Norms & Nobility

Norms & Nobility: a Treatise on Education, by David V. Hicks

I've wanted to read this book for years.  It's one of the foundational texts on classical education.  So it's been on my wishlist forever, but it's also pretty expensive and not that easy to find in a library.  I finally got around to ILLing it, and have been working on it for a few weeks.

This is a difficult and heavy text, with a whole lot to think about--even though it's less than 200 pages long.*    Hicks lays out why a classical education is worth pursuing and how to do it (there is a whole syllabus for grades 7-12).  He has a lot to say.  I read it quite slowly, and it would be good to own the book so I can read it again...and then again.

I think it's also rather advanced in the world of classical education.  This is not a book for a beginner to read; if I'd tried to read it 10 years ago it would not have made much sense to me.  At that time, The Well-Trained Mind was perfect, because it is clear and practical.  Hicks is more philosophical, although he does also hit the practical points, which I appreciate very much.

*Like Jessie Weston's From Ritual to Romance, it's written in an older style that is learned and dense, rather than the more current style for simpler language, but great length.


  1. Oh my goodness! I just tried the buy this book at the Circe Conference I just attended. I was having so much trouble deciding to get it because it costs $35 (and that was at a discount!) and I just couldn't justify spending the money, especially if I never actually got around to reading it. Finally on the third day I went to buy it and they had sold out. Boo hoo! So reading your review will have to do for now, but gee I regret not buying it right away!


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