Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Pleasure Reading

If I had no other reason for homeschooling my child, I might do it solely to avoid the regime of required summer reading that seems to reign in American schools.  I know that teachers and parents want kids to read over the summer, but surely requiring reading runs the risk of ruining the experience?  And not only do adults require students to read, but they judge the kinds of books they read, as in this op-ed from Sunday's New York Times by educator Claire Needell Hollander, according to whether they advance readers' "verbal and world knowledge."  "What summer reading needs to be is purposeful," she writes.  I agree, but I think its purpose should be pure pleasure!

I do like Hollander's suggestion that adolescents be encouraged to read nonfiction.  I cherished an irrational and baseless prejudice against nonfiction reading as a school-aged student; I had no idea how interesting nonfiction could be.  So it seems like a great idea to introduce students to such books not only because they "provoke students to desire an expanded world knowledge, to consider the flawed moral decision making of the past and the imperiled morality of the future" but because nonfiction can be a great source of pleasure reading.

I feel so strongly that summer pleasure reading should be inviolate because school students often have so little choice in what they read during the rest of the year.  In homeschooling we get to break down this opposition between required and pleasure reading, assigned and freely chosen books, school and vacation. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mapping Books

Last week N. came to work with me and sat in on my summer term Jane Austen course.  It was a lovely day, so my 7 undergraduate students and I had class outside.  N. sat nearby drawing while we talked about Mansfield Park for 75 minutes.  Afterwards, I asked N. what he thought of the class.  "All you did was discuss things!  The students weren't LEARNING anything!"  I briefly tried to defend discussion as a productive means of learning, and then I asked him, "If you wanted to learn about Harry Potter, what would you do besides talking about it?"  "I'd do projects, like draw a plan of Hogwarts so I could understand how it's laid out," he replied.

I was taken aback.  In my classes, students talk and write about the books we read.  This is all we do.  Too often middle and high school English teachers assign "projects" of various kinds hoping to engage students with literature, but as a result they do not become truly skilled readers and writers.  The primary way I know to teach college students to become sophisticated readers and writers is through reading, writing, and discussion of their reading and writing.  So I am biased against projects that would distract from what I see as my core mission.  I don't expect my 7-year-old to appreciate this and indeed for a younger reader to make a map such as he imagined would be very instructive. 

Franco Moretti.  Atlas of the European Novel, 1800-1900 fig. 4 p. 19
On the other hand, I was taken aback because I could immediately see that making maps of scenes they read might also be instructive for my students.  What analytical insights could we gain from charting out the movements of characters in complex scenes such as the concert in Persuasion where Captain Wentworth hopes to speak to Anne while she is hedged in by his rivals Lady Russell and Mr. Elliot?  How would mapping out the land and houses of Rosings and Hunsford Parsonage help us understand the placement of Elizabeth's receipt and perusal of Darcy's explanatory letter in Pride and Prejudice?  Beyond these examples of maps as tools for close-reading particular passages in a novel, Franco Moretti has made a case for graphs and maps as a way of conceptualizing larger relationships among texts, analyzing a corpus of novels via visual representation.  Although I'm not going to abandon the discussion model in my classes in favor of visual projects, I did mention to my students that charting out aspects of Austen's novels on their own might be useful as they develop their readings of the texts, and I gave N. due credit. 

My teaching didn't fulfil his expectations that first visit, but N. has since voluntarily attended six more of my class meetings.  He sits in the back of the room drawing, thinking, reading, staring out the large window at the other college buildings in his view.  He may be enjoying mimicking going to school or going to work by driving off with me in mornings, though it's a kind of school-going that is entirely on his own terms: he goes if he wants to, he daydreams for 75 minutes if he wants to.  Or maybe he's simply enjoying the change of scene.  It's interesting to get a glimpse of what he picks up from class discussions; after hearing their names come up in class he asks me questions about Austen's characters later, and he even made a connection between our examination of Austen's punctuation (especially dashes) as a means of representing speech and a similar technique used by Eleanor Estes in the book he's currently reading, The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode.  I'm still waiting to see if he draws that map of Hogwarts.

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Bonus shameless self-promotion: My belief in a pedagogy of discussion is so firm that I make my students read their papers aloud to me and then we discuss them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making Wild Blackberry Jam

One Saturday in April, we participated in our neighborhood's Clean Up The Park Day and our reward was the discovery of wild blackberry bushes in an area of the park we'd never explored.  They are ripe now, so last weekend N. and I picked two quarts and made jam! 


Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I wax enthusiastic about our homeschooling adventure here on this blog, but Tim is really the one who makes it all happen every day.  On Father's Day N. and I felt especially grateful to him for all he does to make our lives so rich.  Tim has been home with N. since N. was two and being an older, stay-at-home, homeschooling dad can be isolating, though I know he feels lucky at the same time to be able to spend so much time with N.  As a dad, Tim is calm, wise, committed, and infinitely patient.  I've learned so much from him about parenting!  Happy Father's Day, Tim!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Edith Wharton, Restless Curiosity, and Intellectual Discipline

After writing recently about Tim reading Edith Wharton's autobiography A Backward Glance (1933) to N., I am still pondering the passage in which she criticizes her parents' use of what we might today call "interest-led learning" as the method of her education:
The sentimental theory that
children must not be made to study anything that does not interest them
was already in the air, and reinforced by the fear of "fatiguing" my
brain, it made my parents turn my work into play. Being deprived of the
irreplaceable grounding of Greek and Latin, I never learned to
concentrate except on subjects naturally interesting to me, and
developed a restless curiosity which prevented my fixing my thoughts for
long even on these.
First: I'd like to know more about this "sentimental theory;" how widespread was the idea that "children must not be made to study anything that does not interest them" in the 1860s-70s?  Was this "sentimental theory" circulating mainly in Wharton's closed social sphere?

Second: How odd that Wharton writes at the end of a prolific career that she "never learned to concentrate" and that she could rarely fix her thoughts for long, even on subjects that interested her.  She could hardly have written so much and so well without discipline and concentration.  Is she simply wrong about herself?

Third: Wharton imagines that a stricter and more formal educational method would have disciplined her intellectual restlessness; in contrast many today who pursue interest-led learning believe that conventional schooling tames curiosity to the point of killing it.  But is there something to take seriously here?  Can a salutary intellectual discipline be learned through studying something boring?  Or, how can we combat what Samuel Johnson or Daniel Defoe would see as the natural and fundamentally human restlessness of curiosity that Wharton laments?  How can we encourage sustained focus on a subject of interest?  This is a concern that the project-based learning method is designed to address.  We don't use that approach, although I find it very appealing.  I think our family develops concentration in part through routines; both Tim and N. are happiest when their days unfold predictably.  An organically developed routine fosters sustained focus and attention on subjects of inquiry.  N. practices the piano for an hour every day and only on the weekends when our days are less predictable is he tempted to skip practice.  During the week, practicing piano has become a habit that feels utterly natural. 

At the same time, N. has developed concentration by having lots of open-ended time to himself, for play, reading, drawing, inquiry.  We've consciously avoided enrolling N. in many structured activities in order to preserve unscheduled time within the day's routine.  He has plenty of time to focus on the things he wants to pursue, just as Wharton had time to indulge her passion for reading.  Unstructured time also gives you the opportunity to examine more deeply the ideas on which your inevitably restless curiosity alights.  Curiosity and intellectual discipline need not be seen as opposing or competing learning traits, but as mutually reinforcing foundations of knowledge.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The complex music of my strange inner world": Edith Wharton's A Backward Glance

Edith Wharton, age 8 (1870) by Edward Harrison May
After reading Ben Franklin's Autobiography to N., Tim began reading him Edith Wharton's autobiography A Backward Glance (1933).  Tim chose this book because he loves it and he thought N. might like her account of life in Gilded Age New York.  I was skeptical because although I hadn't read A Backward Glance I had read a biography of Wharton called No Gifts From Chance and her life is not exactly inspiring, though it is fascinating.  Tim assured me he'd stop before getting too deeply into her unhappy marriage.  In fact, they've read the first 130 pages but as they've more or less suspended their formal daily "school" time for the summer, I'm not sure how much more they'll read.  Anyway, N. has really enjoyed Wharton's account of her childhood with its travels in Europe, old New York social scene, immersion in her father's library, and progress toward authorship.  They ordered a copy of Wharton's handbook of interior design, The Decoration of Houses (1897) and N. has begun poring over it.

