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This is a reprint of the 1898 Heath edition, abridged from the original very long work, and translated by Eva Channing. First published in German in several volumes between 1781 and 1787, Leonard and Gertrude was a literary success as the first realistic representation of rural life in that language. It describes how an ideal woman exposes corrupt practices and, by her well-ordered home life, sets a model for the village school and the larger community. "The important role of the mother in early education is a recurrent theme in Pestalozzi's writings. Leonard and Gertrude occupies a somewhat peculiar position in literature, since it is neither precisely a story nor a pedagogical treatise, " wrote translator Eva Channing in her introduction. "The village of Bonnal is intended to typify the world, and in describing it, the author expresses his views on some of the greatest social and political questions of all ages. "