I am excited to share with you Nicole Handfield’s story about the new book, Charlotte Mason and the Great Recognition! As I mentioned earlier in this post, on July 7th Nicole presented this project at the Living Education Retreat which consisted of the book and the two high-quality prints (one 8 x 11 and one 18 x 20 with principle 20 written beneath it) by an Italian photographer. While the book may be small in stature, the ideas presented are Mason’s mightiest.
|Nicole and I sharing at the LER
It all began about a year ago on a date night with my husband when he brought up the idea of taking a family vacation to Italy. He wanted to experience traditional Neopolitan wood-fired pizza, but I wanted to see for myself the fresco that Charlotte Mason described when she discussed the Great Recognition.
In the Cholmondeley biography of Charlotte Mason, I read how Charlotte had
a reproduction of the frescoes hanging in a prominent place at the House
of Education so that it could serve as a daily inspiration for the
teachers in training. I really wanted to have something like that in my
home, to remind me daily that the Holy Spirit is the real teacher in our
homeschool. I thought you could find anything on the world wide web!
However, when I tried to find an image online of the fresco, I could
only find the ceiling vault and the wall fresco separately. Because of
the shape of the inside of the Spanish Chapel, the dimensions of the frescoes are not the same and photoshopping the images together wouldn’t
produce a nice, frame-able image.
to get a great photograph of the two parts (wall and ceiling) in one
shot. However, my camera was not able to overcome the limitations of the
limited interior lighting and my inferior photography skills. So I did
not get the beautiful photograph I wanted.
After we got home from Italy, I really felt that more Christian educators
needed to hear this message. I wished that there was a book containing
Charlotte Mason’s discussion of the Great Recognition Required of
Parents as well as John Ruskin’s discussion of the fresco (which
Charlotte read on her own trip to see the Florentine fresco). And it
would be great if it could have photographs of the fresco as well. Of
course, I still wanted a nice, frame-able shot of the fresco for my own
wall at home.
I was not the person to take on this task. Besides the fullness of my
plate in this season of mothering littles and literally knowing nothing
about publishing a book, I wasn’t even sure that I knew enough about
Charlotte Mason and this concept to correctly describe it in a book.
to Nancy Kelly at breakfast on the last day when I brought up my idea
for this book. She said it was a great idea and told me she’d put me in
contact with a publisher. And that was the beginning of this crazy
project that involved the hiring of multiple professionals (including a
professional photographer to get that beautiful image of the fresco) who
put together this lovely book. I asked Art Middlekauff and Nancy Kelly
to contribute chapters to the book as well, and I’m so pleased with
their additional insights into this important foundation of Charlotte
Mason’s educational philosophy.
You can order the book here.
Prints may be purchased from Riverbend Press.
|These two look rather sweet next to each other!