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GEORGE TOWNSEND WARNER, M.A.
SOMETIME FELLOW OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
ASSISTANT MASTER AT HARROW SCHOOL
WITH MAPS AND PLANS
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN
I have aimed, in this book, at making a simple selection of the most important factors, or chain of events, in each period, and have treated these in more detail, to the exclusion of others which seem to me less characteristic of the period. It has sometimes been taken for granted that the right method of teaching history is to lay down a preliminary groundwork of facts and dates and miscellaneous scraps of important information, before making an attempt to awake interest in the connection of historical events by the process of reasoning. The principle is somewhat akin to the mode of teaching languages by grinding over grammar and accidence; it is at any rate time-honoured. But the value of history as an educational subject, even for the young, cannot, I think, be fully realized, unless some stress is placed upon the sequence of cause and effect, so as to exercise not merely the memory but the reason.
Understanding is a far more attractive process than merely learning; young minds are by nature curious, and are receptive enough of an explanation, provided it be simple; and the difficulties of remembering are much lessened when events in history are presented, not as isolated, but as the causes or consequences of other events. It is this object that I have tried to keep before me.
G. T. W.
HARROW, July, 1899.