30 Jun 2011

Mary Jones and her Bible

Do you ever find yourself wanting your kids to know the same heroes that you do? I think back to the really special friends of my youth, and I so want Jemimah to be special friends with them too. Like Annette and Lucien and Danny. Remember them? Their very names take me back instantly to my grandmother's place, to early mornings milking cows, to carefree days building maze-like cubbies of corrugated iron sheeting, and wonderful times climbing trees and riding Freckles and Prince the ponies. Just thinking of those names takes me right back to the farm.

My cousin was staying with me last week. Despite the fact that he's 17 years older than me, he says that Patricia St John's Treasures of the Snow is the book that reminds him most about our Grandmother as well. Except for the Bible, of course.

Mary Jones was another of these friends of my childhood. I was surprised that Cousin Dee couldn't remember her as well, but he couldn't. I narrated her story in my best CM style, and although he thought it sounded sort of familiar he didn't feel any bonds of affection at all.

Jemimah and Mary are good friends now though. Jemimah finished reading Mary's story yesterday, and she hasn't stopped talking about her amazing tenacity since.

The story of how young Welsh Mary Jones saved for six long years for enough money for a Bible and then when she was 16 walked 25 miles to the home of Thomas Charles to purchase one is really quite inspirational when you're nine.

Jemimah read Mary Jones and Her Bible, Mary Carter's 1949 revision of Emily Ropes' original 1892 book because that was the version that was dear to me from my childhood. In fact, she read the very same copy! If I were going to recommend a version to you, Emily Ropes' original, The Story of Mary Jones and Her Bible is the better book. It is back in print and is available from Amazon here. You can read it online, or upload it to your Kindle for free here.

And for those of you who haven't yet met my very special childhood friend, Mary, here is her story for young children. It is worth watching, even if just to listen to the narrator's beautifully lyrical Welsh accent.

I hope you love her too.


  1. Yes, Star & I read Mary's story when Star was about 9 too! ☺

  2. I love that Jemimah and Madison are close in age! That way, you share all your vast knowledge about books with me so she gets a great education. I must say, you rock!

  3. Oh I loved that book as a young girl, I loved Patricia St John's books too :-)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this treasure! I just loaded it onto my Kindle. My daughters love to read and it's so hard to find good, godly fiction!

  5. Mary is inspiritational for grown ups as well! :) I was only introduced to Mary Jones myself a few years ago .... and she and I are now very good friends - and I have introduced her to my children as well, almost as soon as I met her. :)

  6. Thanks for introducing me to Mary:) I in turn will introduce her to Rebekah:)

  7. This is a book I remember well from childhood and I still have that same copy, complete with tatty dust jacket. Thank you for posting the video!

  8. Have never heard of it! Looks good though! xxx

  9. Dear Jeanne,

    My name is Benjamin Bernier,

    I am a pastor, and homeschool dad of seven boys, who made his doctoral dissertation studying Charlotte Mason's Philosophy.

    I came across your blog looking to contact people with an appreciation for Charlotte Mason's philosophy who would like to know about my recent publication:

    Scale How 'Meditations' by Charlotte M. Mason,

    The meditations are mainly a record of a series of Sunday talks delivered by Mason during the year 1898, at the House of Education, "Scale How" in Ambleside Uk, where she presents a verse by verse commentary on the first chapters of the Gospel according to St. John.

    I found this collection while doing research at the Armitt library in Ambleside. Most people are not aware that Mason wrote these, and that they are an amazing source of devotional inspiration, a direct disclosure of Mason's religious views and instructive in the art of Christian meditation.

    That is why I am spreading the word so that more people may benefit from this important resource in Charlotte Mason's work.

    Let me know if you have any question,

    You may find more information at my blog:

    Thank you for your time and attention,
    At your service,

    Benjamin Bernier

    “This duty of devout meditation seems to me the most important part of the preparation of the mother or other teacher who would instruct children in the things of the Divine life.”
    Charlotte M. Mason.

    The Rev. Dr. Benjamin E. Bernier

  10. Oh I had a similar experience last week when my 8 year old son met my old friends from my childhood, Pixie, Saucepan & Moon Face! He read the Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton that I loved as a child and he love it too. Very special. xo

  11. Chuckly, Chef Penny - I think you are the one who can take credit for your daughter's great education, not me!!!!!

  12. I have Mary Jones and her Bible here that was my aunties and have never read it, so now inspired I will have to.

  13. No, no. She would not be reading these great books without your reviews.

  14. I love the story of Mary Jones, taking no shoes for her journey, but just the money she'd saved for her Bible, and a bit of bread and cheese. How like the apostles of her to choose to trek all those miles in perfect faith in nothing but the plain, honest, bare feet that would have taken her to school to learn to read it.

  15. My three girls have all loved this story, we own the same copy as you. We are also big fans of Patricia St John books and Treasures of the Snow was the first one we ever read. I think it will always be our favourite! x


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