The Well-Educated Mind
A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
In her previous landmark book, The Well-Trained Mind, the author provided a road map of classical education for parents home-schooling their children. In this new book, The Well-Educated Mind, Bauer takes the same elements and techniques, applying and adapting them to adult readers, who want both enjoyment and intellectual self-improvement from their reading time.
Very instructive and useful tools are given to gain the most from reading in five major genres: history, autobiography, fiction, drama, and poetry. Detailed instructions are provided on how to read each type. Following the counsels in this book will greatly enhance your pleasure in reading.
Have you lost the art of reading for pleasure? Are there books you know you should read but haven’t because they seem too daunting?
The Literary Genres you Must Know
The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of five literary genres: fiction, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry, accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter, ranging from Cervantes to A. S. Byatt, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing.
The Well-Educated Mind reassures those readers who worry that they read too slowly or with below-average comprehension. If you can understand a daily newspaper, there’s no reason you can’t read and enjoy Shakespeare’s sonnets or Jane Eyre. But no one should attempt to read the “Great Books” without a guide and a plan.
The Well-Educated Mind will show you:
- how to allocate time to reading on a regular basis
- how to master a difficult argument
- making personal and literary judgments about what you read
- what does Anna Karenina owe to Madame Bovary?
- how to appreciate the resonant links among texts within a genre, and also between genres
Followed carefully, the advice in The Well-Educated Mind will restore and expand the pleasure of the written word.
About the Author
Susan Wise Bauer was born in 1968 and grew up in Virginia. She was educated at home by pioneering parents, in a generation when home education was still unheard of. She worked as a professional musician and in costume at Colonial Williamsburg. Susan also toured with a travelling drama group, galloped racehorses at a Virginia racetrack, taught horseback riding, worked in radio and newspaper ad sales, learned enough Korean to teach a Korean four-year-old Sunday school, and served as librarian and reading tutor for the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Center in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In her less haphazard adult life, she earned an M.A., M.Div., and Ph.D. Susan has taught at the College of William & Mary in Virginia for the last sixteen years. Susan is married and the mother of four.