By Stefan Collini, Richard Whatmore, Brian Young
Glossy British highbrow background has been a very flourishing box of enquiry lately, and those tightly built-in volumes comprise significant new essays through just about all of its prime proponents. The participants research the historical past of British principles over the last centuries from a couple of views that jointly represent an immense new evaluate of the topic. background, faith, and tradition starts off with eighteenth-century historiography, in particular Gibbon's Decline and Fall. It takes up diversified features of where of faith in nineteenth-century cultural and political existence, corresponding to attitudes in the direction of the local religions of India, the Victorian notion of Oliver Cromwell, and the spiritual sensibility of John Ruskin. eventually, in discussions which diversity as much as the center of the 20 th century, the amount explores relatives among medical rules approximately switch or improvement and assumptions in regards to the nature and progress of the nationwide group.
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Extra resources for History, Religion, and Culture: British Intellectual History 1750-1950
The present essay is a summary of a theme presented in greater detail in my forthcoming study, Society and Sentiment; Genres of Historical Narrative in Britain, –. Mark Salber Phillips importance in shaping the narrative and especially in governing the audience’s emotional response to events. Hume’s retrospect on Clarendon points, then, to two kinds of distance. The first is the distance that separates the historian from the specific past under description. This is the sense of distance with which historians are most familiar.
Historical distance and the historiography of Britain illustration from a younger writer who was also a master of the ironic voice. 6 This (and much else in the same delicious vein) is the work of the sixteenyear-old Jane Austen, who wrote this solemn spoof for the entertainment of her family. Clearly, we would be misjudging very severely if we thought that in this little circle of readers (or really auditors), the ironic voice added up to simple distanciation. Let me turn now to the second part of my discussion, which is the question of genre.
At first sight, it may be the contrast or differences between the two essays which seem most striking. The nub of the contrast could be exaggerated by saying that whereas Mandler is struck by the relative absence of thinking along nationalist lines in English social thought, Stapleton emphasises its pervasiveness. More specifically, Mandler’s essay explores some of the reasons for the relative weakness, in comparison to other European countries at the time, of racial and nationalist thinking in Britain in the mid-Victorian decades between and .