Reading the Federalist Papers, I’m really impressed by the command that the American Founders had not only of the language but also models of philosophy, history, and politics.

What would a good classical education have looked like at this time? What classic nonfiction books would they have read as they grew up? What literature?

Edit: I’m supposed to provide evidence of prior research, but I’m not a historian and I have no idea where to start. I’m currently reading through accounts of CS Lewis’s education (150 years later, I know) since I seem to recall him talking about what a classical education was or should be.

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    Welcome to History:Stack Exchange. Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like many other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions. – MCW Feb 7 at 0:41
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    Originally, a Liberal Arts education consisted of the trivium - composed of Grammar (both Latin and Greek), Logic, and Rhetoric; and the quadrivium - composed of Arithmetic (including up to moderately complex Number Theory, Geometry (Euclid's Elements), Music, and Astronomy (which would include a solid foundation in Mechanics at least). – Pieter Geerkens Feb 7 at 0:48
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    Click on the 'education' tag and you'll find some related questions there, some of which will partially answer your question. Also, googling 'education in georgian england' throws up some results. – Lars Bosteen Feb 7 at 1:16
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    Aristocracy, nobility, gentry and haute bourgeois with social pretension (banking, international venture trade) would be expected to either game (horse, hunting, cards, dice, women) and/or to attend to culture (limited classics, plays and theatre, fine arts, musical recitation in domestic chamber or concert, courtesans). A side effect was a basic familiarity with Greco-Roman themes, especially when appearing suitably cultural was advantageous. Gentlemen would often take a “continental tour” with a selected suitable advisor. – Samuel Russell Feb 7 at 1:24
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    @AndrewKvochick: Eton College was already over 300 years old by the time of your question, having been founded by henry VI in 1440. – Pieter Geerkens Feb 7 at 2:11

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