Charlotte Mason Books

Titles collected by Wendi Capehart from the "Original Home Schooling Series"

and her notes are posted with her permission. The notes and comments are her own, and are copyrighted to her. As is internally clear, they were not written in the order in which they appear here, but this order is more useful as a booklist.


Forms I & II / Disclaimer 1

Forms III & IV / Disclaimer 2

Forms V & VI / Disclaimer 3

Miscellaneous Titles from other Volumes / Disclaimer for the whole thing


This is the list for the little guys, forms I and II, or ages 6 to around 12. When I began book six, I was looking for some direction for my high school students. I have that now, and sort of figured which fork in the educational road we'd be taking with them about two lists ago=). The booklists for the younger grades were a definite digression. I am good at finding rabbit trails to chase along the way.

I'm posting this list because I said I would, and several very nice ladies have written me personally asking me to please it hurry it up because they have the younger children. But (hanging my head in shame), I just don't have the time to do all the links with this one. Or rather, I can't justify taking the time from other ongoing projects and investing it in this project instead. In the process of looking up other titles, from time to time I noticed a title I recognized from this booklist and saved it. I'll share those. But if I didn't already find a title, I'm afraid (ducking for safety) I am not (whispering in small, timid voice) going to take the time to look=(. Sorry for raising expectations, if you're all interested, I can post, without too much investment in time, my list of online booksites, and you can websurf to your heart's content.

These books are the foundation. These books, used in forms I and II, are the reason the children in forms V and VI are capable of reading Homer, Pascal, Sophocles, Huxley, et. al. I was surprised to read that Charlotte didn't even much approve of picture books or even reading to children much younger than six. Rather, she suggested learning a few very good stories and retelling them to the children. Hmmmm. I have an opinion about that, but I'm sure you'd rather get to the booklist=), and, after all, this *is* the CM homeschooling list, not *my* homeschooling list;-D This list will also be the most controversial, because of the heavy emphasis on pagan myths and fairy tales. I'm just reporting, not advocating one way or another. If you have convictions against these, by all means, do not think I am telling you to read them anyway. On the other hand, checking out one or two of the specific resources may help you choose books that are acceptable to you and are comparably meaty.

I'll begin with a quote from Charlotte:
"We do not say that children should never read well-intentioned second-rate books, but certainly they should not read these in school hours by way of lessons ( page 191 volume 6). NO abridged editions, if the abridgment is simply to make it more exciting, to eliminate "dry" parts. However, "so far as we can get them we use expurgated editions; in other cases the book is read aloud by the teacher with necessary omissions."

Age seven: Pilgrim' Progress chapter by chapter, and about half a dozen other books. I'm pretty sure Pilgrim's Progress is online.

8 or 9: a dozen books at a time, history adventures, travels, and poems

Form 1A: (6-7?)
Lord Clive, Nelson, Tales from Westminster Abbey and From St. Pauls by Mrs. Frewen Lord: I did look for this author, and could not find anything about her or by her.
Fairy tales delight Form IB (7-8) both Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm…, gopher://
Aesop's Fables, Online, but I can't find the link right now. Wait, just found this one, it might work: gopher://
Mrs. Gatty's Parables from Nature, I could not find anything by this author. However, at one time some of her stories were reprinted in little hardbacks available in Christian Bookstores. I have one called The Story of Benjamin Bee, retold by Pat Wynnejones from Mrs. Gatty's book, published by Lion Books in 1984 as part of "Hedgerow Tales." I don't know if they're still available. I believe Lion books was sold to a larger company.
Andrew Lang's Tales of Troy and Greece, ("the sonorous beauty of these classical names appeals to them"), cultivate a delight in beautiful names. Several of his Fairy Tales are online, I don't know about this one.
Kingsley's Water Babies,
Alice in Wonderland,
Kipling's Just So Stories

Ages 9-12 (form II A and B)
have a wider range of reading, more delightful subjects for composition. The transition to Form IIA is marked by more individual reading as well as by a few additional books.

