Idea of Culture

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    ESSAYS IN C R IT IC ISMA QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF LITERARY CRITICISM

    Volume I I I Ju ly X953 N o. 3

    The Idea of CultureRAYMOND WILLIAMS(1) The Idea and the Word

    1. THE idea of Culture, in contemporary English thinking, isof considerable com plexity. It is widely cu rren t in history, incriticism, and in sociology, yet often without definition, andobviously w ith a mark ed ra nge of m eaning. Its scientific uses,in agriculture and in bacteriology, are also widely current, buthave a precise application which enables them to be readilydistingu ished . Its use in anthropolog y, however, belongs to themain complex, and must be discussed within the general field.In history the term has two main uses, which it is necessaryto distinguish. O n the one han d , cu lture signifies 'the intellec-tual side of civilization' a common dictionary definition; onthe other, it frequently signifies a narrower field, 'the generalbody of the arts ' . U nd er the former headin g, culture includesthe philosophy and thought of a period, its religious modes andbeliefs, its scientific work and theories, its general scholarship,and its arts. 'Intelle ctu al an d spiritual activities' is a com m onpa rap hra se. But the narro w er definition of culture , solely interms of the arts , also hold s. In g ene ral speech, indeed, thisuse is perh aps the m ore frequent.The variation requires notice, although estimates of itssignificance will differ. It is the next major sense, how ever,which is m ore likely to cause confusion. Fo r culture is used insociology and social anthropology in the sense of 'a whole wayof life', and the impact of these studies upon general thinkinghas led to similar uses in history and in criticism. In socialanthropology the best use of culture as a social term is still a

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    2 4 O E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mmatter of dispute, but a common use has emerged, which issufficient for reco gnition . Dew ey, in Freedom and Culture, pro-vides a text:

    The state of culture [he writes] is a state of interaction ofmany factors, the chief of which are law and politics,industry and commerce, science and technology, the artsof expression and communication, and of morals, or thevalues men prize and the ways in which they evaluatethem; and finally, though indirectly, the system of generalideas used by m en to justify an d to criticize the fundam entalconditions under which they live, their social philosophy.'This complex of conditions which taxes the terms upon whichhuman beings associate and live together', he writes again, ' issummed up in the word Culture.'This use of the term is growing, in spite of the range of factwhich it attem pts to includ e. T h e growth of com parativestudies of society, and the strong tendency to wish to studysocieties as wholes, obviously require some such term. Cultureis more neutral tfian civilization, and for this reason has beenincreasingly applied to our own kind of society, as well as tosimpler kinds. And one m igh t set it aside as a technical te rmfor the study of society, without admitting it into general use,w ere it not t h a t in other studies a sim ilar shift is often ap pa ren t.In criticism, for example, the desire to relate works of art tothe society in which they were produced has led to a verysim ilar use. From Ruskin and Arnold to Eliot, R ead andLeavis, this extension of a critic's activities in the ju dg m en t ofworks of ar t to the study and thenc e th e jud gm en t of 'a wholeway of life', has been a m arked elem ent of the English tradition .These critics, and others like them, have certainly always beenconcerned with the arts, and beyond them with 'the intellectualside of civilization', but from Ruskin's ideas of wealth to Eliot'sideas of class there has been this distinctive tradition of influen-tial social thinking, by men who took their experience of thearts as a starting poi nt. A nd the key word in these inquiries,as a glance merely at titles will confirm, has been Culture.

    From these two sources, then, the use of culture to indicate 'away of life' is passing in to o rdin ary speech . But the re is yet

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 4 Ianother sense, of considerable historical importance, which iscertain ly still active in langu ag e. I t is a sense m ore difficultto define than any other that has been noted, but it may beparaphrased as 'a standard of perfection', and classified as adescription of an idea l state of m ind . As such, it is perhapsnecessarily v ague, b ut it is m uch too imp orta nt to be over-looked. It m ay be recognized by its no rm al association with'perfection', and clearly owes much, for its currency, to Arnold.There is a quality of mind, an ideal of personality, which is byits nature not susceptible to definition, but which is claimed asof the very highest va lue . 'C ul tu re is w ha t is left w hen all thefacts you have learned have been forgotten'; it may perhapsbe recognized there. Culture is undogmatic, seeketh not itsow n; is hu m an e, tolerant, doth not behav e itself unseemly. 'Am an of cu ltu re ', in this sense, is recognizab le n ot by any specificattributes, but by certain general qualities best perceived byothers of the same kind. T he use, th a t is to say, is difficult, bu tit cann ot be left ou t of accoun t. Sensibility, refinement, goodtaste, bree din g: all are its adju tants. W hen o ne recalls the otheruses in general currency, and their likely concomitance withthis, the complexity of the general idea of Culture will perhapsbe sufficiently apparent.2. In attempting to define culture in its sense of 'a state ofmind', one encountered immediately those cross-currents anddeposits of emotional association which further complicate theuse of the idea a nd the wo rd. I t is not only hostility, as ex-pressed by many of the newspapers and by the classes whichthey rep rese nt. Fo r these, cu lture is affected, pretentiou s,precious, highbrow the flow of little expletives is familiarenough . T h e pu rsuit of so-called c ultu re is m ainly by so-calledintellectuals; hothouse culture is at best a kind of old-fashionedand unsuccessful entertainment.Nor is it only the stocktaking brevity of the word in politicaldiscussion, where culture appears in manifestoes as a para-graph at the end of the Social Services, or in military treatiesas one of the saving clauses of the 'a rts of pe ac e'. In verbalroutines of this kind, culture is norm ally a 'de pa rtm en t' of w ha tis known as 'leisure-time activity'; it is, undoubtedly, of thevery greatest value we will have some if we can afford it.

