November 1, 2007

Victorian Study

I thought I would post my son's reading list for this term. Our period study is Victorian England, from about 1800-1900 (with a little backtracking into the 1780s to bring us up to speed).


Our Bible program this term includes a study of the Gospel of Matthew; Commentary by J. C. Ryle; an overview of the Bible by Josiah Tidwell; and two devotional books, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, and the lovely character study by John Angell James entitled, A Young Man's Friend and Guide to Life and Immortality. Additionally, daily readings from Oswald Chambers powerful book, My Utmost for His Highest, will be discussed.


We have found a wonderful book by Edward Farr and E. H. Nolan called, The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. From George III. to Victoria. It is online through Project Gutenberg and is the third volume of David Hume's massive and well-respected work, The History of England, Volume 1 From the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688, which was originally published in 1776. Volume 1 was written by David Hume, Scotchman and British Statemen. Volume 2, The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. From William and Mary to George II, was written by the delightful Scottish author, Tobias Smollett (The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker). We have found volume three to be a very enjoyable and easy to read history of this period.

We also are reading several M. B. Synge books this term. The Growth of the British Empire is the fifth volume in the Story of the World series. It covers our time period but gives a much broader view of world events during the reign of Queen Victoria. We are also reading a children's biography by Synge entitled, The Reign of Queen Victoria. Synge was a well-known children's author and wrote a number of biographies in addition to the comprehensive world history text, Story of the World.

Historical Background

We will be reading about some of the major political reform acts that were passed during Queen Victoria's lifetime. Most namely, the Reform Act of 1832, Poor Laws, Corn Laws, Anti-Slavery Act and Women's Right to Vote.

Government & Economics

We will be reading John Stuart Mill's essay, On Liberty for our government study this term.


For our travel literature this term, we are reading A.W. Kinglake's, Eothen: Traces of Travel in the East. Additionally, mapping exercises and drills will accompany our geography reading.


Our literature readings will focus on three specific periods of the Victorian era: Early (1800-1836), Middle (1840-1870) and Late (1870-1900). Term 1's selections include: the Scottish romance novel, Waverly, by Sir Walter Scott; The genteel society novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; and the grostesque novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

For the history of English Literature, we will be reading two chapters from Robert H. Fletcher's, History of English Literature, a very easy to read and narrative study on the major writers of this period. We will be reading about the Romantic Era as well as Victorian Era.

Our poet study will follow the suggested study of Fletcher's book (also using his study outlines in the appendix).

We will be reading two Charles Dicken's dramas this term. First, we will enjoy "A Christmas Carol" and then will listen to a dramatic reading of "A Cricket on the Hearth." Both were performed on the London stage during the Victorian era and are commonly referred to as Dicken's Christmas Books.

Grammar & Composition

Our Grammar study this year will focus on Fowler's The Kings English. Two Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch essays will provide thoughtful discussion on reading and writing well: On The Art of Reading and On The Art of Writing. We will also be writing weekly essays from our history and literature readings.

Science and Natural History

Our science study will focus on Biology and we will be using A Beka's textbook, Biology: God's Living Creation, for our weekly reading. We will also be reading Charles Darwin's, The Origin of the Species, and spending time in world view studies with Answers in Genesis. A second science focus will include study through the Wiley Self-Teaching Guide to Basic Physics along with a selection of laboratory experiments.

Picture and Composer Study

We are correlating our history and literature study to include reading about and listening/viewing several works of art and music. Our reference work will be The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History along with several short biographies on selected artists.

Foreign Language

We will continue our study into German using Rosetta Stones Immersion language program.

Current Events and other

Life work, handicrafts, as well a current event readings will be scheduled weekly, based on need and time. Piano practice, lesson and chamber group participation will continue as normal.

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