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The Counties of England by  Charlotte Mason
Table of Contents



Front Matter


THE writer begs affectionately to inscribe these Books to Teachers trained at the Otter Memorial College, in memory of very pleasant hours spent with intelligent and responsive Classes.

   MANNINGHAM, Dec. 1880.


[iii] ENGLISH children should have such a familiar and intimate knowledge of the geography of their own country as would make a railway journey a delight; and this is especially the case in these days when "cheap trips" afford opportunities "to see for themselves " to persons whose eyes have been opened by previous instruction.

The following chapters are an attempt to make the landscape, industries, and associations of the severed counties familiar conceptions to children; as it appears to the writer that the only way in which "England" can be practically known is, county by county. Certainly no other mode of treatment is equally interesting,—so curiously individual in its aspect, history, and employments is each of the forty shires.

The geography of England embraces such various knowledge, that it appears to be a subject better suited to the intelligence of children of ten and and [iv] eleven, than to that of the younger children in Standard III. Still, as the language of this book is easy with a view to promote fluent reading, teachers who preferred to use it for Standard III. would not find the reading lessons to present any difficulty. An effort is made to awaken intelligent interest in the chief crafts by which English people live.

It is hoped that the notices of great men or of noble deeds which belong to many of the counties may stimulate patriotic feeling.

The physical geography of the country is taken up as "common information," without the "precision of statement" which belongs to scientific teaching: it is hoped, however, that the data gathered in this way may serve as a basis for such teaching. The maps which illustrate each chapter are on a uniform scale, to convey a just idea of the relative size of the counties.

It is earnestly recommended that teachers should require their classes to answer the set of map questions belonging to each county-map in writing; and, afterwards, viva voce, from memory. This exercise should secure an exact as well as intelligent knowledge of the geography of the several counties, and would furnish capital home work. The questions [v] upon the map of the county should be answered before the lessons upon it are read; the children will thus be prepared to read with intelligent understanding, and will perceive that the text covers each county, bit by bit, in regular topographical order. A wall map of England should be used when the lessons are read.

The general outlines of the geography of England are, it is supposed, already known by the class, as this is a subject better adapted for oral teaching than for a class Reader.

It is a source of regret that, for want of space, much matter is left out, fully as interesting and important as that which appears. Indeed, it has been found necessary greatly to reduce a larger work which was at first prepared for a school reading book.

The authorities consulted, and the sources from which information has been derived, are too numerous for the writer to do more than make here a general grateful acknowledgment.

C. M. M.

   MANNINGHAM, Dec. 1880.

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