Matthew Arnold: Culture and Anarchy

(2374 words)

Matthew Arnold's role in developing the modern usage of the term “culture”, which has since become ubiquitous in literary and socio-political discourse, is one of his most important contributions as a man of letters, and it is intimately tied to his own growth and development as a writer (DeLaura 1988). Use of the term was already fairly common among English writers and intellectuals in the 1850s, the underlying idea of “cultivation” having become moralized and detached from its original agricultural sense in the writings of Southey and Coleridge early in the century (Williams 1958; Connell 2001), but it was closely associated with the German word Bildung and its English equivalents, self-development and self-…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Machann, Clinton John. "Culture and Anarchy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 April 2009
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]