Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chesterton, Montessori and Hilda Van Stockum

I just got a copy of the newly reprinted A Day on Skates by Hilda Van Stockum and it is beautiful! Yes, you do want a copy and don't bother with an old one from eBay. We did that while this lovely book was out-of-print and found the pages quite brittle and hard to manage. Worth it if you have to, but not when you have other options.

Anyway, this new edition has a brief biography of the author written by Jean Ann Sharpe of Bethlehem Books. This paragraph particularly struck me:

It was on this return to Holland that Hilda first read the works of G.K. Chesterton, which led to an intellectual and spiritual conversion. His brisk intellect and spiritual acuity came at a crucial time for the young artist raised in an agnostic environment; it fanned to flame the spark of spiritual perception already alight within her. A short time later, when once again back in Ireland, Hilda immersed herself in the Montessori teaching method. This training gave form to her intuitive sense of justice, a justice that sees and treats each child as a person in his own right. These two influences greatly contributed to the quietly developing spiritual framework upon which her future life and work would hang.

1 comment: said...

Hi John and Alicia and family - Thanks for posting about "A Day on Skates" - I agree it is a great new edition, especially with the bio at the end. But I am biased - the author is my Mom. I am posting to say that my grandmother also was a Montessori follower and both she (Olga Boissevain van Stockum) and my Mom met Maria Montessori during their studies. My sister Sheila is the founder of a dozen Montessori schools in the UK and several of her children are Montessori teachers. Their children make the fifth generation of Montessori followers. John Tepper Marlin