Gilbert J. Childs

Gilbert J. Childs (1923-2013) was a respected author on many aspects of Steiner-Waldorf education and anthroposophy.

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Dr Gilbert J. Childs
(1923-2013)

Dr Gilbert J. Childs was born in 1923 near Chepstow on the Welsh-English border. After the War he attended the Steiner-Waldorf teacher training course at Michael Hall, England, and he subsequently taught in Steiner-Waldorf schools in both Germany and England. He later qualified as a teacher in the English state system, and also taught English in Hong Kong. His PhD focused on the evolutionary principles in Steiner's educational theories and he was the author of many books on different aspects of anthroposophy (see below for a partial bibliography).

He served with the British Army in World War II, initially in the tank corps where his unit was tasked with laying tank traps on the Isle of Wight, in preparation for a possible invasion. He damaged his foot and didn't travel with his unit to Burma; all other members of his unit were subsequently killed, apart from the commanding officer. Later in the war, he served in intelligence on translation duties.

He was married twice, with two sons from his first marriage. Sylvia, his second wife, died in 1996, three years after their marriage, but in that time they founded Fir Tree Press together, a small publishing company.

He lived in Bisley, Stroud in England throughout his retirement, where he continued to write and was an avid gardener. He died on 4 February 2013, aged 89.


C J Moore of Floris Books writes:

I often visited Gilbert at his cottage in Bisley when we were working on various titles. He was always a warm and entertaining host, and a great conversationalist, drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of Rudolf Steinerís work, especially in the field of child education and development. His second wife, Sylvia, whom he married late in life, became a driving force behind him, coaxing and encouraging him to write, a pressure on which he obviously thrived. Her tragic death so soon after they had married was a great blow to him, but he rallied round and kept going, as she would have wanted, and with the formidable sense of purpose which characterised all that he did.

I can still see him showing me his biodynamically-grown vegetables, strong and flourishing, alongside lesser rows of conventional planting which he had set up to show the difference. It was a revealing gesture which demonstrated the depth of his conviction and the plain evidence of the results. He would have seen the young products of Steiner education in the same way, with the same calm sureness.

Books by Gilbert J. Childs


5 + 7 = 12 Senses: Rudolf Steiner's Contribution to the Psychology of Perception (Fir Tree Press, 1996)


Balancing Your Temperament (Sophia Books, 1999)


Education and Beyond: Steiner and the Problems of Modern Society (Floris Books, 1996)


From Birthlessness, Through Self-Created Destiny, to Deathlessness (Fir Tress Press, 1996)


The Journey Continues: Finding a New Relationship to Death (with Sylvia Childs; Sophia Books, 1998)


The Realities of Prayer (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1994, 2000)


Gilbert Childs, Rudolf Steiner: His Life and Word cover image

Rudolf Steiner: His Life and Work

(Floris Books, 1995, 2003)

A popular biography of one of the most creative and prolific figures of the early twentieth century.

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Secrets of Esoteric Christianity: The Two Marys, the Two Families of Jesus, and the Incarnation of Christ (Temple Lodge, 2006)


Gilbert Childs, Steiner Education in Theory and Practice cover image

Steiner Education in Theory and Practice

(Floris Books, 1991)

A detailed account of Rudolf Steiner's view of children, and the role education must play in their successful development.

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Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Steiner-Waldorf Education As a Demand of Our Time (Temple Lodge, 1999)


Understand Your Temperament! A Guide to the Four Temperaments (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009)


Your Reincarnating Child: Welcoming a Soul to the World (with Sylvia Childs; Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996, 2005)

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