A few more thoughts on yesterday’s post:
It was pointed out to me that the idea of ‘fossil sunshine’ is quite broad and well-known, and Goudge could have found the idea many places. To add some context to the quote, Hugh Anthony, the reader, is an eight year old reading a geography book under the oversight of his governess, Miss Lavender. Charlotte Mason’s Counties of England is part of her series of geography books. Given that Goudge was born in 1900 (in England), I personally don’t find it too much of a stretch to think that the ‘book’ in The City of Bells is Charlotte’s.
I also find it an extremely beautiful connection. The City of Bells was published after Charlotte’s death. She never would have read it. But she certainly would have hoped to communicate more than basic geography through her books. She would have hoped to inspire children and enliven their ideas through her books. That’s exactly what happens with Hugh Anthony, who goes away from the lesson having ‘learnt a good deal. The fact of resurrection had been brought home to [him]’.
I suspect that this illustration about coal, and the fact of resurrection will prove to be a major theme in this book. And that’s another beautiful connection. Because it isn’t only Hugh Anthony who is inspired, fictionally, in this book. Goudge herself must have had a flash of insight, that spark of illumination, connecting coal and fossil sunshine to resurrection. And if, as I guess, that spark came from Charlotte’s book, I daresay Charlotte herself would have been very, very pleased to she her philosophy in action.