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    2 4 2 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S MBut the hostility and the indifference might be discounted(let the dead bury their dead, although it is worth seeing howthe dea th cam e ab ou t). Yet even amon g those who practise in

    the arts or in education, the word, culture, has often a tone ofem barrassed paro dy . Ind eed , to use it seriously, in othe r tha n aprofessional context, is often to convict oneself of the en thusiasmof E. M. Forster's Leonard Bast, or to announce that one'sculture is a matter of aspiration rather than of practice (' thosewho have it do not talk about i t ' ) . A person of culture, we say, isalmost current, but is used only by the gently senile or theseedily genteel. A cultured voice, we recognize, is the desperateparenthesis of a tiring or tiro novelist. A man of wide culture isjournalese for a public man who reads books.A bstrac tion, snobbery an d fear are facts, an d it is no t su rpris-ing tha t they have left their m ark on this difficult idea a nd word .W e no te the marks, no t to set them aside, b ut to assemble th em ,as ac tive senses of culture, along w ith the more formal definitions.For every phase of the word is part of the history of the idea.3. The history of a word is in the series of meanings which adictionary defines; the relevance of a word is in common lan-guag e. T he dictionary indicates a con temp orary scheme of thepast; the active word, in speech or in writing, indicates all thathas becom e presen t. T o distinguish the interaction is to dis-tinguish a tradition a mo de of history; and then in experiencewe set a value on the trad ition a mode of criticism . T he con-tinuing process, and the consequent decisions, are then thematter of action in society.The history of the word culture is interesting. Its no rm alprimary meaning, since medieval times, has been 'cultivation(of the land)', which was also the sense of its French and Latinante ced ents . From ab ou t 1420, it was widely used in Englishin this direct sense. As early as 1483, how ever, it was be ingused, figuratively, to mean 'worship', a sense in which it waspreceded by cult, which, in a weaker sense, we still have. Fromthe early seventeenth century, culture was extended to the culti-vation of both plants and animals, with something of the senseof 'bre ed ing '. It was then further extended to the sphere ofhuman development; Sir Thomas More has a phrase ' to theculture and profit of their mindes', and Hobbes, in Leviathan

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 4 3( I I , xxx i, 189), writes of the ed uc ation of childre n as 'a C ultu reof the ir m ind s'. Hobb es also used the word in the sense of'physical cu lture ' , to describe the train ing of the body. Theseuses persisted, and culture was recognized as a figurative termfor the 'refinem ent of m ind, faculties an d m an ne rs' . But thereference was always to a process, never to an achieved state.Cu lture was the act of trainin g, and never an entity. Th usJohnson, in Rasselas, writes of a person that 'she neglected theculture of her understanding' ; a century later he might havewritten that 'she was deficient in culture'.The decisive change came in the first hah0 of the nineteenthcentury. W ordsworth, writing of pop ular education in TheExcursion, is still conscious of the figurative sense of the word:

    . . . that noneHowever destitute, be left to droopBy timely culture unsustained. . . .But in The Prelude (XIII , 193-9, l85\ X 1 1 , !92-8, 1805), whilecombating the argument that ' love' depends on ' leisure' andits advantages, Wordsworth writes:

    Must live within the very light and airOf courteous usages refined by art(Of elegances that are made by man 1805).True is it, where oppression worse than deathSalutes the Being at his birth, where graceOf culture hath been utterly unknown,And poverty and labour in excess(And labour in excess and poverty 1805)From day to day preoccupy. . . .

    This use of culture, it seems to m e, is genu inely transition al. Ithas elements of the old sense of process, but it can be read alsoin the developed nineteenth-century sense of an absolute. How-ever this may be (and I think myself that it is the first signifi-cantly modern use), the development of culture as a concept,the idea of cu lture , was thereafter r ap id . A t the end of the'development is Arnold, in Culture and Anarchy (1869): 'Culture,disinterestedly seeking in its aim at perfection to see things asthey really are. ' But already, before Arn old, the word was

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 4 5In this un de rstan din g, the developm ent of the idea of Culturehas played a vitally im po rtan t pa rt. It is necessary to exam inethis development, for two reasons: first, because it is in itself a

    part of history, and as such needs constant reference to thefacts of social development as a whole; and, second, because ithas been and remains an important formative concept, yet onewhich has never been adequately traced or value d. W e arelooking back into history, observing tendencies and forces,discovering theses and categories. T he process tends always toabstraction, and this, within its limits, is a proper procedure.But the history of ideas is only temporarily a special study; thedanger, for the critic, is that he will fail to realize sufficientlythe intimate and complex relations between ideas and theothe r products of m an 's hie in society. An idea can be assignedto a man or to a book, and the history of ideas to a series ofisolated me n or group s. But we need a m ore tha n ord ina ryawareness of that pressure of active and general life which ismisrepresented entirely by description as 'bac kg rou nd '. T he reare no backgrounds in society; there are only relations of actsan d forces. T he idea of cu lture is not to be considered as aprocess of independent evolution; it is shaped and at timesdirected by the total environment to which it is one kind ofresponse.It is not enough, then, to note the first emphasis of the ideain Arnold; nor is it enough, although it is important, to gobehind A rnold to his imm ediate precursors. T he idea of cultureis a focusing of a nu m be r of pa rticu lar responses to change, andwhat is now required is an analysis of these responses, in termsof the changes which conditioned them. I propose, as a m atter ofworking convenience, three heads unde rw hich this analysis maybe begu n. Th ey are , first, the idea of a sta nd ard of perfection,ground for ultimate valuation; second, the new conceptions ofart, and of the artist, and the consequent re-definition of theirrelation to the rest of society; and, third, the process of devel-opment of Cultivation into Culture, with reference to thechanging relations between social classes. I propose to e xam ine,un de r these three heads, w hat may properly be called the firstph ase : the emergence of these issues at the time of the Ind us tria lRevolution and the first major impact of industrialism, and on

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    2 4 6 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Minto early V ictorian Englan d. This acco unt should then providethe necessary ground for the subsequent analysis of moredeveloped systems of ideas in this field.