"considerable books of English and French history, seriously written,
Shakespeare's historical plays,
North's Plutarch's Lives, and a dozen other worthy books.
read Shakespeare in character, see previous lists
dramatise Scott as they read, see previous lists
read Bullfinch's Age of Fable (this is the first part of his Age of Myth),
, and
Goldsmith's poems,see previous lists
Stevenson's Kidnapped,

AND they narrate them all. They write their narrations, reading:
The Tempest, see previous lists
Woodstock, ARgh, I had a note on who wrote this, but I've lost it in my cluttered household.
, and
Old and New testament,
Stories from the history of Rome, by Mrs. Beesley I looked long and hard for this one, and could find nothing on Author or title.
Wordsworths' poems, see previous lists
from the Heroes of Asgard. 192 This was written by a woman, I think her first name is Maud (e?), but I can't find my notes. Her last name is Keary. Back when I knew what her first name is, I did look pretty extensively for titles by her, but couldn't find any.
The story of Romulus and Remus,
Lytton's Harold,
Kingsley's Hereward,
and Scott's Talisman,see previous lists
Macbeth,(?!?! Yes, Macbeth!) see previous lists
King John, see previous lists
and Richard 11, by Shakespeare, see previous lists
Canon Paterson Smyth (The bible for the Young)
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, should be read to them and narrated by them until they are well into their tenth year, see previous lists
Scott's Rob Roy, should be read to them and narrated by them until they are well into their tenth year, see previous lists
Gulliver's Travels should be read to them and narrated by them until they are well into their tenth year.
A couple books of the "calibre of The Heroes of Asgard are also included in the programme for the term," so it would really help if I had some idea of what that 'calibre' might be.
Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome for citizenship. This one *is* available online, but now I can't find the link for it. I saved it as a text file, but didn't save the URL where I got it. It is a highly advanced reading level and consists of stories of ancient Romans, sort of like Plutarch, and, if I recall correctly but please don't quote me on it, some Roman myths.

they read and act out a book called "French Fables" by Violet Partington in IIA. I looked pretty exhaustively for this one, too, but could not find it.
I did find a source for Beatrix Potters books in French, but would like to find others.
A book called The Sciences, by "an American" (which pretty much leaves the field wiiiiiiiide open, Charlotte, dear, could you have been just a weeeeee bit more specific???), and they do some accompanying experiments (Nature Walks and Nature books alone were not the entire science curriculum for this age or high school.)

Form IIA
read Life and Her children by Arabella Buckley, could not find this author or title, either, although I spent a few hours looking.

read Kingsley's Madam How and Lady Why, nothing with this title, although I did find something he wrote about Life on the Seashore, or something like that.
Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is also mentioned:
As is A Wonder Book, by the same author:
Heroes, by Kingsley, is
She mentnions Beowulf in another volume as an excellent story for children to know:

I don't know how to write Porky Pig stutters to say ..."that's all folks," or I would. My next project, which I am doing primarily for my own use, and will share with you as I go along if there is enough interest, is to organize my notes by subject, still with high school in mind. I'm working on geography right now.
As per usual, all the standard disclaimers apply, this list is provided purely for informational purposes and is not intended to be thought of as *the* way to a Charlotte Mason Education. This author cannot held be held responsible for any harm which comes from reading this list or trying to make your children read the books on this list. Should you choose not to use this list, the black helicoptors you will observe hovering over your house are not mine. All suggestions are opinions only, and if you disagree with them, I didn't say them. And you can't prove it. Any eye fatigue caused by too much exposure to the computer screen, carpal tunnal syndrom attributed to too much keyboard and mouse usage, any children wasting away from lack of nutrition while their mother stares, mesmerized, at the keyboard, are purely the responsibility of the user, who reads this post with that understanding. You may print out this post and make it an important part of a balanced breakfast. Or line the bird cage. If you would like to stop receiving these posts, please write your request neatly in black ink on a 100 dollar bill and send it to me. All requests will receive due consideration and will be considered as contributions towards my therapy. Contributions are not tax deductable. If you want to know why not, write your question neatly in green ink on a fifty dollar bill and send it to me. The owner of the used bookstore in my area would appreciate it, although my dh requests that you write your request on the back of a large set of bookshelves and mail them instead. In the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with this product, simply send it, with the original dated sales receipt, to anybody but me. Happy reading to all and to all a good night. ~8~ (end)


