For people of a certain age, the story evokes nostalgic memories of a time of innocence and values that seem a long way from today’s materialistic and self-absorbed world.
For the generation that is to take this world forward, it is a story that could lead enquiring minds to delve into a world far removed from the accepted realities of today. Educators should harness this work to steer young minds to understand the social development of today’s world and to learn to appreciate the emergence of our complex society from its simple and harsh beginnings through the life of an ordinary man’s experiences.
The story contains all the elements of growing up; rural isolation, family, love, turmoil and conflict without the glorification or gratification of any of those aspects. It has the potential to enable the shadows of this man’s memory to shed light on our fascinating and, in many ways forgotten, social history for today’s young minds through a landscape for which they have no points of reference.
Sandra Love, Local Authority Head of Education, Quality and Support Services (retired)
by Sandra Love