    (11) The Standard of Perfection5 . One of the needs which the idea of Culture was to supplym ay be seen very well in this paragraph from the beginning ofN e w m a n ' s Discourse V, On the Scope and Nature of University

    Education (1 8 5 2 ) :It were well if the English, like the Greek language,possessed some definite word to express, simply andgenerally, intellectual proficiency or perfection, such as' heal th ' , as used with reference to the animal frame, and'virtue', with reference to our moral nature. I am notable to find such a term; talent, ability, genius, belongdistinctly to the raw material, which is the subject-matter,not to that excellence which is the result of exercise andtraining. When we turn, indeed, to the particular kinds ofintellectual perfection, words are forthcoming for our pur-pose, as, for instance, judg m ent, taste, and skill; yet eventhese belong, for the most pa rt, to powers or habits bearingupon practice or upon art, and not to any perfect conditionof the in tellect, considered in itself. Wisdom, again, whichis a more comprehensive word than any other, certainlyhas a direct relation to conduct and to hu m an life. K now -ledge, indeed, and Science express pure ly inte llectu al ideas,but still not a state or habi t of the intellect; for knowledge,in its ordinary sense, is but one of its circumstances, den ot-ing a possession or a faculty; and science has been appro-priated to the subject-matter of the intellect, instead ofbelonging at present, as it ought to do, to the intellectitself. The consequence is that , on an occasion like this,many words are necessary, in order, first, to bring out andconvey what surely is no difficult idea in itself that ofthe cultivation of the intellect as an end; next, in order torecommend what surely is no unreasonable object; andlastly, to describe and make the mind realize the part icularperfection in which that object exists.

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 4 7This is surely a remarkable paragraph; first, for the characteris-tic subtlety of Newman's analysis; second, for its clear insightinto a growing need; an d third , strangely, for the fact tha t N ew-man did not meet the want of the 'definite word' with culture,as a generation later, from a similar analysis, he would haveseemed certain to do. It is the more rem arka ble, this finalpoint, because in his writings on university educ ation N ew m anis the first English writer to use the word culture with anythinglike its contem porary frequency. T he word he actua lly suggests,with some hesitation , is philosophy; bu t this is less im po rta nt th anthe cue he undoubtedly gave to Arnold.

    In fact, however, N ew m an himself had been preced ed. Hisanalysis is in terms of 'a state or habit of the intellect', a 'par-ticular perfection', and he makes the express analogy with'hea lth '. It is interesting to take his analysis back to a vitalpassage in Coleridge's fifth chapter in the tract On the Constitu-tion of Church and State (1 8 3 0 ) :

    The permanency of the nation . . . and its progressivenessand personal freedom . . . depen d on a continuing an d pro -gressive civilization. Bu t civilization is itself bu t a mixed1good, if not far more a corrupting influence, the hectic ofdisease, not the bloom of health, and a nation so distin-guished more fitly to be called a varnished than a polishedpeople, where this civilization is not grounded in cultiva-tion, in the harmonious development of those qualities andfaculties that characterize our humanity.

    Here, quite obviously, Coleridge is attempting to set up astandard of 'health ' to which a more certain appeal may bem ade th an to the 'm ixed good' of 'civilization'. H e finds thisstandard in 'cultivation', and goes on to use 'cultivation' forthe first time to denote an abstract condition, a 'state or habit ' .He ends his discussion of the function of the National Churchwith these words:And of especial importance is it to the objects here con-templated, that only by the vital warmth diffused by thesetruths throughout the many, and by the guiding lightfrom the ph ilosophy, w hich is the basis of div inity , possessed

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    2 4 8 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mby the few, can either the community or its rulers fullycomprehend, or rightly appreciate, the permanent distinction,and the occasional contrast between cultivation and civilization; o rbe made to understand this most valuable of the lessonstaught by history, and exemplified alike in her oldest andher most recent records that a nation can never be atoo cultivated, but may easily become an over-civilized,race.

    'The permanent distinction and the occasional contrast ' ; andColeridge has already spoken of cultivation as ' the ground, thenecessary antecedent condition, of both . . . permanency andprogressiveness'.His analysis, clearly, has wider implications than Newman's.In Newman, the idea is of 'a state or habit ' which as a processof perfection is an end in itself. For Coleridge the process iscertainly an end, bu t he is m uch m ore explicit abo ut its relationto the rest of hum an activity. Fo r he sees cultivation as thesource of health in a community, the guarantee against'corruption' .This analysis of Coleridge's is the first Idea of Culture, in itsm od ern sense. And in order to un ders tand it, we need to con-sider the nature of the 'corruption' against which this specificwas propo sed. It is bo th Liberalism, in its sense of a hab it ofmind, and Industrialism, in its sense of the reshaping of valuesconsequ ent upon economic and social ch an ge . O n the onehand, the 'corruption' is conveniently symbolized by Bentham;on the other, by the developments which prompted Coleridge'sfamous questions:

    Has the national welfare, have the weal and happiness o-the people, advanced with the increase of the circumstan-tial prosperity? Is the increasing nu m be r of w ealthy indifviduals that which ought to be understood by the wealthof the nation?(On the Constitution of Church and State, p. 67)

    If the opposition to utilitarianism gave the lead to Arnold, it,and these more direct questions, also gave the lead to Ruskin.The similar questionings of Carlyle were yet to come.

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 4 9The utilitarian calculus could only be set aside if a source ofinde pen den t value could be affirmed. 'M a n' , wrote J . S. M ill,'is never recognized by B entham as a being c apab le of pursuing

    spiritual perfection as an e nd .' M an , w as, of course, so recog-nized by many, but it was Coleridge who first attempted todefine, in terms of his changing society, the social conditions ofsuch a pu rsuit. H is cha racteristic em phasis, as in all his socialw ritings, is on institutions. Fo r he m ight assign the prom ptingsof perfection to 'the cultivated heart', and so apparently toman's inward consciousness, but his sense of society was suchthat he perceived the need for an agency of cultivation, in theform of a social institu tion. Cultivation , in fact, thou gh aninward was never a merely individual process. And hencecultivation could not remain merely an ideal of personality,but must be re-defined as an activity on which society as awho le dep end ed. In these circumstances, cultivation, or cul-ture, became an explicit factor in society.T h e vital new dep artu re was the distinction between Cultiva-tion and Civilization. Its imm ediate proven ance was clearly aresponse similar to tha t of W ordsw orth (in the Preface to thesecond edition of Lyrical Ballads, 1800):

    A multitude of causes, unknown to former times, are nowacting with a combined force to blunt the discriminatingpowers of the mind, and, unfitting it for all voluntaryexertion, to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor.The most effective of these causes are the great nationalevents which are daily taking place, and the increasingaccumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity oftheir occupations produces a craving for extraordinaryincident which the rapid communication of intelligencehourly gratifies.