Wharton was educated solely by governesses and her own voracious reading.  Having suffered childhood illnesses, she was restricted from taxing study: her parents "forbade my being taught anything that required a mental effort."  As an adult, Wharton resents not having been taught more, but it is hard not to imagine that this relaxed approach to education gave her the freedom to build the foundations of her art in extensive reading.
The sentimental theory that
children must not be made to study anything that does not interest them
was already in the air, and reinforced by the fear of "fatiguing" my
brain, it made my parents turn my work into play. Being deprived of the
irreplaceable grounding of Greek and Latin, I never learned to
concentrate except on subjects naturally interesting to me, and
developed a restless curiosity which prevented my fixing my thoughts for
long even on these. Of benefits I see only one. To most of my
contemporaries the enforced committing to memory of famous poems must
have forever robbed some of the loveliest of their bloom; but this being
forbidden me, great poetry--English, French, German and Italian--came to
me fresh as the morning, with the dew on it, and has never lost that
early glow.
I particularly like Wharton's description of her early compulsion to fiction-making, as well as her account of becoming a reader:    
... I cannot remember the time when I did not want
to "make up" stories. But it was in Paris that I found the necessary
formula. Oddly enough, I had no desire to write my stories down (even
had I known how to write, and I couldn't yet form a letter); but from
the first I had to have a book in my hand to "make up" with, and from
the first it had to be a certain sort of book. The page had to be
closely printed, with rather heavy black type, and not much margin.
Certain densely printed novels in the early Tauchnitz editions, Harrison
Ainsworth's for instance, would have been my richest sources of
inspiration had I not hit one day on something even better: Washington
Irving's "Alhambra." These shaggy volumes, printed in close black
characters on rough-edged yellowish pages, and bound in coarse dark-blue
covers (probably a production of the old Gaglignani Press in Paris) must
have been a relic of our Spanish adventure. Washington Irving was an old
friend of my family's, and his collected works, in comely type and
handsome binding, adorned our library shelves at home. But these would
not have been of much use to me as a source of inspiration. The rude
companion of our travels was the book I needed; I had only to open it
for the Pierian fount to flow. There was richness and mystery in the
thick black type, a hint of bursting overflowing material in the serried
lines and scant margin. To this day I am bored by the sight of widely
spaced type, and a little islet of text in a sailless sea of white
paper.

Well--the "Alhambra" once in hand, making up was ecstasy. At any moment
the impulse might seize me; and then, if the book was in reach, I had
only to walk the floor, turning the pages as I walked, to be swept off
full sail on the sea of dreams. The fact that I could not read added to
the completeness of the illusion, for from those mysterious blank pages
I could evoke whatever my fancy chose. Parents and nurses, peeping at me
through the cracks of doors (I always had to be alone to "make up"),
noticed that I often held the book upside down, but that I never failed
to turn the pages, and that I turned them at about the right pace for a
person reading aloud as passionately and precipitately as was my habit.

There was something almost ritualistic in the performance. The call came
regularly and imperiously; and though, when it caught me at inconvenient
moments, I would struggle against it conscientiously--for I was
beginning to be a very conscientious little girl--the struggle was
always a losing one. I had to obey the furious Muse; and there are
deplorable tales of my abandoning the "nice" playmates who had been
invited to "spend the day," and rushing to my mother with the desperate
cry: "Mamma, you must go and entertain that little girl for me. I'VE GOT
TO MAKE UP."

My parents, distressed by my solitude (my two brothers being by this
time grown up and away) were always trying to establish relations for me
with "nice" children, and I was willing enough to play in the Champs
Elysees with such specimens as were produced or (more reluctantly) to
meet them at little parties or dancing classes; but I did not want them
to intrude on my privacy, and there was not one I would not have
renounced forever rather than have my "making up" interfered with. What
I really preferred was to be alone with Washington Irving and my dream.

The peculiar purpose for which books served me probably made me
indifferent to what was in them. At any rate, I can remember feeling no
curiosity about it. But my father, by dint of patience, managed to drum
the alphabet into me; and one day I was found sitting under a table,
absorbed in a volume which I did not appear to be using for
improvisation. My immobility attracted attention, and when asked what I
was doing, I replied: "Reading." This was received with incredulity; but
on being called upon to read a few lines aloud I appear to have
responded to the challenge, and it was then discovered that the work
over which I was poring was a play by Ludovic Halevy, called "Fanny
Lear," which was having a succes de scandale in Paris owing to the fact
that the heroine was what ladies of my mother's day called "one of those
women." Thereafter the books I used for "making up" were carefully
inspected before being entrusted to me; and an arduous business it must
have been, for no book ever came my way without being instantly pounced
on, and now that I could read I divided my time between my own
improvisations and the printed inventions of others.
 Much later, after publishing her first fiction collection, The Greater Inclination, Wharton writes of achieving a sense of belonging yearned for ever since those first bouts of "making up:" "The Land of Letters was henceforth to be my country, and I gloried in my new citizenship."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Poetry Friday: Railroad Rhythms

Because N. loves T. S. Eliot's "Macavity the Mystery Cat" so much, I recently ordered a copy of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats so he could enjoy the whole collection.  I found this cool edition illustrated by the weirdly wonderful Edward Gorey for sale at AbeBooks.com for $1, plus $2.49 S&H. 

