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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

XV. Education

§ 24. The Oxford Tutorial System

Wallis, opposing Maidwell in 1700, maintained that the Oxford tutorial system was an equivalent, and more, of the continental privata collegia, or teaching by Seminar, which Maidwell had said did not exist in England. It is instructive to find two popular manuals by Cambridge tutors, Waterland’s Advice to a young Student (1706), and Green’s ’E[char] (1707), recommending the reading of the best English writers as well as books on the new philosophy, in addition to those on the classical, mathematical and philosophical studies of the customary course. At Cambridge, in 1730, Locke’s Essay and works by English and foreign philosophers and men of science were in use. English essays were regularly prepared for the Oxford tutors at Magdalen, in 1749, and at Hertford, in 1747. Where the tutor was interested in intellectual pursuits and, at the same time, took his tutoring seriously, the extension of the pupil’s studies (especially if the latter was responsive) was almost inevitable. That there were such tutors, and that opportunities existed for a wide range of studies at both Oxford and Cambridge between 1660 and 1760, are facts easily demonstrated.