The Children's Plutarch: Tales of the Greeks/Preface
IT appeared to me that, by way of preliminary to lessons on justice, government, political progress, etc., it would be well to create in the child-nature a sympathy for some definite historic movement. With this sympathy as a basis, one could better build up conceptions of social justice, civic evolution, and international relations. I could think of no finer material for this purpose than the admirable biographies of Plutarch; though the national history, or the history of Western Europe generally, would doubtless serve the same end. Western history, however, derives its traditions from Greece and Rome, and it seemed to me an advantage to use a work which not only furnished simple instruction in the meaning of politics, but also held rank as a literary classic. My version is intended for children aged about ten to fourteen, after which period they should be encouraged to go direct to the wise, manly, and entertaining pages of Plutarch himself. The ethical index is framed for the use of teachers who wish for examples to illustrate the moral lessons which are now becoming a recognized part of the regular school education. The spirit of my selection from Plutarch's ample store is aptly represented in the beautiful drawings by Mr. Walter Crane.
F. J. Gould.