    In such an environment, evidently, cultivation could not betaken for granted as a process, but must be stated as an abso-lute, as an ag reed cen tre for defence. Cu ltivation was isolatedprecisely because it had to be abstracted from one way of life,by way of preservation, an d the n transm itted a nd extended toanother and (in the view of Coleridge and Wordsworth)inferior w ay . Against m aterialism , the amassing of fortunes,

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    2 5 0 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mand the proposition of utility as the source of value, it offered adifferent an d a superior orde r. It was, in the first place, a nindividual standard, but Coleridge, as we have seen, extendedit to a social idea l. In th is, he was deeply affected by the ideasof Bu rke: the ideas of an 'organ ic society', of' tra d iti o n ', andof. the de term ina tion of values 'in relation to the historicalcom m un ity'. These were the conditions of con tinuity incultivation, the court of appeal by which a society construingits relationships in terms of the cash-nexus might be con-de m ne d. It was in terms of these values tha t cultivation m ightbe taken as the highest observable condition of society, and its'permanent distinction and occasional contrast ' with civiliza-tion dr aw n. The process of cultivation of the individ ua l wasthe process of perfection; and, as Burke had written, 'He whogave our nature to be perfected by our virtue willed also thenecessary means of its perfection: H e willed therefore the s ta te '.And the state, historically considered, was 'a partnership in allscience, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtuean d in all perfection'. It was in this spirit th at Coleridgeexam ined the constitution of the state, and proposed the end ow-m en t within it of a class ded icated to the preservation an d exten-sion of cu ltivation. In the face of the disintegra ting process ofindustrialism, cultivation had now more than ever to besocially assured.We shall see how this worked itself out in terms of actualclass relations, and the origin, in Coleridge, of the importantidea of a minority ded icated to the service of cu lture . Th is ideawas very closely linked, from the beginning, with the idea ofeduc ation, and is to be considered in th at context. T he sam elink, of course, is implicit in Newman; it is in the writings oneducation that Newman finds the idea of culture so useful.6. New m an's analysis of education is vitally im po rtant foran understanding of the nineteenth century, but I wish hereto show only the explicit relation which he made between theidea of culture an d the ide a of perfection. H ere is one of hiscentral statements:

    And so, as regards intellectual culture, I am far from deny-ing utility in this large sense as the end of education, when

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 5 II lay it down, that the culture of the intellect is a good initself an d its own end . . . As the body m ay be sacrificed tosome m anua l or other toil . . . so may the intellect bedevoted to some specific profession; and I do not call thisthe culture of the intellect. Ag ain, as some m em be r ororga n of the body m ay be inordinately used an d developed ,so may memory or imagination or the reasoning facility;and this again is no t intellectual culture . O n the otherhand, as the body may be tended, cherished and exercisedwith a simple view to its general he alth , so m ay the intellectalso be generally exercised in order to its perfect state; andthis is its cultivation.(Th e Scope and Nature of University Education, pp . 58 -9 )

    The assumption in arguments of this kind is, of course, that anideal perfection exists, as an obvious end . N ew m an pu ts thisquite clearly:There is a physical beauty and a moral: there is a beautyof person, there is a beauty of our moral being, which isnatural virtue; and in l ike manner there is a beauty, thereis a perfection, of the intellect. The re is an idea l perfectionin these various subject-matters, towards which individualinstances are seen to rise, and which are the standards forall instances whatever.(Th e Scope and Nature of University Education, p. 113)

    This metaphysical idea of the absolute standard cannot, ofcourse, be explained as a simple reaction to a society in whichvalues were being reconsidered on the new principle of utility.It is, rather, the assertion of a much older tradition against thechallenge of the new . But w ha t is im po rtant , historically, isth at this ideal perfection is receiving a new formu lation. W hereasits traditional sanction had been religious, its definition as thenineteenth century goes on is increasingly in terms of the newconcep t 'cu ltu re ' . A rnold, later, was to m ake a fairly clearsubstitution of Culture for Religion; but the basis of the sub-stitution had been laid earlier, and particularly by Coleridge.One would not expect such a substitution in Newman; indeedhe denounces it quite plainly as a heresy, in terms w hich m ightwell have been remembered at the end of the century:

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    2 5 2 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S MAccordingly, virtue being only one kind of beauty, theprinciple which determines what is virtuous is, not con-science, but taste.

    (The Scope and Mature of University Education, p. 192)The whole of Discourse VII is the essential religious reply tothe religion of Culture which later developed. Nevertheless,the tide was running against Newman's reservation. With thedefinition of culture in terms of perfection, and then with thedevelopment of culture from a process to an idea, from anact of train ing to an absolute .and saving cond ition, the oppor-tunity for the substitution was m ad e. Th is developm ent, toreligious men, was the negative consequence of the new idea.Its positive consequence, in general history, was that an ideahad been formulated which expressed value in terms inde-pendent of 'civilization', and hence, in a period of radicalcha nge , in terms indep end ent of the progress of society. T hestandard of perfection was now available, not merely to influ-ence society, but to ju dge it.(ra) The new concepts of Art, and the artist, and of their relation to

    society7. The idea of culture, at the stage which we have beenconsidering, had not yet acquired that close association withthe arts which has since been characteristic of it. Nevertheless,important changes had been taking place in the concept of art,

    and in the idea of the artist, which need to be understood if thesignificance of the later association is to be realized.1 T hecharacteristic of these changes was an increasing consciousnessof the special nature of art-activity, an d the a ttribu tion to suchactivity of certain special qualities of m ind. These develop -ments may now be examined more directly.1 1 have had to exclude here, for reasons of space, details of changes in the senseof art, artist, and genius; and of the development of artistic, artistical, authttics,

    atsthete, and tht arts. It is difficult fully to appreciate the nature of the changes inattitude without this evidence from language, but the tendency throughout is todistinction an d dissociation o f art and the artist; to genera lization about hithertoseparate arts; and the growth of the idea of art as a 'special kind of sensibility',rather than a skill. Art, in fact, becomes an absolute at about the same time, andin much the same terms, as Culture; and in general the decisive period of change inthe words is c. 1780 -1880 .