For the newcomers, I undertook to make up a list of books recommended by CM in Volume 6 as those used by her students, complete with links to sites where it the books are available online. I am working my way backward, from forms V and VI. I posted the list for the older kids sometime ago, and here is the next installment. Here is the long delayed second booklist. Sorry for the wait, it's not even as long as the first list. I did have four wisdom teeth removed and two root canals done in the meantime (big plea for sympathy=D). Enjoy.
Ages 12 to 15 are in forms III and IV.
They continue reading some of the books from forms I and II, which, of course, I haven't listed yet since I'm going backwards, and add:
Gardiner's Student's History of England, which CM describes as 'somewhat stiffer" than what they read for history in the younger years. I could find nothing on this title or the author.
Mr. And Mrs. Quennell's History of Everyday Things in England (also used in form III) No information of title or author.
Lord's Modern Europe is described as a favorite of the children at this level.
No information on title or author, although I wonder if it's the same author of Beacon Lights of History.
OT History, by Rev. H. Costley-White, because of his "wise and necessary omissions,' which I assume from the context of Miss Mason's remarks means he doesn't address things like the relationship between Lot and his daughters. As I've said before, Miss Mason was not opposed to a little judicious editing when the goal was to transfer something morally unsuitable to certain ages into something children could and should read. She was opposed to shortened excerpts solely because adults felt the original material too dry or boring. No info on title or author.
Some Wonders of Matter by Bishop Mercer No specific info on title or author, except I believe he was a Victorian, and possibly a friend of John Ruskin, one of Charlotte's favourites.
John and Acts, using some commentaries by Bishop Walsham How, no info on author or title
continue with Shakespeare (King Lear, Twelfth Night, Henry V, or other play),
the Waverleys (as a contemporary tale) by Scott, http://english-
Form III
read Goldsmith's ( for three of his plays,
and is a link to three of his poems )
and Burn's poems.

Form IV specifically reads:
Il penseroso,
these three all by Milton (
She was particularly pleased with the variety of adjectives used by Milton and suggests that the children be directed to observe Milton's epithets and try and incorporate one or two into their own vocabularies.

and contemporary poets as represented in a good anthology, is a link to the Oxford book of English Verse by Quiller Couch
Pope's Rape of the Lock, is a link to a page of links about Pope, including a link to this poem.
Gray's poems
(, will take you to a page with links to several of his poems)
Essays by the same Lamb who wrote the Tales from Shakespeare, I can find several copies of Tales from Shakespeare on line, but none of his essays. I do have a few in my own books, and you should be able to find samples from any good book of essays.
Eothen , by A.W. Kinglake(,
this is a link to a site which claims to have Eothen, as well as many other books available for downloading for a nominal fee. You can download a sample of Eothen, but I didn't try it)
is supposed to be a link to a link of Eothen online, but when I tried it, I got 'NOT FOUND. YOu may have better luck.

Again, this list is only from book six, and I am sure it is incomplete, as, according to MIss Mason, the children read upwards of 1-3,000 pages a term!
Regarding a CM booklist, I found the following from Catherine Levison's now out of print magazine, The Charlotte Mason Communique. This is the Spring, '98 issue. She says on page 23 that many people want a CM book list, and that "…we need to understand the limitations one individual's list would have. Literary taste varies from person to person-likewise convictions and the resulting discrimination. A book one person might deem worthy is in another's discard pile… We have to also be careful not to limit ourselves to only books that were directly named by C. M. herself, not only because many are inaccessible today, but we also need to recognize there have been thousands of valuable books written since her death. The C.M. method seems to attract book lovers, and Charlotte was one herself. She spent time looking for great, affordable works for her students. We can look at lists… make and take recommendations, but ultimately we have to locate them ourselves." Yeah! What she said.
As I've tried to say before, my own goal is not to duplicate precisely the books CM used in our family's home-school. It is to find out what she meant by living books, to get a feel for the quality she espoused. I've done that, and found that my own standards were lower than they could be. I aspire to raise those standards, and to raise children whose standards are higher than my own, who can read a level or more above my own ability. This list, and reading at least excerpts from authors CM recommended, is a tool that is helping me to do that. I had a discussion not too long ago with somebody not on this list about reading standards and quality in literature. She listed several books by current authors in the evangelical community that she considered really fine literature (comparable to C.S. Lewis) that I consider twaddle, or at least fluff- certainly not "fine" literature. I won't mention titles here, because it's not my intent to fling mud at anybody's cherished authors=) I gently as possible said that I was aiming for slightly higher literary quality than that, and she just laughed and said she guessed she was a lowbrow. Now, apart from our differing opinions/standards, that attitude concerns me. Had she simply said she disagreed, and maintained that those books were good literary quality, I probably wouldn't have been so bothered.

