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Art, Politics and Society in Britain (1880-1914): Aspects of Modernity and Modernism

Art, Politics and Society in Britain (1880-1914): Aspects of Modernity and Modernism (Hardback)

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Synopsis

The oldest word in politics is "new". The oldest word in the writing of history may well be "modern": it is, without doubt, one of the most overworked adjectives in the English language. But the indeterminacy is perhaps just another way of saying that the difficulties raised are of a kind which simply will not go away...This collection of eight essays on aspects of modernity and modernism takes up the challenge of examining the complex, but fascinating convergence of aesthetics, politics and a quasi-spiritual dimension which is perhaps typical of British modernist thinking about modernity. This may have produced figures whom we now dismiss as eccentrics or "aesthetes", it none the less produced figures whom many still think of as in some sense embodying the national identity: what, after all, could be more "English" than a William Morris wallpaper design?

Rather than towards socialism in any of its "scientific" guises, what the British modernist approach to modernity may have been pushing at was yet another mutation of liberalism: a libertarian-humanitarian hybrid in which indigenous radical and Evangelical legacies keep scientific socialism in check, where fellowship and domesticity edge out a larger-scale, more abstract "fraternity", and where citoyennete or civisme give way to what George Orwell was later to define simply as "decency".

Art, Fashion & PhotographyArt monographs, history & theoryArts: general issues & referenceHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistoryEnglish Civil WarHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish history Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Publication Date: 01/11/2009 ISBN-13: 9781443813648  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Trevor Harris is Professor of British Civilisation in the Department of English Studies at the Universite Francois-Rabelais, Tours, France. He has worked extensively on the intellectual history of Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and on British foreign policy. His most recent book is Une Certaine idee de l'Angleterre in the collection "L'Histoire au present" (Paris: Armand Colin, 2006).

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