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 5 38. W ordsw orth, in the preface to the second edition of LyricalBallads (1800), marks a starting-point by contrast with subse-quent ideas:

    Among the qualities there enumerated, as principally con-ducing to form a Poet, is implied nothing differing in kindfrom other men, but only in degree.This moderate statement was to receive considerable amend-ment as the century progressed; indeed the conditions for itsamendment were already laid down when Wordsworth wrote.What came to be stressed, in the new ethos, was precisely thedifference of the artist, in kind, from other men.This development has many sources, but the first that claimsour atten tion is perh aps the most im po rtan t. T he artist 's differ-ence in kind could not have been stressed in th e way it w as if ithad not rested on the doctrine of 'the superior reality of art'.It is customary to attribute this doctrine to the rise of Roman-ticism, but in fact it is as much a part of Classicism, as thatcategory is norm ally defined. T he confusion of the R om an -ticism-Classicism controversy rests largely upon a confusionab ou t the natu re of ' im itatio n'. It is easy to reject ' im itatio n'as the basis of ar t if it is understo od as 'im itatio n -of worksalready done', that is to say 'conformity to a set of rules'. Thiswas the no rm al Ro m an tic interp retation of Classicism, and wasthe basis of the opposition between 'genius' an d 'stu dy '. Bu twhere, as in many classicist writers, 'imitation' was defined as'imitation of the universal reality', so that the artist's preceptsare not so much previous works of art as the 'universals', orpermanent realities, defined by Aristotle, the case is evidentlyaltered. A 'romantic' critic like Ruskin, for example, bases hiswho le theory of art on ju st such a 'classicist' do ctrine.The tendency of Romanticism, it is true, is a vehementrejection of dogmas of method in art: 'modern writers have achoice to make . . . they may soar in the regions of liberty, ormove in the soft fetters of easy imitation' (Young, Conjectures onOriginal Composition). But this rejection was accompanied bythe claim that through the exercise of'spontaneity' and 'naturalgenius', the artist would in fact 'read the open secret of theuniverse' (Carlyle), that is to say would be able to represent

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    2 5 4 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mthe 'superior reality'. Th e perception of ultim ate truth w hichPlato had reserved to philosophers was thus extended toartists. Th is function w as theirs by virtue of their 'maste rfaculty', im agination. Th us the doctrines of ' the genius', theautonomous creative artist, and of ' the superior reality of art ' ,the penetration to a sphere of'universal truth', were in practicetwo sides of the same claim.The claim was reinforced by the teachings of idealist philo-sophy. Coleridge's theory of Im ag ina tion is a special case,requiring specific study, but its nature is entirely consonantwith the spirit of these claims for ar t. H e had arg ued:

    the necessity of a general revolution in the modes ofdeveloping and disciplining the human mind by the sub-stitution of life and intelligence . . . for the philosophy ofmech anism w hich, in everything th at is most worthy of thehuman intellect, strikes Death. (Utters, II, 649)Artists, in this mood, came to see themselves as agents of the'revolution for life', in their capacity as bearers of the 'creativeim ag ina tion'. H ere , again, is one of the prin cipa l sources of theidea of Culture; it was on this basis that the association of theidea with the practice of the arts was to be m ad e. For here, inthe work of the artist, was a practicable mode of access to thatideal of perfection which was to be the centre of defence againstthe disintegrating tendencies of the age.The artist, then, was a being devoted to the high calling of'reve lation '. H e was a special kind of being; imagination washis genius. And it is w orth n oting that in the earliest formula-tions of this idea, 'ge nius' was often opposed to 'ar t'. Young ,in the Conjectures on Original Composition (1 7 5 9 ) , w ro te :

    An original may be said to be of a vegetable nature; itrises spontaneously from the vital root of genius; it grows,it is not made; imitations are often a sort of manufacture,wrought up by those mechanics, art and labour, out ofpre-existent materials not their own.It is interesting to set this beside three lines of Wordsworth:

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 5 5And so the grandeur of the forest-treeComes not by casting in a formal mouldBut from its own divine vitality.

    This is the typical rejection of 'the set of rules', but it is signifi-cant that the lines come from that sonnet to which he prefixedthe sour note against 'artistical' , which had better, he asserted,be written 'artificial'. Art, indeed, in the sense of a traditionalskill, was generally rejected; it was a mere fetter on 'originalgen ius'. T he c haracteristic mode of operation of the latter wasan 'artless spontaneity'.H ere is one of the crucial phases in the change in the conceptof art. Art as a specific skill was being replaced by Art as the'sphere of imaginative tru th ' . As W ordsworth aga in h adwrit ten:

    High is our calling, Friend, Creative Art,Demands the service of a mind and heartThough sensitive, yet in their weakest partHeroically fashioned to infuseFaith in the whispers of the lonely MuseWhile the whole world seems adverse to desert.

    These are the lines to the painter Haydon, in March 1815.They are very significant, because they mark the fusing intothe common 'sphere of imaginative truth' of the two separatearts, or skills, of poetry and painting.It is evident how these various developments laid the basisfor the increasing belief in the artist as a special kind of person.One can see the result in these lines of Shelley's:

    On a Poet's lips I sleptDreaming like a love-adeptIn the sound his breathing kept;Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blissesBut feeds on the aerial kissesOf shapes that haunt thought's wildernesses.He will watch from dawn to gloomThe lake-reflected sun illumeThe yellow bees in the ivy bloom,

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    2 5 6 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S MNor heed nor seeWhat things they be,But from these create he canForms more real than living manNurslings of immortality.

    {Prometheus Unbound)What we have here is, first, the doctrine of the 'superiorreality', and, second, the idea of the Poet in his characteristicdegree of separation from 'mortal' concerns. We have alsosomething else, which was present also in Wordsworth's linesto Haydon; the idea of the artist as a romantic figure, as hero.A com ment of L . L. Schlicking, in The Sociology ofLiterary Taste,is relevant here:

    It is particularly instructive [he writes] to see how late theartist is in appearing in literature as an attractive figure.The hero in the romances of earlier centuries is a knight,a p rinc e, a cavalier, an officer; sometimes in the e ighteen thcentu ry a clergyman. A hu nd red years later all this waschanged. Interes t centred for the first tim e in the artist. . .He was almost a higher type of human being.

