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Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888) was an influential British poet, literary and social critic and inspector of schools. Arnold is now best known for his book of essays, Culture and Anarchy, published in 1869, in which he attacked what he regarded as English complacency and parochialism and argued for higher aesthetic, intellectual and moral standards. Arnold was also concerned that the working class, which he labelled ‘the populace’, should be saved from the ‘philistinism’ of the middle classes and their ‘bad civilisation’. Arnold is credited with popularising the term ‘philistinism’, which he is said to have borrowed from Heinrich Heine, and it is a word Schreiner made use of to describe the nature of white colonial South African society, particularly in the early 1890s.
For further information see:
Matthew Arnold (1869) Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism London: John Murray
Matthew Arnold (1996-2001) The Letters of Matthew Arnold (ed. C. Y. Lang, 6 vols.) Charlottesville, USA: University Press of Virginia
Stefan Collini (2004) ‘Arnold, Matthew (1822-1888)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/679
Stefan Collini (1994) Matthew Arnold: A Critical Portrait Oxford: Clarendon Press
Nicholas Murray (1996) A Life of Matthew Arnold London: Hodder & Stoughton
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