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Culture and Anarchy and Celtic Literature

Culture and Anarchy and Celtic Literature (Paperback)

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Culture and Anarchy is considered Arnold's masterpiece, a consideration of the idea of culture leading out to sweeping critiques of ninenteenth-century British social, political, ecclesiastical and educational issues. It is here coupled with his essay on Celtic Literature, which extends a principal concern with literature ot touch on philology, national character and education.

Matthew Arnold was born in Middlesex in 1822, the son of a headmaster of Rugby public school. He was educated at Winchester, Rugby and Oxford, becoming briefly a Fellow before leaving academia for work and travel followed by being appointed an inspector of schools, a post which informed many of his essays and in which he produced a series of trenchant educational reports championing his ideas on culture, society and education until his retirement in 1886. At the same time, he started publishing poetry in 1849, and produced a range of lyric, elegiac, narrative and dramatic verse over the next decade, of which The Scholar Gypsy and Dover Beach are the best-known items. In 1858 he was appointed to the chair of professor of poetry at Oxford, but published only one more volume of poetry himself, in 1867. He turned his attention instead to essays, first in literary criticism (criticism of vernacular literatures being then a new field) then society, politics and culture, and finally, in the 1870s, theology, though the essays frequently range across these disciplines with few separations. Culture and Anarchy, published in 1869, is considered his greatest single work. Matthew Arnold died in 1888.

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