Royal Education: Past, Present and Future (Woburn Education Series)

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9780714650142: Royal Education: Past, Present and Future (Woburn Education Series)
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Many people assume that kings and queens have generally received a "good education", perhaps the best that money could buy at the time. This book investigates the reality: what is known about the education of British sovereigns from the beginning of the Tudor period to the end of the 20th century.
There have been enormous differences in the seriousness with which education was regarded at different points in history. For example Henry VIII and his children were educated at a high point in the Renaissance, when educational ideas were regarded as important as well as exciting. Queen Elizabeth I was by any standards extremely well educated; by contrast Queen Elizabeth II's education has been described as "undemanding", because her parents wanted her to have a happy childhood.
Peter Gordon and Denis Lawton have traced changes in royal education through the centuries and related them not only to educational ideas and theories, but also to changing political, social and religious contexts.
The monarchy itself has changed as an institution: from the semi-absolute authority of the Tudors to a much more limited kind of monarchy by the end of the Stuart period (after one king had been executed and another exiled) to the constitutional monarchy of the 20th century. To what extent have such changes made any difference to royal education? What is the most appropriate kind of education for future kings and queens in our present day democracy? In this book, the authors confront these and other such questions and explore some of the answers.

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About the Author:

Peter Gordon is Emeritus Professor of Education and former Head of Department of History and Humanities at the Institute of Education, University of London. Denis Lawton is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.

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What's the best education for a future king or queen? Gordon and Lawton, both professors of education at the University of London, attempt to answer that question by surveying the instruction given British royalty from Henry VII in the 15th century to Prince William today. Over the years, ideas on education have changed along with ideas on religion, society, and politics and with the evolution of the monarchy itself. Greek, Latin, and literature were stressed early on, and for many centuries, future sovereigns had private tutors, often clergy. Eventually, "a balanced programme of physical, intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development" became the norm. Special circumstances surrounded the education of some monarchs: Mary I posed the problem of how to educate a female, and James I was more familiar with running Scottish estates than the English Parliament. This entertaining and informative book is perhaps more scholarly than most titles on the royals, but it will still attract attention. Recommended for most public libraries.ATerry A. Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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