[I am totally addicted to AbeBooks.  Our city's public library is lame and I am constantly ordering $1 used books from Abe because they are not in the library's holdings.  This is bad public citizenship; I really need to get involved with the library.  And it's bad parenting too; my son loves the instant gratification of ordering a $1 book with one click as much as I do.  And yet, I can't quite feel terrible about buying books for less than a latte...]

The other night N. read "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" silently and handed it over to me: "Read this one Mom, it's really good!"

"Do you want me to read it aloud to you?"

"No, just read it to yourself.  You'll like it."

I started in silently but stopped and said, "Oh, this one has to be read aloud!  Listen:"

There's a whisper down the line at 11.39
When the Night Mail's ready to depart,
Saying "Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can't start."
All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters
They are searching high and low,
Saying "Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can't go."
At 11.42 then the signal's nearly due
And the passengers are frantic to a man—
Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear:
He's been busy in the luggage van!

He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes
And the signal goes "All Clear!"
And we're off at last for the northern part
Of the Northern Hemisphere!

You may say that by and large it is Skimble who's in charge
Of the Sleeping Car Express.
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and the Third;
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred.
He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking
And it's certain that he doesn't approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet
When Skimble is about and on the move.
You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks!
He's a Cat that cannot be ignored;
So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks is aboard.

Oh, it's very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there's not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light-you can make it dark or bright;
There's a handle that you turn to make a breeze.
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly
"Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?"
But Skimble's just behind him and was ready to remind him,
For Skimble won't let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy berth
And pull up the counterpane,
You ought to reflect that it's very nice
To know that you won't be bothered by mice—
You can leave all that to the Railway Cat,
The Cat of the Railway Train!

In the watches of the night he is always fresh and bright;
Every now and then he has a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he's keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the station;
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he speaks to the police
If there's anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait—
For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out!
He gives you a wave of his long brown tail
Which says: "I'll see you again!
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
The Cat of the Railway Train."

N. began to smile and bounce as he heard the opening lines develop with their rattling railroad rhythm.

"Did you know it sounded like that when you read it silently?" I asked

"No!  But Mom, there's another poem like that!"  He grabbed the Random House Book of Poetry for Children and asked me to read "Train Song" by Diane Siebert [actually a picture book, but reprinted in the Random House anthology as a poem]:

Out in back
Railroad track
Clickety-clack
Clickety-clack
Great trains
Freight trains
Talk about your late trains
The 509
Right on time
Straight through to L.A....

"I love that one too!  Isn't it cool how the rhythm of the words makes the sounds of trains on the tracks?" I asked, resisting (for now!) the English professor urge to offer a more technical explanation of how this is accomplished.

"There's a whisper down the line at 11:39/ When the night mail's ready to depart" N. recited happily.

And the next morning, "'There's a whisper down the line at 11:39.'  Mom, it keeps running through my head!" said our railfan.

[More Poetry Friday here.]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Second Grade Read-Aloud Chapter Books

Below is the list of all the books we've read aloud to our second-grade, seven-year-old boy N. from June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.  (Here are our Kindergarten and First Grade read-alouds.)  Reading children's fiction aloud is primarily my province, but I've noted all the books that Tim has read to N. as well.  I maintain these lists at Listography; complete information about the books can be found on my LibraryThing page.  As noted, we occasionally abandon books without finishing them if N. loses interest, but if we read at least half, I include it on the list.  It's not easy for me to stop a read-aloud without completing the book, but my primary goal in reading aloud to N. is pleasure, so I can't try to force him to listen to something he no longer wants to hear.  As always, this list doesn't include picture books, which we still read frequently, poetry, or rereads (for example we still regularly reread old favorites from N.'s Kindergarten year, such as Pooh, Betsy-Tacy, and The Railway Children).  This list also doesn't include the chapter books N. has read independently.  Even though N. now reads voraciously on his own, we still love reading aloud together and I am dedicated to continuing it for as long as he enjoys it.  It's a precious experience we share and I don't want to give it up!  I love reading aloud; children's aural comprehension outpaces their reading skill for many years, so reading aloud to children gives them intellectual complexity in stories that they may not encounter in their own reading.  Plus, when I read Anne of Green Gables to my son in a week when he is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I am assured that he is enjoying a wide diversity of books!

