The Victorian & Edwardian Schoolchild
- Pamela Horn
15th September 2010
'What is our purpose in this Bill? Briefly this, to bring elementary education within the reach of every English home, aye, and within the reach of those children who have no homes.' So said W. E. Forster when introducing the Elementary Education Bill in the House of Commons in 1870. The Victorian and Edwardian Schoolchild describes the effect of this Bill on the lives of the vast majority of English and Welsh children, the offspring of the working and lower middle classes, who attended elementary school during that period. Improvements in the welfare and health of the pupils, in the form of open-air schools and the provision of school meals, the dilemma of the 'half-timers' and the out-of-school activities in which the children engaged, such as the Boys' Brigade and Sunday School, are all examined; as is the training of the teachers, who often worked under extreme pressures, and their relations with the pupils in their charge. Pamela Horn, the author of a number of books on life in Victorian Britain, has gathered together over 130 photographs to complement the text. Of great interest to students and social and educational historians, this book will also prove engrossing to the general reader.