But that laughing, shoulder shrugging, disregard for quality should not be acceptable to Christians, children of the Father of all Excellence. We should not be settling for second rate works and excusing our shoddy choices because "we're just lowbrows" (in other words, unwilling, not unable, to handle more difficult, meaty ideas). We should aspire to excellence, to the best that there is, not be satisfied with less than we know we can do. At least, that's our goal in our family. Amelia Bedilia is fine for a season. We like them, too. But if my child were 13 and still reading Amelia Bedelia, I would be concerned. Some current books by evangelical authors are fine for reading, but if that's all my children are reading or capable of understanding when they finish high school, I will not have done what I could. I'm not talking just about intellectual ability. As the mother of a severely brain damaged child, I understand that we all have varying levels of intellectual capabilities. I'm talking about intellectual laziness. People who will not ever try something that takes some thought and effort to read are people not using their God-given abilities to the best of their abilities- and I was one of these people until just this year. I want to do the best I can, and I want my children to do the best they can. My best may get me up to Shakespeare, yours may include Aristotle and beyond, but let's all try to improve, rather than keep rowing out little rowboats in the same small literary pool=)

I don't want to eat vegetables and only vegetables all day long. Sometimes I like dessert. And that's O.K., in reading and in eating. But in reading there ought to be at least some meat, something that requires a little discipline, effort, and involvement to read. It shouldn't always be the dessert stuff. Now, when it comes to books, what's dessert for you may be meat for me. I'm not trying to set the standards or criticize anybody personally. Whatever anybody else's current level of reading is isn't my business, but for all of us, our goal should be improvement. Stagnancy should not satisfy.

Like Cathy in Pa, I too have been working on a list of CM quality books, not just books CM used, but books written since her time that are more easily available that also seem to meet the goals and principles she had in mind in selecting her books. I haven't had a chance to look at Cathy's list yet. I wanted to finish mine and compare, just for fun. When I complete mine, I will make it available here to those who are interested. But my list won't be the same as anybody else's. My list won't be THE list to use. None of us can do that for anybody else. My list won't even be the same for all of my children. Quite a few books will be on my list simply because those are the books I own or can get from our local library or online. They will be of good quality, but other titles would likely serve the same purpose better or equally well.

One final "public service announcement:" Catherine has another good article in the spring, '98 edition of the Communique. She shares her ideas on reading the whole six volume set actually written by CM. One thing she says is "Accept no substitutes. Go to her materials directly. People have and will continue to misconstrue her ideas. We all approach C.M. with our own ideas and biases on education. As we read, we tend to take an idea and make it our own for our own children. IF you know what Charlotte Mason said, you'll be able to recognize when as author has applied C.M. verbatim or adapted her ideas to fit their own needs." Personally, I think this adaptation of CM's ideas to fit our own family is a good thing, and I think Catherine does, too. But we can even more of those good ideas to adapt through reading Charlotte's own writings in addition to the other books about her method and all the great ideas on this list, rather than reading everything else instead of her books.

They really are good reading, once you get into them=) When I read her books and write my ideas about them, I'm filtering through my own biases, presuppositions, bents, and preferences. We do Charlotte Mason a la Wendi. You will do CM a la... if you read her books. If you don't, you'll end up hsing CM a la Cindy, Lynn, Donna-Jean (actually, not a bad fate) or a la somebody else.

And a final goody for those diehards who read all the way to the end;-) This is a link to a quotation site. You can find some real gems here for your copywork jars, just type in some of the CM authors and see what happens (try more than one, on some you'll get a 'not found'.)
Yours in exhaustion,


I know there are several newcomers, so here is the first list posted way back in September. Since the archives aren't fully working yet, this seemed the best way to go. Apologies to those of you who already received this, and for the length and quantity of my recent posts. I really *have* been doing something other than spending time at the computer, honestly!

>>Here is the first installment of actual books recommended by CM. I apologize for taking so long. I had no idea of the magnitude of my task when I began. I wanted to find as many online titles as possible, and it seems that every website of e-texts led to a dozen more websites, and sometimes had destracting links to interesting, but off topic, subjects. Thus I've often found myself wandering far from my assigned task and had to bring myself back in an increasingly firm manner (but oh, what fun places I found!). I also started compiling a list of all the books CM mentions in all her volumes, but decided to stop before I hurt myself. This list is composed entirely of titles mentioned in Volume 6. At least I think it is. It's possible some errant titles may have wandered in by mistake. In order to break the list down into manageable pieces, I'm breaking it up by age levels, and post only one at a time. There may a few weeks in between lists. I'm beginning with the older children and working my way back to younger. If anyone has any information on the titles I couldnt' find, I'd love to have it. Again, I offer this for purely informational purposes. I am not the CM police. I will not come to your homeschool and thrash you about the head and shoulders with my single volume complete works of Shakespeare if you are not reading these books. We won't be reading all of them either. I also have not read everything on this list, so I cannot promise you that there will be no unpleasant surprises when you read them (indeed, in the case of one of the books which I have read, I can promise you a very unpleasant surprise if you read the whole book). I think it helpful to see what CM considered a living book, and what students of her day were capable of reading. So, without further hemming and hawing, here is the first list:

Forms V and VI (ages 15-18)
are already very familiar with Greek and Roman myth, they know, for example, the stories of Scylla and Charybdis (names which Microsoft's spell-checker doesn't even recognize), Echo, and Pegasus.
As someone else pointed out, they've been reading Pilgrim's Progress, Plutarch, and other books of this quality for some time. The reading for Forms V and VI (ages 15-18) is more comprehensive and difficult than what has gone before. It follows the lines of the history they are reading, touching current literature in the occasional use of modern books…
"As he goes up, more books are given, the reading becomes wider and more difficult- but everyone knows the reading proper at ages of 15,17,18"
This statement suggests to me that if we could locate a typical reading list from the 'public schools' (which is what England calls her private schools) of CM's day, we might gain further understanding of her standards for living books. She says the problem with education for this age is that the right books were given, but not enough of them.

given the proper period, her students would read:
Pope's Essay on Man, which is here: gopher:// Text/PEAL/Pope/Man,
other works by Pope are here: bin/18thsearch?query=pope, including the Rape of the Lock, which is also CM recommended.
Carlyle's Essay on Burns;
while I have been unable to find this specific work, other works of Carlyle's are available for viewing here:
His essay on the French Revolution is supposedly available here:, although I have found the server down when I tried to read it.
Frankfort Moore's Jessamy Bride. I have been able to discover next to nothing about Moore, other than that one commentator says his works are "sensational," in a derogatory sense of the word.
Goldsmith's Citizen of the World (edited)
I've not found this, either, but three other works of Goldsmith are available here,
and two of the three, The Vicar of Wakefield
and She stoops to Conquer, are recommended by CM.
Update: I found a site with excerpts from the Citizen of the World! We'd rather have the whole thing, of course, much more CM, but it will give us an idea of the flavour and savour of the writing CM admired and wanted her students to emulate.
Thackeray's The Virginians,
not to be confused with The Virginian, by another author. I cannot find this work online, although his better known work, Vanity Faire, is available, as are two others whose titles I forget.
The Virginians is the sequel to another thackeray novel, Henry Esmond, also recommended for this age group.
Students read the contemporary poets from an anthology. The Oxford Book of English Verse is available online at:
This is one anthology CM used, there may be others, but this she specifically mentioned by name.
You may find other poetry selections at:
and here:
They have read The White Lady of Avenel, a title about which I know nothing at all.
Dandie Dinmont, the only information I could find on this is that there is a breed of terriers known by the name.=) I assume that they are named after a book or literary character, but that's all the information I have. Update: When I originally posted this, someone on the list informed me that this is a character in one of the Scott novels.
Atalanta, I know not whether this is the myth, or another title of poem or novel by the same name.
Allenby, I don't know what or who this is, whether it be a book title, the author's name, or a character in a book, or a poem.
Tennyson, some works may be found here:
Gray, His Ellegy in a Country Churchyard is here:gopher://
Allegro, by Milton This poem is available here:gopher://
. Dummelow's One Volume Bible Commentary, which I could not find online.
Ethics of the Dust, by John Ruskin,
I can find only one complete work by Ruskin on the internet, The King of the Golden River, a charming little fairy tale. However, some information about him and excerpts of his are at this site:
More on Ruskin, although still not ethics of the Dust, here: bin/aglimpse/01?query=Ruskin&maxfiles=100&maxlines=30&errors=0
the Epistles and Revelation, I'm reasonably sure CM would've used the Authorized, or KJV.
Green's Shorter History of the English People,
another title about which I could find nothing.

Macaulay's Essays
on Frederick the Great and Austrian Succession as well as his essays on Goldsmith, Johnson, Pitt and Clive, none of which I can find online. To date, the only work of Macaulay online that I can find is a review he wrote of another author's work on Johnson. It is possible that this is one Charlotte intended, but I dont' know. At any rate, by reading it you can get some idea of the style and level. You should find that essay here:
You can subscribe to Encyclopedia Britannica's "classics" or sign up for a seven day free trial and read Macaulay's essay on Bunyan at:
I have a small volume of some of his essays. I'm playing with the idea of putting at least one of them up on the 'net- sometime. Update: Someone else on the list shared that she found an essay of his that was anti-semitic. My guess is that this will happen with painful frequency anytime we read older works.

history of France by M. Duruy- No information I could find.
Professor de Burghs's the legacy of the Ancient World- Once more, I couldnt' find any information.
Evylyn (form 6),
Like Dandie Dinmont and Allenby, Charlotte does not specify, that I could find, whether this is a character from a book, a book title, author, novel or poem.
Pepys(form 5)
As mentioned above, I have not read all of these selections myself, so cannot vouch for their contents. However, I have read Pepys, and I do wonder why it is on Charlotte's list. I found him a petty, vulgar little man. Even assuming that she 'edited' what she read, I'm surprised, and if you read a complete version, you will be too. Nevertheless, we must each make our own decisions, so here is a link:
Professor de Burghs's the legacy of the Ancient World- I have no information.