A Second-Grade Year in Read-Aloud Chapter Books
  • The London Underground by Andrew Emmerson
  • The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit (did not finish)
  • Discovering London's Railway Stations by Oliver Green
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  • Henry and the Clubhouse by Beverly Cleary
  • Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  • Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome
  • Paddington At Large by Michael Bond
  • Paddington Helps Out by Michael Bond
  • Ben and Me by Robert Lawson (did not finish)
  • The Autobiography of S. S. McClure by Willa Cather (read by T.)
  • Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome (did not finish)
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
  • Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
  • All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography by Ida Tarbell (read by T.)
  • The Magic City by E. Nesbit
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • Socks by Beverly Cleary
  • Harry Cat's Pet Puppy by George Seldon
  • Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back by P. L. Travers
  • A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (read by T.)
  • The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
  • Mary Poppins Opens The Door by P. L. Travers
  • Miss Bianca by Margery Sharp
  • An Autobiography by Frank Lloyd Wright (read by T.)
  • The Turret by Margery Sharp (did not finish)
  • Mary Poppins in the Park by P. L. Travers
  • Mischievous Meg by Astrid Lindgren
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Penderwicks of Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The House of Arden by E. Nesbit
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (read by T.)
  • Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge (did not finish)
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth 
Of the books I read to him this year, I think N.'s favorites were Swallows and Amazons, The Secret Garden, The Penderwicks, the Mary Poppins books, and Anne of Green Gables.  Tell us what to read next!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The House of Arden and the Power of Magic

Since we have enjoyed so many wonderful books by E. Nesbit (The Railway Children and Five Children and It are particular favorites), I recently read The House of Arden to N.  The House of Arden is a "time-slip" story; Edred and Elfrida Arden travel back to important moments in English history hoping to discover a hidden treasure that will allow them to rebuild Arden Castle, which they've recently inherited.  N.  loved the novel, especially since it centers on a ruined castle and its possible restoration.  I however found the plot thoroughly bewildering, despite my fairly firm grasp on English history.

 Looking on the internet for a plot summary to ease my confusion, I found instead this neat survey of the works of E. Nesbit written by Gore Vidal for the New York Review of Books in 1964.  He frames his account by remarking on Nesbit's obscurity in the United States (she seems to be more well-known now, perhaps because of film adaptations of The Railway Children?).  He concludes with a spirited defense of imaginative, especially magic, books for children:
"E. Nesbit’s failure in the United States is not entirely mysterious. We have always preferred how-to-do to let’s-imagine-that. In the last fifty years, considering our power and wealth, we have contributed relatively little in the way of new ideas of any sort. From radar to rocketry, we have had to rely on other societies for theory and invention. Our great contribution has been, characteristically, the assembly line.
I do not think it is putting the case too strongly to say that much of the poverty of our society’s intellectual life is directly due to the sort of books children are encouraged to read. Practical books with facts in them may be necessary, but they are not everything. They do not serve the imagination in the same way that high invention does when it allows the mind to investigate every possibility, to free itself from the ordinary, to enter a world where paradox reigns and nothing is what it seems to be; properly engaged, the intelligent child begins to question all presuppositions, and thinks on his own. In fact, the moment he says, wouldn’t it be interesting if…? he is on his way and his own imagination has begun to work at a level considerably more interesting than the usual speculation on what it will be like to own a car and make money. As it is, the absence of imagination is cruelly noticeable at every level of the American society, and though a reading of E. Nesbit is hardly going to change the pattern of a nation, there is some evidence that the child who reads her will never be quite the same again, and that is probably a good thing."
Vidal sees Nesbit's books -- and magical narratives more generally -- as radically transformative, at least for the individual child reader, if not for the nation as a whole.  In contrast, another essay* I found by the children's literature scholar Linda Hall critiques the inchoate nostalgia of The House of Arden, pointing out that despite Nesbit's Fabianism, in the text's elegy for "the glory of the old Arden name" "We certainly look in vain for any Marxist endorsement of the necessity of feudalism's collapse in the face of of those economic changes that will lead eventually to the socialism that Nesbit espoused."  I think (inasmuch as I could follow the plot of The House of Arden) that Hall is probably right about the incoherence of the novel's politics.  Yet the fact that Nesbit doesn't hew didactically to a socialist line regarding the feudal past seems to demonstrate Vidal's point about the pleasures of the imagination in magical narratives: Nesbit creates "a world where paradox reigns and nothing is what it seems to be."

I still don't fully get what happens in The House of Arden but I like Vidal's belief that regardless of ideological inconsistencies, an "intelligent child" reading magical narratives "begins to question all presuppositions, and thinks on his own."  Let's hope it really works this way!
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* Linda Hall, "Aristocratic Houses and Radical Politics: Historical Fiction and the Time-Slip Story in E. Nesbit's The House of Arden."  Children's Literature in Education (CLE) 1998 Mar; 29 (1): 51-58.