    However this may be historically, it is certain that since thenineteenth century the figure of the artist as hero has becomecommonplace (particularly in works of ar t ) . Heroically fashioned. . . while the whole world seems adverse to desert. Car ly le , when hecame to number his heroes, wrote eloquently both of the poetan d th e m an of letters as hero. And in C arlyle's acco un t, as inWordsworth's, we are reminded of yet another reason for thenew attitude, the artist 's intuition that in the newly evolvingsociety he had no place:

    Whence he came, whither he is bound, by what ways hearrived, by what he may be furthered on his course, noone asks. H e is an accident in society. H e wande rs like awild Ishmaelite, in a world of which he is as the spirituallight, either the guidance or the misguidance.(On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History; L e c t u r eV , Everyman, p. 388)

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 5 7And so again , as one of the tributarie s of the idea of Culture , wefind this extended into a symptom of a more general disorder.

    Complaint is often made, in these times, of what we callthe disorganized condition of society: how ill manyarranged forces of society fulfil their work; how manypowerful forces are seen working in a wasteful, chaotic,altogether unarran ged m ann er. It is too jus t a com plaint,as we all know. But perha ps , if we look a t this of Booksand the Writers of Books, we shall find here, as it were, thesummary of all other disorganization; a sort of heart,from which, and to which, all other confusion circulatesin the world . . . That a wise great Johnson, a Burns, aRousseau, should be taken for some idle nondescript, extan tin the world to amuse idleness, and have a few coins andapplause thrown in, that he might live thereby; this per-haps, as before hinted, will one day seem a still absurderphasis of things . M eanw hile , since it is the spiritual alwaysthat determines the material, this same Man-of-LettersHero must be regarded as our most important modernperson. H e, such as he m ay b e, is the soul of all. What heteaches, the whole world will do and m ake . T he w orld'smanner of dealing with him is the most significant featureof the world's general position.

    {On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History; L e c t u r eV , Everyman, p. 387)The artist, that is to say, was important because his genius gaveaccess to the 'superior reality' and hence to 'spiritual light'.This was his heroic calling, but he was Hero because he wasalso victim; the nature of his genius, in the rapidly changingsociety, could not easily be found a place . H e was the ligh t bywhich men ordered their ways, the 'unacknowledged legislator',bu t he appeare d as a mere 'accid ent in society'. Shelley spokefor others than himself when he wondered how 'one of so weakand sensitive a nature as mine can run further the gauntletthrou gh this hellish society of men*. T he he ight of the artist'sclaim was also the height of his despair. H e ha d defined hiscalling, but even in his confidence he was conscious of the needfor a new definition of his place in society.

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    2 5 8 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S M9. T he place of the artist in society was in fact at this timeevidently chang ing. And one is faced w ith one of the r ec urre ntproblems of interpretation, whether the changes in society

    produced the new idea of the artist, or whether the idea forcedthe actu al changes. T hu s it is possible to relate the new ideasof art and the artist solely to a larger system of ideas thegene ral body of Eu rope an R om anticism ; to point out theirrelation to similar ideas in the writings of Goethe, of Schiller,of Rousseau, and of C ha tea ub rian d. T he idea of the artist asa special kind of person, and of the 'wild' genius, could betaken back as far as the Socratic definition of a poet in Plato'sIon. The idea of the 'superior reality' could also be taken backto Plato, and then, within the period, related to the philosophyof Kant and its English dilution through Coleridge and Car-lyle. These relations are important, but they can never bemade a substitute for an analysis of the conditions under whichthe ideas were applied, nor can the ideas alone explain theconsequences of the new relations, which for our present pur-pose constitute their most important aspect.

    The question of the relation of the artist to society is furthercomplicated by the fact that, as individuals, the artists themselves,in different ways and degrees, responded directly to the generalmovement of society, and defined attitudes towards it whichare not necessarily their attitudes as artists, but are primarilytheir a ttitude s as m em bers of society. T he responses are oftenclosely linked . Yo ung's definition of 'an orig inal', for exam ple,which has already been quoted, is certainly a statement ofliterary theory, but it is quite clearly made in terms of ageneral movem ent of feeling w hich is characteristic of the tim e.'I t grows, it is not m a d e ': is no t this the whole tenour of Burke?And the definition of imitation as 'a sort of manufacture, wroughtup by those mechanics, a r t a n d l a b o u r , out of-pre-existent materialsnot their own": is not this, consciously or unconsciously, a state-ment in terms of the new processes of industrial productionwhich were about to transform society? It was from thismovement of feeling that the opposition between 'inwardvalues' and the 'machinery' of society, first made explicit byCarlyle in 1829, a n d l a t e r widely publicized by Arnold,clearly stemm ed. Th is is only to say w ha t one should expect:

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 5 9that the movements in literary theory were part of the generalmovement of thought in the changing society.Moreover, from Blake and Wordsworth to Shelley, Byronand Keats, the poets who lived through the Industrial Revolu-tion registered on their senses 'the catastrophic dislocation ofthe lives of the com mo n peo ple'. Politically, they divided ; b utall were shaped by the impact of the general suffering of theirtimes. It was not only artists who felt that 'man was no longerat home in the society he had shaped', and it was not only fromtheir experience as artists that they drew the characteristicfigures of the exile, the guilty wanderer, the solitary, and therem ote, proud individua l. In the years following the N apoleonicwars, one did not have to be an artist to feel that society wasindifferent or hostile to individual desires.The pattern of hunger and suffering was not background,but the mould in which general experience was cast. O ne doeswell to rem em ber this in tur nin g to consider those factors w hichaffected artists in the ac tua l exercise of the ir art s.Artists had often expressed, before this time, a feeling of dis-satisfaction with their 'public', but in the early nineteenthcen tury this feeling becam e acu te and ge ne ral. O ne finds it inKeats: 'I have not the slightest feel of humility towards theP ub lic'; in Shelley: 'Acc ept no counsel from the simple-minded.Tim e reverses the jud gm en t of the foolish crowd . Co ntem porarycriticism is no more than the sum of the folly with whichgenius has to wrestle'; in Wordsworth: 'Away then with thesenseless iteration of the word popular applied to new works ofpoetry, as if there were no test of excellence in this first of thefine arts but that all men should run after its productions, as ifurged by an appe tite, or constrained by a spell. ' These viewswere of course affected by the doctrine of the 'autonomousgenius', but they were also affected by actual changes in thenatu re of ' the pub lic' . Th e eighteenth century had broughtabout the growth of a large new middle-class reading public,and the system of patronage had passed into subscription-publishing and thence into general commercial publishing ofthe m odern kind. These deve lopm ents affected writers inseveral ways; first, in an advance in 'independence' and insocial status; and second, in the institution of 'the market' as