Form VI would read
Boswell, bin/18thsearch?query=boswell
The Battle of the Books: I found an essay with this title by Jonathan Swift, which appears to me to fit the CM booklist.
However, Catherine Levison lists a different author, a Boswelel. That by Swift is available here:
I can find no author named 'Boswelel,' so I wonder if this is a misprint for Boswell? If so, I can find no essay with this title by Boswell, so perhaps this is also a mistake.
and both Forms read She Stoops to Conquer.

"The course of reading is suggestive and will lead to much reading round and about it in later days."
In every case narrating, orally and in writing." If you look at Battle of the Books, I think you will get a pretty clear idea of what she meant by saying this reading is 'suggestive.' Battle is filled with literary allusions to other books and authors. In order to *really* understand it, you will want to read quite a lot of other material.
Livy, bin/aglimpse/01?query=Livy&maxfiles=100&maxlines=30&errors=0
"the few tragedies left to us by the great dramatists" We should understand this to mean the ancient Greek and Roman playwrights. There are lots of these available on the internet, I don't know how I came to miss putting the links here. However, if you really want to know, you can look them up. Try searching Classical Roman Literature or Plays...
specifically, she mentions
Il Penseroso,
Lycidas, and
although I'm sure the students read others of Milton's works.
and Burns (
are listed as poets representative of their age, and thus to be studied during that epoch of history.
Barnaby Rudge, by Dickens,
Peveril of the Peak, by Sir Walter Scott, not, that I am aware of, available online. Perhaps no great loss, as most contemporary critics feel this one of his weaker works.

Charlotte specifically mentions that her programme involves "the reading of hundreds of great books from the Western tradition" but she does not name them all individually. Here you will find links to sites listing books generally considered to be "great" books of Western culture:, This site will take some time for the computer illiterate (like me) to understand, but it's well worth the effort. There are hyperlinks to works of art, literature, science, and more, arranged by time period. There is a timeline where you can see the works in relationship to one another (Just don't ask me how to get to it. I have to spend 15 minutes hunting every time). I love it in spite of that!, a helpful compilation of more than one list of the Great books, with some hyperlinks. Another helpful site, with links to links to links, all about reading really *good* books. There are many more 'Great Books' sites, but these should keep us all busy for a while. Please bear in mind that some are more in keeping with biblical standards than others. The criteria for making it on a 'Great Books of Western Civilization' list is *not* always that found in Phillipians 4:8.

As I said, if anybody has any further information on any of these titles, please pass it on. I do hope this is useful to somebody else besides me, and not just taking up space on the list=)
P.S. Coming at an unspecified time: A CM booklist for forms III and IV (12-15); then the list for Forms I and II (6-12), and then a miscellaneous list of titles which either Charlotte did not explain which Form reads them, or I missed the explanation, and more of my ideas on high school, cm style.<<


This is the miscellaneous booklist I promised: the one that has books I saw in volume 6 (at least that's my belief, again, some titles may have sneaked in from the other volumes), but I didn't make a note or couldn't tell which age level used them. Since Volume 6 is for the older children, they are more likely to be appropriate for the older grades than the younger. They also seem more appropriate to me for older kids based on difficulty and subject matter, but knowing Charlotte, my standards for what is "hard" would not impress her.

Authors Charlotte recommends for which I am unsure of the grade level:

Sir Walter Scott, I know a couple of his specific works are on the other lists, but I believe the students read all, or nearly all, of his works. I just don't know when.
Dickens, for The Christmas Carol, for The Chimes, for Great Expectations, for A Tale of Two Cities,, scroll down this page for links to 40 of Dicken's works
Milton, three of his poems are on the other lists, but I believe the students read all of his works. "Areopagitica" is specifically mentioned for the higher forms.
Sophocles, for his most famous play, Oedipus Rex,
the play Ajax is here:
Other works of Sophocles and other Classical authors may be found here:
Thucydides, He wrote a history of the war between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians, available here:
Virgil (in English, the Roman equivilant to Homer- the Aenid),
Bacon: There are two Bacons, Roger and Francis, and I could not find any specific information as to which she meant or if she meant both, however I suspect Francis Bacon, based entirely on the fact that I am more familiar with him than Roger. Neither do I know if only selected writings or the entire body of works by either or both authors was used. That said, here is what I could find: for Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, is a link to Francis's Bacon's essays, including, I believe a very well-known one which begins something like, "'What is truth,' said jesting Pilate, but he did not stay for an answer..."
More essays:
George Eliot's Caleb Garth: I wrote this down thinking it was a title, in fact, it seems to be the main character from her novel Middlemarch, which you may find here:,
links to three of her books, including Middlemarch, here:
Coriolanus: This was a Roman of some note, and he also is the title character of one of Shakespeares' plays.
Livy writes about Coriolanus, and I am uncertain whether the student's read both works, or only Shakespeare.
This link will take you to a list of 89 hyperlinks to works referring to Coriolanus, including Livy's and Shakespeare's:®ion=TEI2&auth=&title=&begin_date=&end_date=&sample=1-100
Artemidorus, I thought was the title to a book, I now believe it was a person, a character in Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, also spoken of by the Roman Pliny.
Links to both are here:®ion=TEI2&auth=&title=&begin_date=&end_date=&sample=1-100
Robert Burns,,,

Burke, His speech on reconciliation with America is found here:
Cowper, a . Find more about him and his works at the following links: gopher://
or type in William Cowper in the search available here:
Herodotus, The Story of Rhampsinitus' Treasure house is here:
His Histories, which begin, This is the display of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that things done by man not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some displayed by the Hellenes, some by the barbarians, not lose their glory, including among others what was the cause of their waging war on each other. are here:
George Herbert,a poet. You can find a biography as well as links to some of his poems here: This is one of my favorite poetry sites, but be forewarned; if you browse, some of the artwork may cause you to blush. I am not a very visually oriented person, and the first time I found this site and passed it on, I apparantly caused some dear folks some consternation. It's all "great works of art," but there are nudes. Believe it or not (and you may find it hard to believe if you come across one), I never even noticed until someone brought it to my attention. Yes, I am one of those folk who passes by a skyscraper fifty times, and on the fifty first time asks, "Is that new?" Inevitably I discover it's been there since before my birth=)
Pitt- he was a Prime Minister of England during some turbulent times. I don't think he was entirely admirable (though that may be just my sketchy memory), and I think I recall that much of what he wrote was under an anonymous pen name. I also am not sure whether the children read his writings, essays *about* him by others, or both. IT's also more than possible that he was more important for students of Victorian England to read because of his position as England's Prime Minister than for our children to know much about. IOW, he was 'current events' material, not literature.
William Pitt's speech on the Stamp Act can be found by searching here:
LInks to biographical material on Pitt the elder and Pitt the younger are here:
Robinson Crusoe,
Huxley's Physiography:
I have yet to find this one online, although I did find my Grandmother's copy in a box under my bed=) If you can find one at your library, do take a look at it as I think it is a very enlightening example of what CM considered a "living" science book. I did search for it in one of the searches that looks for examples in the text as well as the titles, and found additional enlightenment in the other sources that referred to Huxley-
Andrew Lang, in The Yellow Fairy Tale Book makes the following charming remark: "As to whether there are really any fairies or not, that is a difficult question. Professor Huxley thinks there are none. The Editor never saw any himself, but he knows several people who have seen them -- in the Highlands -- and heard their music."
I did find a link to something by Huxley called something like: The Crayfish, an Introduction to Zoology (I assume a Crayfish is a crawdad;-)). I haven't read it yet, I can either spend my time searching for the links, or I can read the few I've already found, I can't seem to manage to do both *and* speak to my family=).anyway, here it is, check it out and see what Miss Mason considered to be a 'living' science writer:
Goethe, Faust is available here:gopher://,
his poems are at:
Ourselves, by CM herself (volume 4 in the series, for 'lower' forms)
Our Sea Power, by H.W. Household,
Sir George Parkin Fighting for Sea Power in the Days of Sail
Seeley's Expansion of England,
the Peoples and Problems of India,
Geikie's Elementary Lessons in Physical Geography,
Mort's Practical Geography, (could find no information on any of these)
and Kipling's Letters of Travel
(Links to six of Kiplings works, though not his Letters of Travel, are available here:®ion=TEI2&auth=Kipling&title=&begin_date=&end_date=&sample=1-100
AMazingly, the nine works listed in above are the works of only *one* term! And only a sampling of one term's work at that!
:Trollope, for The Eustace Diamonds, for Lady Anna, for Phinneas Finn, for Phineas Redux, is a page of hundreds of links to books and articles, scroll down toward the bottom of the page for more of Trollope's works*

