Granny and Leezie: A Scottish Dialogue

‘To meet objections then urged by some of the working classes, representing difficulties to which not a few in the higher walks of society were constantly recurring, Mr. Stow commenced the publication of a dialogue between “Granny and Leezy” in a small educational magazine which was then issued.

This dialogue represents, in admirable Scotch, the difficulties in the way of ‘new-fangled schooling’ the habitudes of thought and expression which were then common among a large class of the artisan population, and at the same time, principles and methods in public instruction which until recent improvement have not excelled or rendered unsuitable. It shows, moreover, that Mr. Stow possessed a quick insight into character, but could, on occasion, delineate even its subtler forms with humour and exactness.

The reluctance of old Granny to admit improvements; the loving industry of Leezy’s home, her willingness to promote her children’s welfare by any means, new or old, and the glimpses of her husband’s character, are photographs of the prevailing opinions of the people; while the profound views which are occasionally given, also in glimpses, of the tendencies of the human mind, and the best means of so moulding it, as to contribute to social beauty and national greatness, excite regrets that Mr Stow did not write much more after the same fashion.’

Taken from Fraser, William (1868) Memoir of David Stow, Edinburgh pp. 95-96

The first edition of ‘Granny and Leezie’ [footnote]Leezy and Leezie are used interchangeably by Stow. Both are corruptions of ‘Elizabeth’.[/footnote] appeared in the Infant School Magazine for February, March and April 1832. This edition was almost certainly separately in what is now thought of as the First (and lost) Edition of ‘The Training System’. For a fuller account of this argument see the separate article on ‘The Lost First Edition of the Training System’.

By 1860 a full version of Granny and Leezie was published and it is this version which can be downloaded here: Granny and Leezy.