The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, 1880-1940

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In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the notion of Englishness was widely debated in English art and cultural circles. Might there be a specifically English landscape and an English way of representing it? Was the history of the nation unique, and might there be a particular and resilient national character? This original volume is the first to examine the intersection of national identity, modernization, and landscape in English art during the period from 1880 ...
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Overview

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the notion of Englishness was widely debated in English art and cultural circles. Might there be a specifically English landscape and an English way of representing it? Was the history of the nation unique, and might there be a particular and resilient national character? This original volume is the first to examine the intersection of national identity, modernization, and landscape in English art during the period from 1880 to 1940.

Individual chapters consider how changing ideals and debates were at work in English art during these decades of social and cultural change. The contributors address topics ranging from the assimilation of French styles in English art before the First World War to themes of national identity and modernization in the years leading to the Second World War. From various fresh perspectives, this book offers new insight into the invention of nation and its consequences for English art during this critical era.

Author Biography: David Peters Corbett is reader in history of art, University of York. Ysanne Holt is senior lecturer in history of art, University of Northumbria. Fiona Russell is general editor of the Henry Moore Series in Study of Sculpture, Ashgate Press.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this collection of scholarly essays stemming from a 1997 conference in York, England, 14 British authors consider various aspects of English art from 1880 to 1940, a period that saw the transition from late Victorian painting to a full awareness of Modernism. The lens through which the authors view the art is formed by questions about national character and history and its relation to style, as memorably posed by English art authority Nicholas Pevsner: What is English about English art? Most of the essays are narrow in scope, academic in orientation (and sometimes prose style), and betray their conference origin. They assume substantial background on the part of the reader. In addition to covering the traditional art media, Corbett (The Modernity of English Art 1914-30) provides an essay on modern ballet and some consideration of popular culture after World War I. This title is deep and narrow; appropriate for specialized art history collections only. Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300094886
  • Publisher: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
  • Publication date: 6/10/2002
  • Series: Studies in British Art Series, #10
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Colour plates
Living the Simple Life: George Clausen at Childwick Green, St. Albans 1
'Toilers of the Sea': Fisherfolk and the Geographies of Tourism in England, 1880-1900 29
Haunts of Ancient Peace 65
An Ideal Modernity: Spencer Gore at Letchworth 91
The Geography of Blast: Landscape, Modernity and English Painting, 1914-30 115
Wyndham Lewis and the Rappel a l'ordre: Classicism and Significant Form, 1919-21 141
Foreigners and Fascists: Patterns of Hostility to Modern Art in Britain before and after the First World War 169
Equivalents for the Megaliths: Prehistory and English Culture, 1920-50 199
Ben Nicholson: Modernism, Craft and the English Vernacular 225
The Reluctant Romantics: Axis Magazine 1935-37 248
English Art and 'The National Character', 1933-34 275
John Ruskin, Herbert Read and the Englishness of British Modernism 303
Ideologies of Englishness and Internationalism in Modernist Ballet 323
Behind Pevsner: Englishness as an Art Historical Category 347
Notes on Contributors 369
Index 371
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