Poems – Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold

Published by Macmillan & Co., London, in 1885.

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Dramatic and Later Poems. By Matthew Arnold. Published by Macmillan and Co., London, in 1885. Three-quarter leather with burgundy boards. Rubbing, some discoloration of boards. Raised banded spine with gilt title at spine. Marbled edges around, marbled endpapers. Light foxing.

Matthew Arnold (1822-1883) was an English poet and critic. Many readers have come to see Arnold as the most modern of the Victorians. Arnold himself defines “the modern” in his first lecture as professor of poetry at Oxford in 1857, “On the Modern Element in Literature.” This lecture marked Arnold’s transition from poet to social and literary critic. He argued that the great need of a modern age is an “intellectual deliverance”: preoccupation with the arts of peace, the growth of a tolerant spirit, the capacity for refined pursuits, the formation of taste, and above all, the intellectual maturity to “observe facts with a critical spirit” and “to judge by the rule of reason.” This prescription, which he found supremely fulfilled in Athens of the fifth century B.C., is of course an idealized one when applied to any age. Arnold believed, however, that holding up this ideal was necessary if his own age were to become truly modern, truly humanized and civilized. (Poetry Foundation.)


Published by: MacMillan and Co.

Location published: London

Year published: 1885


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