Boy's Own Paper,  2 (1879–80), 60–62.

Some Boys Who Became Famous. The Boy Who Built the Crystal Palace



Regular Feature, Essay


Engineers, Education, Natural History, Botany, Horticulture, Reading, Architecture, Endeavour, Creativity, Progress

    Begins by upholding England as 'the nursery of self-made men', and proceeds to an account of the life of Joseph Paxton, emphasising his refusal to 'sit down quietly and let the world take its course', his enjoyment of the natural world, and his reading 'about trees and flowers' (60–61). Describes how Paxton was hired to work for William G S Cavendish (6th Duke of Devonshire) at Chatsworth House, and outlines how he 'worked with unfailing effort' and overcame setbacks to design the Crystal Palace. Stresses that Paxton 'had nothing to aid him but his own purpose, and the desire for improvement, and that you, however poor you may be, may live as successfully as he did, if you determine to use faithfully the talents committed to you by God'. Urges readers that although they may not leave a great palace to humanity they can 'leave the world better than you found it', and then draws attention to Paxton's simple life, modest opinions, and gentle manners, and his later achievements and accolades. (62)

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