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-…

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Machann, Clinton John. "Culture and Anarchy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 April 2009
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]