The object of the book briefly is, to re-inculcate these old-fashioned but wholesome lessons-which perhaps cannot be too often urged, that youth must work in order to enjoy,-that nothing creditable can be accomplished without application and diligence,-that the student must not be daunted by difficulties, but conquer them by patience and perseverance,-and that, above all, he must seek elevation of character, without which capacity is worthless and worldly success is naught. If the author has not succeeded in illustrating these lessons, he can only say that he has failed in his object.
I can see already that this is going to be one of those internet trails I enjoy so much. While googling Craik, I came on this article on the 'problems' of working class poetry in Victorian times. Apparently one of the solutions was that working class poets should:
Accept a more modest role as a means of developing class identity and solidarity – become a means of articulating commonly held values and beliefs in unambitious but memorable form. The poet thus becomes a slightly more articulate friend or neighbour.
So working class poets are allowed, so long as they are 'unambitious' (and, reading between the lines, male). I think this calls for more exploration, but in the meantime my writing prompt for today is... the unambitious poet.
**ps. I nearly wrote 'I heart' here but then I realised I wasn't talking to my teenage kids and it wouldn't annoy you nearly as much as it does them. It's one of the joys of teenage parenting no one tells you about - watching their body language as you get the names of bands wrong, be enthusiastic about things they like and so ruin them forever, hijack their slang etc etc etc. Come to think of it, it's making me re-evaluate my own teenage days and wonder if my own parents were really as naive as I gave them credit for. My own slamming door moment was when I nearly shared a flat with members of the Boomtown Rats and my mother went around saying 'Sarah's going to be sharing with some rodents apparently'. She did snigger then too, now I remember it without wanting to murder her. Ho hum.