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By B. Baldwin

ISBN-10: 9070265273

ISBN-13: 9789070265274

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They are so badly off, in fact, that Margery goes about with only one shoe until the benevolent clergyman, Mr. Smith, takes her in and buys a match for her single shoe. She is so excited with her pair of shoes that she shows them off proudly to all in the village, who thus name her Goody Two-Shoes. At an early age, she develops a remarkable skill for reading, and devotes herself to the education of the poor in her neighborhood. The second volume of their novel documents her continued service as educator, her opening of a village school, her marriage to a rich husband, and her eventual rise to the status of local hero and legend.

As we shall see, this became the standard device for demonstrating and promoting the value of book learning until the last years of the century. A brief look at the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century chapbook The History of Jack and the Giants, The First Part reveals the sanitization Jack has undergone by the time he reaches the pages of A Little Pretty PocketBook. ”11 In fact, it is his very ability—at the tender age of seven—to outwit the local Vicar (arguably the most literate and educated man in any seventeenthcentury rural community) that sets him apart.

He now espouses the importance of reading and obedience for children who wish to become happy and successful adults, rather than the virtues of robbing and killing giants. This work also contains, to my knowledge, the first instance of the “coach-and-six” reward system, which I discuss at greater length below. The reformed Jack the Giant-Killer here describes the material success enjoyed by a particularly studious boy of his acquaintance: ‘There was in my Country a little Boy who learned his Book to that surprising Degree, that his Master could scarce teach him fast enough, for he had his Lesson almost as soon as it was pointed out to him; which raised the Attention of every Body….

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An Anthology of Byzantine Poetry by B. Baldwin


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