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ISBN: 9781906551339
AUTHOR: Sarah Villiers
Village Schooling in Somerset
Village Schooling in Somerset
  • Description

This is a story of the kind of schools which were attended by few children at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but by growing numbers from the 1870s (when schooling became compulsory) and many more from the 1890s (when schooling was free).

From the 1860s Heads had to keep daily Log Books in which some reveal marvellous insights into the life of the school, in its community. For information on earlier periods, when schools might be founded by a benefactor, Trust documents give details of the purpose and provision made for the school.

Somerset is fortunate in having two particular characters of more than local significance. First is Hannah More, of the Blue Stocking Circle in Bath, who pioneered Sunday, and Evening Schools in the Mendip area during the 1790s and, also, wrote many readers and tracts for school use.

Second is Rev John Poole, of the Quantocks, who practised what he preached by setting up a model school in 1811, supported by a detailed guide to spread ideas about the Improved Village School. The combination of such people and the variety of place in Somerset – from coast, moor, levels, and from agriculture, industry to mining – makes it a rich context for the research of village schooling, and this is reflected fully in this ground-breaking new study.

Sarah Villiers has led a nomadic life. En route she collected degrees in history, development politics, and education. Since then she has been engaged in teaching for over 40 years, both at home and abroad. She has now returned to her roots, settled as a Somersetonian and resumed her researches in local history. To broaden this understanding she takes part in surveying vernacular buildings with the Somerset Vernacular Buildings Research Group, helps as church recorder with NADFAS and works as a volunteer for the National Trust. These latter two activities have provided opportunities for researching church textiles and the literacy aspects of girls’ stitched samplers.

Imprint: Ryelands. ISBN 978 1 906551 33 9, hardback, 297x210mm, 224 pages. Published October 2012.

Web Price: £24.99
28.96 EUR 31.24 USD 40.93 AUD

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