Gilbert Murray Reassessed: Hellenism, Theatre, and International Politics

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Fifty Years After his Death in 1957, this collection of essays ressesses the life and work of Gilbert Murray, one of the best-known and most influential of all classicists. Murray's interests and achievements centred around hellenism and international politics, both of which reflected his liberal concern with the progress of civilization. His activities ranged from Greek scholarship to psychic research, from the League of Nations to the theatre, from radio broadcasting to the history of religion.

Appointed professor of Greek at Glasgow at the age of 23, Murray was later Regius professor at Oxford, from 1908 until his retirement in 1936. In the 1900s he was heavily involved in the theatre. His famous translations of Euripides were best-sellers, and he featured in his friend Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara. Other friendships, with Bertrand Russell and A. E. Housman, are also discussed. So too is Murray's involvement in psychic research-he was probably England's leading psychic medium. His long-term commitment to international peace was manifested in his work for the League of Nations, in which he took a leading role. At home, he became a familiar public figure. Hundreds of letters to The Times (some of which are printed here) show his mastery of the genre, and his many appearances on the BBC, introducing his translations, addressing issues of war and peace, and taking part in the Brains Trust, kept him in the public eye (and ear). The whole range of Murray's activities is investigated here in depth for the first time; and a special vividness is added by memoirs contributed by two of his grandchildren.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The sheer range of Murray's activities is well served by this collection.... the volume remains thematically coherent, imaginatively and sympathetically presenting Murray's many-faceted legacy."—Anna Vaninskaya, The Classical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199208791
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/30/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Stray is Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Classics, University of Wales Swansea.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors     xi
Introduction   Christopher Stray     1
Remembering our Grandfather   Ann Paludan   Alexander Murray     17
A Broken Mirror: Gilbert Murray's Reflections of an Australian Childhood   Francis West     33
Gilbert Murray on Greek Literature: The Great/Greek Man's Burden   Mark Griffith     51
Gilbert Murray and Greek Religion   Robert Parker     81
Gilbert Murray's Greek Editions   Christopher Collard     103
Gilbert Murray's Translations of Greek Tragedy   James Morwood     133
From the Court to the National: The Theatrical Legacy of Gilbert Murray's Bacchae   Fiona Macintosh     145
Gilbert Murray and A. E. Housman   Malcolm Davies     167
'Macte nova virtute, puer!': Gilbert Murray as Mentor and Friend to J. A. K. Thomson   Barbara F. McManus     181
Gilbert Murray, Bertrand Russell, and the Theory and Practice of Politics   William Bruneau     201
Gilbert Murray and International Politics   Martin Ceadel     217
Retrieving Cosmos: Gilbert Murray's Thought on International Relations   Peter Wilson     239
The Classicist as Liberal Intellectual: Gilbert Murray and AlfredEckhard Zimmern   Julia Stapleton     261
'That Living Voice': Gilbert Murray at the BBC   Mick Morris     293
'Yours Obediently, Gilbert Murray': Letters to The Times   William Bruneau   Russell Wodell     319
Gilbert Murray and Psychic Research   N. J. Lowe     349
Bibliography     371
Index     395

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