A Book of Golden Deeds.

By Charlotte M Yonge

Printed: Circa 1870

Publisher: Blackie & Son. London

Dimensions 13 × 19 × 3 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 13 x 19 x 3

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)

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Item information


Red cloth binding with cream design and gilt title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available. 

A collection of classical stories, compiled and adapted by the (anonymous) author who is actually Charlotte M. Yonge. Still a very profound work.

Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823–1901) was an English novelist, who wrote in the service of the church. Her abundant books helped to spread the influence of the Oxford Movement and show her keen interest in matters of public health and sanitation.

Yonge began writing in 1848 and published in her long life about 160 works, chiefly novels. Her first commercial success, The Heir of Redclyffe (1853), provided the funding to put the schooner Southern Cross into service on behalf of George Selwyn. Similar charitable works were done with the profits from later novels. Yonge was also a founder and editor for 40 years of The Monthly Packet, a magazine founded in 1851, with a varied readership, but targeted at British Anglican girls, though in later years it turned to a somewhat wider readership).

Charlotte Mary Yonge later in life

Among her other well-known works are Heartsease, and The Daisy Chain. A Book of Golden Deeds is a collection of true stories of courage and self-sacrifice. Other titles were Cameos from English History, Life of John Coleridge Patteson: Missionary Bishop of the Melanesian Islands, and Hannah More. Her History of Christian Names was described as “the first serious attempt at tackling the subject” and as the standard work on names in the preface to the first edition of Betty Withycombe’s The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names (1944).

Around 1859 Yonge created a literary group of younger girl cousins, to write essays and gain advice from Yonge on their writing. Together they created a private magazine, The Barnacle, which continued until about 1871. This was valuable as they may have belonged to the last generation of girls educated at home. Her goddaughter, Alice Mary Coleridge, contributed as “Gurgoyle” to the first issue, drawing the covers and contributing translations, articles and verses.

Yonge’s personal example and influence on her goddaughter Alice Mary Coleridge were formative in her zeal for women’s education, leading indirectly to the foundation of Abbots Bromley School for Girls.

After Yonge’s death, her friend, assistant and collaborator, Christabel Coleridge, published the biographical Charlotte Mary Yonge: her Life and Letters (1903).

The Oxford Movement was a movement of high church members of the Church of England which began in the 1830s and eventually developed into Anglo-Catholicism. The movement, whose original devotees were mostly associated with the University of Oxford, argued for the reinstatement of some older Christian traditions of faith and their inclusion into Anglican liturgy and theology. They thought of Anglicanism as one of three branches of the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” Christian church. Many key participants subsequently converted to Roman Catholicism.

The movement’s philosophy was known as Tractarianism after its series of publications, the Tracts for the Times, published from 1833 to 1841. Tractarians were also disparagingly referred to as “Newmanites” (before 1845) and “Puseyites” (after 1845) after two prominent Tractarians, John Henry Newman and Edward Bouverie Pusey. Other well-known Tractarians included John Keble, Charles Marriott, Richard Froude, Robert Wilberforce, Isaac Williams and William Palmer. All except Williams and Palmer were fellows of Oriel College, Oxford.

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