Building on his previous work on the history of education and Methodism, John T. Smith’s new monograph explores clerical attitudes toward and involvement in nineteenth-century English elementary education, particularly the office of the teacher. Though Smith also pays attention to the attitudes of teachers toward clerics and examines how teachers experienced heavy-handed clerical management of elementary schools, Smith is at his best and is most original when writing from the clerical perspective. The result is a welcome new take on clerical-teacher relations, which historians of education have tended to write from the perspective of the teacher, often with little sympathy for or understanding of the clergy. This book offers a further corrective to previous scholarly work by exploring not only Anglican schools, clergy, and teachers but also those of Roman Catholics and Methodists.[1]

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. This article first appeared on H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences (January 2012).

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.