The Tutoring Method
The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1870.
Mentioned recently by Sarah A. Hoyt at her blog, According To Hoyt:
It was one of my very favorite books in childhood, and I haven’t read it since becoming a mother. Reading it now is both fascinating and surprising.
… [B]eing the story of a boy’s childhood just around (I think) the Centennial, it’s eye opening and enlightening.
At one time the grandfather of the protagonist says “what a rascal you are, just as I was at your age, forever tumbling from scrape to scrape.” It’s largely how I was too, as a tomboy, if on a slightly less grand scale, since we didn’t have a coastline near the village, nor cannons to fire. Because that’s some of the stuff they do: go sailing in a storm, fire a cannon, set fire to a coach…
At best, in our day they’d be considered juvenile delinquents. At worst, they’d be medicated/counseled/confined.