EDUCATING SARAH

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Lorna Deliczny Search for more papers by this author. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract The integration of children with spina bifida into ordinary schools has been well documented but the integration of such children into service schools abroad raises additional problems.

Volume 13 , Issue 4 December Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer.

Leaders of Their Race

Browse All Figures Return to Figure. The "Exemplary Tales" seem not to have been written exactly as planned but Trimmer's Servant's Friend and Two Farmers fulfilled the purpose she outlined in her plan of publishing pleasurable moral tales. These two books served as Sunday school prizes as well. The Teacher's Assistant was an instruction aid and was also widely adopted throughout British schools.

Sarah Russo

Fabulous Histories later known as The Story of the Robins , Trimmer's most popular work, was first published in , and remained in print until the beginning of the 20th century. Most importantly, the human children and the baby robins must learn to adopt virtue and to shun vice. For Trimmer, practising kindness to animals as a child would hopefully lead one to "universal benevolence" as an adult. According to Samuel Pickering, Jr. Trimmer's Fabulous Histories was the most representative children's book of the period".

Parents are above children in terms of authority, and humans above animals, in terms both of dominion and compassion: poor people should be fed before hungry animals… [but] the hierarchical relation of men and women is not so clearly enforced. Hence, [the] text attacks cruelty to birds and animals while affirming British aggression abroad. With the rise of the novel and its concomitant private reading, there was a great fear that young people and especially women would read racy and adventurous stories without the knowledge of their parents and, perhaps even more worrisome, interpret the books as they pleased.

Educating Sarah - Picture of Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach

Trimmer therefore always referred to her text as Fabulous Histories and never as The Story of the Robins in order to emphasize its reality; moreover, she did not allow the book to be illustrated within her lifetime—pictures of talking birds would only have reinforced the paradox of the book it was fiction parading as a history. Later in her life, Trimmer published the influential Guardian of Education June — September , which included ideas for instructing children and reviews of contemporary children's books.

She aimed "to assess the current state of educational policy and praxis in Britain and to shape its future direction". In her "Essay on Christian Education," also published separately later, she proposed her own comprehensive educational program. Trimmer took her reviewing very seriously and her over reviews constitute a set of distinct values. Trimmer's fundamentalism, Grenby argues, does not necessarily mark her as the rigid thinker that many critics have presumed her to be.

The Guardian of Education established children's literature as a genre with her reviews. Moreover, in one of her early essays, "Observations on the Changes which have taken place in Books for Children and Young Persons", Trimmer wrote the first history of children's literature, setting out the first canon of children's literature. Its landmark books are still cited today by scholars as important in the development of the genre.

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One of the reasons Trimmer believed fairy tales were dangerous was because they led child readers into a fantasy world where adults could not follow and control their exposure to harmful experiences. In the pages of The Guardian of Education , Trimmer denounced the French revolution and the philosophers whose works she believed underpinned it, particularly Jean-Jacques Rousseau. She argued that there was a vast conspiracy, organized by the atheistic and democratic revolutionaries of France, to overthrow the legitimate governments of Europe.

These conspirators were attempting to overturn traditional society by "endeavouring to infect the minds of the rising generation, through the medium of Books of Education and Children's Books " emphasis Trimmer's. Nancy Cutt argues in her book on children's literature, Trimmer and writers like her "claimed emphatically that the degree of human happiness was in direct proportion to the degree of submission to the divine Will. Thus they repudiated the moralists' view that learning should exalt reason and work to the temporal happiness of the individual, which was governed by the best interests of society".


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In , Andrew Bell invented the Madras system of education to order to instruct British colonial subjects in India ; it was a disciplinary system which employed a hierarchy of student monitors and very few teachers economical for the colonies, Bell argued. He published a book, Experiment in Education , in order to explain his system, one that he thought could be adapted for the poor in England in it he endorsed many of Trimmer's own books.

A year after reading the Experiment , an English Quaker , Joseph Lancaster , adopted many of its principles for his school in London and then published his own book, Improvements in Education , which repeated many of Bell's ideas. Because of his Quaker sympathies, Lancaster did not encourage the teaching of the doctrines of the Established Church. According to F. Harvey Darton , an early scholar of children's literature, "her effect upon English education… was very considerable, even extraordinary.

The two rival systems, Bell's and Lancaster's, were hotly debated all over the country, and the war between Bell and the Dragon, as a cartoonist labelled it, raged in all the magazines, even in the Edinburgh Review. How large the debt of gratitude I owe, How was I counsell'd, aided, prais'd and lov'd. Let others tell, for as the words of truth 'Tis told where'er Britannia's name is known Thy apostolic ministry to youth, Thy faithful service to the Church and Throne. Trimmer's husband died in ; this affected her quite deeply, as is evidenced in her journal.

In , she and some of her daughters were forced to move to another house in Brentford. This was painful for Trimmer, who wrote in her diary:. Alas, a widow, unacquainted with the ways of the world, ignorant of legal matters, can do but little on occasions like these which now occur. After more than thirty years' residence in a house, in which I have known many comforts, and in a neighbourhood where I have endeavoured to make myself respected, I am likely to be obliged to seek for a new habitation; and there is not one within so short a distance as to enable me to fulfil the wishes of my heart by attending to the schools.

Should I find it necessary to change my abode, the schools will, I fear, unavoidably decline.

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I shall also be removed to a distance, from some of my children, whose society would comfort my declining years. There is a plaque memorializing her at St. George's, Brentford:. To the memory of SARAH relict of James Trimmer, resident in this parish nearly 50 years, during which she adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things, by her practice a constant attendant in God's House of Prayer.

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In her own house an example to Christian Matrons, in her neighbourhood ministering to the necessities of all; the destitute, the afflicted and the ignorant, seeking their moral improvement by imparting Christian instruction both in private and also in the Church School raised by her exertions and fostered by her care. By her writings, edifying the members of that branch of Christ's Holy Church in which she was born and which she loved with an ardent but well tempered zeal.

She obtained rest from her labours on 15 December in the seventieth year of her age. Trimmer's most popular book, Fabulous Histories , was reprinted for at least years and had a profound impact on generations of readers and writers. It is as fresh today as it was half a century ago. Trimmer also influenced the children's writers of her own age; William Godwin's Fables, Ancient and Modern , for example, imitates Trimmer's Ladder to Learning.

Trimmer I should suppose admirable for a girl" as an introduction to the Scriptures. While Trimmer was highly respected for her charity work during her lifetime and for her books long after her death, her reputation began to wane at the end of the 19th century and plummeted during the 20th century. One reason for this is that her textbooks, so widely used during the first half of the century, were replaced by secular books in the second half of the century. An early scholar of children's literature, Geoffrey Summerfield, describes her this way: "Of all the morally shrill women active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, she was probably the shrillest.

Unbalanced, frenetic, paranoid, she may have been, but no one could deny her energy and perseverance in defending the souls of the children of England from the assaults of the devil.