Arnold: 'Culture and Anarchy' and Other Writings

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 18, 1993 - History - 248 pages
Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy (1869) is one of the most celebrated works of social criticism ever written. It has become an inescapable reference-point for all subsequent discussion of the relations between politics and culture, and it has exercised a profound influence both on conceptions of the distinctive nature of British society, and on ideas about education and the teaching of literature more generally. This edition establishes the authoritative text of this much-revised work, and places it alongside Arnold's three most important essays on political subjects - Democracy, Equality, and The Function of Criticism at the Present Time. The editor's substantial introduction situates these works in the context both of Arnold's life and other writings, and of nineteenth-century intellectual and political history. This edition also contains a chronology of Arnold's life, a bibliographical guide and full notes on the names, books, and historical events mentioned in the texts.

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Contents

Sweetness and Light
58
Doing as One Likes
81
Barbarians Philistines Populace
102
Hebraism and Hellenism
126
Porro Unum Est Necessariurrr
138
Our Liberal Practitioners
153
Conclusion
180
Preface to Culture and Anarchy 1869
188
EQUALITY 1878
212
Index
241
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Matthew Arnold, a noted poet, critic, and philosopher, was born in England on December 24, 1822 and educated at Oxford University. In 1851, he was appointed inspector of schools, a position he held until 1880. Arnold also served as a professor of poetry at Oxford, during which time he delivered many lectures that ultimately became essays. Arnold is considered a quintessential proponent of Victorian ideals. He argued for higher standards in literature and education and extolled classic virtues of manners, impersonality and unanimity. After writing several works of poetry, Arnold turned to criticism, authoring such works as On Translating Homer, Culture and Anarchy, and Essays in Criticism. In these and other works, he criticized the populace, especially the middle class, whom he branded as "philistines" for their degrading values. He greatly influenced both British and American criticism. In later life, he turned to religion. In works such as Literature and Dogma and God and the Bible, he explains his conservative philosophy and attempts to interpret the Bible as literature. Arnold died from heart failure on April 15, 1888 in Liverpool, England.

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