Matthew Arnold, He wrote a great many works, including poetry, reports on England's educational system, and philosophy. This is a link to a work titled, "Civilisation in the United States:",+Matthew++:++Civilisation+in+the+United+States++++1888++++
Goldsmith, referenced in previous booklists I've shared,
Pascal, links to Blaise Pascal's Pensees, specifically mentioned by Charlotte, here:,
link to Machine deArithmetique here:

She recommends as well a book or books with the characters Dick Swiveller and Mrs. Quickly, but does not give titles. Apparantly, these books would have been so familiar to her readers as to need no other introduction. Is anybody else familiar with them? "Dick Swiveller" sounds like a Dickonsonian name to me, but I don't know that it is.
She urges the reading of Mr. Fisher for parents, but I couldn't find who he is. However, he is quoted as quoting John Stuart Mill, whose On Liberty can be found here:

The upper forms generally give 8 hours a week to "English" (11 in the lower forms), as a separate topic, which would allow from twenty to sixteen consecutive readings a week in a wide selection of literature, history, and economics books, which I *think* is separate from the English reading- that's a lot of reading! ( page 86 of volume 6).

*This link,, is a very useful one, although rather odd in the scope of the works presented. In addition to several of Dicken's works, Gene Stratton Porter's, Edith Whartons, Louisa May Alcott's, a couple by George Eliot and other literary greats, you can also get Clinton's inaugural address and the Clarence Thomas Hearings. There are some interesting titles on race relations as well. What I found extremely helpful was the simple search option. You type in any word you like, and rather than titles containing that word, the search looks for uses of that word in the writings in the collection. This can be helpful in all sorts of ways. I typed in Goethe, for example, and while there are no titles by Goethe, it was fascinating to me to see the number of authors who referred to him in their writings, assuming their readers would be familiar with him. Louisa May Alcott alludes to him in one of her girls' stories ( I think Little Women), clearly with the expectation that her young readers would know what she speaking of. Very humbling.
This is a similar one, with more references, although not quite so strangely different ones:

Charlotte makes frequent reference to "the Classics." We tend to use this to refer to any well-written book which has stood some sort of chronological test. While these are good books, living books, and Charlotte would approve/agree that they be read, this isn't strictly speaking, what Charlotte, or most others of her day, meant when they spoke of "the Classics." is a link to a page which explains more about what the Classics are.

Specifically: >>0 What Is Classics?
Good question. As used in academia, "Classics" or "Classical Studies" (with a capital C) or the adjective "classical" refer to the discipline described below, rather than to good books from any period.

The discipline of Classics is the study of Greek and Roman civilization, from Homer to Constantine, but including study of the direct antecedents of Greece and Rome in the prehistoric period of southern Europe and their descendants in the Middle Ages. This encompasses both the Greek and Latin languages and their literature, including poetry, drama, history, philosophy, rhetoric, religion and political theory, as well as art, architecture, and archaeology.

Precise chronological boundaries are difficult to establish, but the most common feature is the relevance of the period or material to Greek and/or Latin texts. An increasing number of classicists are devoting their energies to later Latin texts, including neo-Latin (relatively modern) original works, and to prehistory or linguistics, especially in archaeology.<<
Isn't it amazing that *this* sort of reading is what Charlotte expected from, and got, from her high school students?! Remember too, that Charlotte was experimenting with educating the children of the labouring classes, those whose parents did not have this sort of background, children who often went to work at 16, studying in the evening hours.

For those of you studying Latin, here is a page with links to a few of the classic texts in Latin:

This is a particular pleasant little page done by a pleasant elderly gentleman who is a retired lumberman. Links to poetry and prose, not as wide a variety as some, but much more user friendly, perhaps because it is such an obvious labor of love:

Obligatory Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to represent any sort of legal obligation binding those who read it and claim to practice the Charlotte Mason method of home education to follow any sort of plan which includes any or all of these books. Use of the material provided does not guarantee a good education. The author of this post takes no responsibility for the way it is used or misused. Readers will follow the links at their own risks. Children who cannot remove their mothers from the keyboard must take it up with their fathers, as I cannot be held responsible for any possible puter addiction which may or may not follow an act of web-surfing which may or may not be prompted by the reading of this post. All restrictions apply. Your state may have other laws and guarantees, but my state of mind is thoroughly flipped out. For extra fun, remove eyeball from socket. Keep out of reach of children. Subject to change without notice. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with this product, do not read it. If it's too late, forget it.

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