Matthew Arnold’s famous series of essays, which were first published in book form under the title Culture and Anarchy in 1869, debate important questions about the nature of culture and society. Arnold seeks to find out what culture really is, what good it can do, and if it is really necessary. He contrasts culture, which he calls the study of perfection, with anarchy, the mood of unrest and uncertainty that pervaded mid-Victorian England.
This edition reproduces the original book version, revealing the immediate historical context and controversy of the piece. The introduction and notes broaden out the interpretative approach to Arnold’s text, elaborating on the complexities of the religious context. The book also reinforces the continued importance of Arnold’s ideas its influences in the face of the challenges of multi-culturalism and post-modernism.
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