McGuffey Readers

mcguffeyFundamentalists may not care for Calvinists but they do tend to turn to them a lot for source material. One great example of a Presbyterian work that fundies adore is the McGuffey readers, published in the 1800’s by William Holmes McGuffey a “roving” teacher and Presbyterian Calvinist.

Look on fundamentalists’ bookshelves and more often than not there will appear the distinctive boxed set of the 1836 edition. It’s important to note the edition because the revised 1879 edition is a decidedly liberal revision of the text and considered to be an unclean thing. If the 1836 edition was good enough for Henry Ford, it’s good enough for every child!

Within these brown-backed tomes lie nuggets of truth in stories such as “The Greedy Girl”; “The Effects of Rashness”; and “Consequences of Bad Spelling.”

Considering the state of public education, maybe fundamentalists have something here. A lesson or two on spelling for modern children would certainly not come amiss.

6 thoughts on “McGuffey Readers”

  1. O-M-G.

    We read these all the time growing up. Now we remember them and laugh, but hey, they taught us how to read….

  2. Wow, I remember those…they actually gave me a nervous breakdown in the 5th grade. After 4th grade I transferred from public school to the IBF Christian school and 19th century English (MsGuffey’s readers) was standard reading material. I wasn’t a really dumb kid, but I had trouble with comprehensive reading. I’m glad my kids never had to suffer through those.

  3. I had to read these growing up 🙂 I didn’t mind though. And I don’t think my mom picked them for any reason other than she loves old books…

  4. My wife still has these somewhere, I think. Hey, they have nothing to do with fundystan, though.


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