than I did in the twins. Something new to learn every day...

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

I must confess I can't take credit for that link. I think it was Leslie that time. We are both fans, I suppose. :)

amy in peru said...

so... is another post coming about lord rayleigh then...? ;)

Related Posts with Thumbnails