100 Best Books for Children ~ Yonge

In keeping with the history theme, the next 6 books on The Hundred Best Books for Children list found in The Book-lover are histories by Charlotte Marie Yonge. Charlotte Yonge was an incredible storyteller and prolific author. She was widely respected, and garnered the admiration of C. S. Lewis and others.

The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) is likely her most popular work. A personal favorite is The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations (1856). Other family members also enjoy her historical fiction works, such as, The Little Duke: Richard the Fearless (1854), The Prince and the Page: A Story of the Last Crusade (1866), and The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest (1866).

Yonge’s histories can be read in the order the author suggests:

In this book the attempt has been to trace Greek History so as to be intelligible to children. In fact, it will generally be found that classical history is remembered at an earlier age than modern history, probably because the events are simple, and there was something childlike in the nature of all the ancient Greeks. I would begin a child’s reading with the History of England, as that which requires to be known best; but from this I should think it better to pass to the History of Greece, and that of Rome, both because of their giving some idea of the course of time, and bringing Scripture history into connection with that of the world, and because little boys ought not to begin their classical studies without some idea of their bearing.

Young Folks’ History of Greece

We have listed the histories in this order below.

In a later printing of The Book-Lover, Baldwin commented that Abbott’s histories were “old and not always trustworthy, and yet without rivals”; Dickens’s Child’s History of England was “interesting, but not entirely trustworthy,” and removed Yonge’s histories altogether. Judging by the titles added, it may simply be that Baldwin decided in favor of more stories and less history.

Yet most families will find Yonge’s histories fill a void left by the other two authors. Yonge’s books can easily be classified as Living Books.


Free eBooks

Additional Resources

The Daisy Chain by Yonge
Personal favorite. Yonge frequently addresses the social issues of her day in a way that is less “preachy” than some Victorian authors.

Charlotte Yonge
Other public domain works by Yonge.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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