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    2 6 0 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mthe type of a writer's ac tua l relations with society. U nd erpatronage, the artist had at least a direct relationship with animmediate circle of readers, from whom, whether prudentiallyor willingly, as mark or as matt er of respect, he was accustom edto accept an d a t times to ac t on criticism. It is possible to arguethat this system gave the artist a more relevant freedom thanthat to which he succeeded, and that it ensured the directrelation of art with at least some part of society, so that thesense of 'belonging' gave more than was taken away by thesubsequent m arket obligation 'to please'. How ever this maybe, the change was certainly felt, and the proclamation ofauto nom y seemed a necessary defence. W ordsworth wrote inthe preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads:

    Such faulty expressions, were I convinced they were faultyat present, and that they must necessarily continue to beso, I would willingly take all reasonable pains to correct.But it is dangerous to make these alterations on theauthority of a few individuals, or even of certain classes ofmen; for where the understanding of an author is not con-vinced, or his feelings altered, this cannot be done withoutgreat injury to himself; for his own feelings are his stayand support.

    In the conditions of the tim e, it is difficult to see w ha t else couldhav e been said. As W ordsw orth wrote aga in:Still more lamentable is his error who can believe thatthere is anything of divine infallibility in the clamour ofthat small though loud portion of the community, evergoverned by factitious influence, which, under the name ofthe PUBLIC, passes itself upon the unthinking, for thePEOPLE. Towards the Public, the Writer hopes that hefeels as much deference as it is entitled to; but to thePeople, philosophically ch aracterized , and to the em bodiedspirit of their knowledge . . . his devout respect, hisreverence, is due.(Essay Supplementary to the Preface, 1815)

    This conception of the People is, of course, in terms of socialtheory, pure Burke. A nd the relation provides us w ith one m ore

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 6 1strand in the developm ent of the idea of Cu lture. T he artistcould proclaim that 'his own feelings are his stay and support',but his confidence was greatly increased if he felt that his finalappeal was to ' the embodied spirit . . . of the People' , that is tosay to an Idea, an Ideal Reader, a standard that might be setabove the 'clam ou r' of his actu al relations with society. 'T heembodied spirit', in fact, was a very welcome alternative tothe m ark et. Fo r the free play of genius found it increasinglydifficult to consort with the free play of the market, although,ironically enough, very much the same forces had producedboth. Adam Smith had writ ten:

    In opulent and commercial societies to think or to reasoncomes to be, like every other employment, a particularbusiness, which is carried on by a very few people, whofurnish the pub lic with all the tho ug ht and reason possessedby the vast multitudes that labour.( Q u o t e d K L T N G E N D E R : Art and the Industrial Revolution)

    The artist, similarly, had become a specialist, in the generalemphasis of the process of division of labour which the newindustrial system requ ired. His work, as A da m Sm ith had saidof knowledge, was 'purchased, in the same manner as shoesor stockings, from those whose business it is to make up andpre pa re for the m arket that pa rticu lar species of goo ds.' Th iswas no t the inten tion , bu t it was the result. And so, as SirEgerton Brydges commented in the 1820s:It is a vile evil that literature is become so much of a tradeall over Europ e. N othing has gone so far to nur tu re acorrupt taste, and to give the unintellectual power overthe intellec tual. M erit is now universally esteemed by themultitude of readers that an author can attract. . . . Willthe uncultivated mind admire what delights the cultivated?(Quoted Q. D. LEAVIS, Fiction and the Reading Public)

    T he cultivated and the uncultivated: there was the new issue.The artist might feel with Carlyle:Never, till about a hundred years ago, was there seen anyfigure of a Great Soul living apart in that anomalousmanner; endeavouring to speak forth the inspiration that

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    2 6 2 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mwas in him by Printed Books, and find place and subsis-tence by what the world would please to give him fordoing t h a t M uc h had been sold and bou ght, an d left tomake its own bargain in the marketplace; but the inspiredwisdom of a Heroic Soul never till then, in that nakedmanner .

    (On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, p. 383)This was the background of complaint, but the terms in whichit was to be worked out were those used by Tom Moore toWordsworth in 1834. He spoke of the 'lowering of standardthat must necessarily arise from the extending of the circle ofjud ge s; from letting the m ob in to vote, particularly a t a pe riodwhen the market is such an object to authors' (quoted Q. D.LEAvis, Fiction and the Reading Public). He drew the distinctionbetween 'the cultivated few' and 'the mob', and then in 1837invented the significant new term for the latter, 'the masses'.From the difficulties of their own position, in fact, many artistswere being driven towards the idea of Culture; and this hadnow to be defined in social terms, in terms of the relationsbetween classes.

    (rv) Culture and Classes10. Coleridge, in defining Cultivation as the standard ofhealth in society, defined also the idea of a minority to whomthe business of Cultiva tion m ust be prim arily assigned. Th isminority was the Clerisy, or national Church, which 'in itsprimary acceptation and original intention, comprehended thelea rned of all deno m ina tion s; the sages and professors of . . . allthe so-called liberal arts and sciences' (On the Constitution ofChurch and State, p . 49) . These were the third estate of the rea lm .

    Now as in the first estate (landowners) the permanency ofthe nation was provided for; and in the second estate(merchants and manufacturers) its progressiveness and personalfreedom; while in the king the cohesion by interdepen-dence; and the unity of the country, were established;there remains for the third estate only that interest whichis the ground, the necessary antecedent condition, of boththe former . (On the Constitution of Church and State, p. 46)

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 6 3The maintenance of the Clerisy, whose business was Cultiva-tion, was to be assured by a specifically reserved portion of thena tion al w ealth, wh ich Coleridge calls 'the Natio na lty'. Th iswould be its Establishment, as a National Church; but theChurch was not to be understood as merely the 'Church ofChrist' , for this would 'reduce the Church to a religion', andthence to a m ere sect. Theo logy would give 'the circulatingsap and life', but the object of the class was general cultivation.This idea of a special cultivated and cultivating class was tobe taken up , in a slightly different con text, by Carlyle. Carlylespoke of writers as 'the real working effective Church of amodern country' , and urged the need for an organic LiteraryClass. H e doub ted the best arra ng em en t of this, 'b u t if youask, W hich is the worst? I answ er: This which we now have,that Chaos should sit umpire in it; this is the worst' (On Heroes,Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, p . 394). It is no t a qu estionof'm on ey-fu rtheran ces', of securing to the artist a living:

