Thackeray speaks to Michael Gove

red indian boyWhen they think of youth today a perennial dream of many politicians is a return to Victorian values.  But here is Thackeray (a Tory, remember) musing in Vanity Fair (published 1847):

“If people would but leave children to themselves; if teachers would cease to bully them; if parents would not insist on directing their thoughts and dominating their feelings – those thoughts and feelings which are a mystery to all (for how much do you and I know of each other, of our children, of our fathers, of our neighbour, and how far more beautiful and sacred are the thoughts of the poor lad or girl whom you govern likely to be than those of the world-corrupted person who rules him?) – if, I say, parents and masters would leave their children alone a little more, small harm would accrue . . . ”


About Russell James

Author of some 2 dozen books in a 30-year career. Crime and historical fiction. Non-fiction too (including 4 biographical encyclopedias).
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