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By 1923, Charlotte Mason had long been enjoying widespread acclaim for her educational achievements. Her two biographers faced critical challenges caused by her personal reticence. Her father, Joshua Mason, a widower, was descended from dynamic Cumbrian Quaker teachers. Charlotte was born before wedlock to her Catholic mother, Margaret Shaw. Mention of her government-funded teacher-training was avoided. Friendships and health issues determined the course of her life and work.