    The result to individual Men of Letters is not the momen-tous one; they are but individuals, an infinitesimal fractionof the great body; they can struggle on, and live or elsedie, as they have been wo nt. But it deeply concerns thewhole society, whether it will set its light on high places,to walk thereby . . . I call this anom aly of a disorganicLiterary Class the heart of all other anomalies, at onceproduct and parent.(On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, p. 396)These ideas, of Coleridge and Carlyle, are deeply significantof the situation in th e new society. I t is, in th e first pla ce , verysignificant that even Coleridge did not see in any existing classthe capacity for m aintaining and extending culture. Th elanded classes might provide permanence, but they could notprovide this. As for the new mid dle class, as M r. G . M . Yo ung

    has written, 'The English bourgeoisie had never been isolatedlong enough to frame, except in the spheres of comfort andcarnal morality, ideals and standards of its own' (Portrait of anAge, p . 85). T he dem and , then, is for an endowed ilite; andnothing could be more significant of the disintegration oftraditional society. We were not yet to hear of an intelligentsia,

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    2 6 4 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mwhich as a word did not appear in English till 1914, but theidea of 'an intellectual' had appeared in 1813, at about thesame time as 'a genius' and 'artist ' in the new sense. T he wo rdfrom the beginning had a derogatory tone, like the later 'high-brow', which was imported from the U.S.A. in the early yearsof our own cen tury. T he uneasiness is quite un de rstan da ble,because it reflects the uneasiness of the rest of society at certainqualities being set aside as the prerogative of a distinct class; aclass, moreover, for which, in spite of Coleridge, no cleareconomic basis could be perceived. In view of the subsequentimportance of the idea of an ilite in the general Idea ofCulture, these circumstances of its immediate origin deservepondering.There is another way in which the idea of Culture is signifi-cant of changing relations between classes. At the time whenColeridge and Newman were writing, the industrial workingclass was beg inn ing to be felt as an organized force. As anecessary consequence, the existence of this force w as b egin ningto affect questions of educa tion. It had , inde ed, alread y offereda token in the nourishing M echa nics' Institutes. Re actions tothis development were various. Macaulay, for example, arguedthat the ' ignorance' of ' the common people' was a danger toproperty, and that therefore their education was necessary.Carlyle, on the other hand, rejected any argument for educa-tion on grounds of m ere exped iency: 'as if. . . the first function[of] a gove rnm ent were no t . . . to im pa rt the gift of think ing'.The issue is very clearly put by F. D. Maurice, in his addressto the Manchester, Ancoats and Salford Working Men'sCollege in 1859:

    Now while we were thinking ab out these things, and think-ing earnestly about them, there came that awful year 1848,which I shall always look upon as one of the great epochsof history . . . I do say that when I think how it has affectedthe mind and the heart of the people of England; yes, ofall classes of Englishm en . . . I hear one intelligent m an an danother confessing: 'Ten years ago we thought differently.But all of us have acquired, since that time, a new senseof ou r relation to the working-class' . . . It did cause us to

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    T H E I D E A O F C U L T U R E 2 6 5fear, I own; but it was not fear for our property and posi-tion; it was the fear that we were not discharging theresponsibilities, greater than those which rank or propertyimposes, tha t our education laid upon us . . . W e believedand felt that unless the classes in this country which hadreceived any degree of knowledge more than their fellowswere willing to share it with their fellows, to regard it asprecious because it bound them to their fellows, Englandwould fall first under an anarchy, and then under adespotism. . . .

    Maurice goes on to speak of the Mechanics' Institutes, eveningclasses, etc., through which education might be shared, andadds significantly:. . .W hat we wan ted, if possible, was to make ou r teach ing abond of intercourse with the men whom we taug ht. Ho wtha t could be, we might never have found ou t. But th eworking m en themselves had found it ou t. W e he ard in1853 that the people of Sheffield had founded a People'sCollege. T h e news seemed to us to m ark a new era ineducation. We had belonged to Colleges. They had notmerely given us a certain amount of indoctrination incertain subjects; they had not merely prepared us for ourparticular professions; they had borne witness of a culturewhich is the highest of all culture. . . .( Q u o t e d i n Continuation Schools in England and Elsewhere;Sadler (1908, pp. 38-9))

    T he im portan ce of this speech of M aurice's can hardly be over-stressed; for in it, after a very clear diagnosis of reactions torising working-class power, he proposes, as an alternative to'anarchy', not merely education, but Culture, which is some-thing 'beyond subjects'. T h e prep aratio n of the grou nd forArnold hardly needs comment.Maurice, of course, was speaking as a conscious ally of thenew forces. Bu t by ma ny w ho were not allies, the typ e ofeducation which the working-class was evolving for itself, inresponse to the pressures of an indu strial society, was distrusted.It was distrusted because of its 'mechanical nature', because

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    2 6 6 E S S A Y S I N C R I T I C I S Mof its technological and vocational bias, and because of itsappearance of miscellaneity in the absence of a guiding generalide a. T he great religious controversy over education , as awhole, is not only a matter of sectarian passions; it is also, andparticularly in Coleridge and Newman, the response to the feltdanger of the lack of 'a humane ideal' in the new education ofthe people. Th e idea of Cu lture wa s, am ong other things, theway in which this response was formu lated an d expressed. In asociety characterized by rapidly changing class-relations, inwhich change could by no means be separated from violence,and complicated further by the expansion of new economictechniques and of ways of thinking which these techniquesengendered, the idea of 'a spiritual centre', an agreed Culturetowards which the processes of education and cultivation mightbe directed, was seen by minds of the character of Coleridgean d N ew m an as vital. Th e Ide a of C ulture , with its elementsof continuity and of the search for perfection, received thenecessary stress.1

    1 This article is a shortened venion of the Introduction to a book of the sametide , now in preparation. T he book will deal with theories and ideas of culturethat have been put forward in E ngland since the Industrial R evolution . It isargued that in an industrial society the problem became essentially new, both incontent and in expression; and the consequent revaluation of the relevant work ofA rnold, R uskin, M orris, Eliot, R ead, the En glish M arxists, and some others, differsfrom the