The Spirit of Britain: A Narrative History of the Arts

Overview

The Spirit of Britain is a masterly survey of the country’s arts—literature, music, poetry, painting, architecture, theater, and all the related subjects that, over the centuries, have given British intellectual and cultural life its unique character and vitality. Presented to the reader as a single unfolding narrative, from the Celts to the present day, the arts are set within a vivid panorama of the social, economic, political, and ideological forces that shaped them. 400 gorgeous photographs and works of art ...

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Overview

The Spirit of Britain is a masterly survey of the country’s arts—literature, music, poetry, painting, architecture, theater, and all the related subjects that, over the centuries, have given British intellectual and cultural life its unique character and vitality. Presented to the reader as a single unfolding narrative, from the Celts to the present day, the arts are set within a vivid panorama of the social, economic, political, and ideological forces that shaped them. 400 gorgeous photographs and works of art add immensely to the dramatic impact of this landmark work of cultural history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An absolutely marvellous book. Not only is it beautiful—it even outstrips and outsoars its predecessor, The Story of Britain." - A. N. Wilson

"An immensely valuable and reliable introduction to British cultural life—exhilarating reading." - The Times

"A wonderful read; it is also challenging and like its splendid author, not afraid to be controversial." - Antonia Fraser

"A fine volume—The treatment is thorough, balanced, judicious and sometimes highly original, and the illustrations are superb." - Spectator

"A formidable and provocative book." - Daily Telegraph

Times (U.K.)
An immensely valuable introduction to British cultural life…Magnificently informed…superbly illustrated…exhilarating.
Library Journal
Former director of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum, Strong follows his sociopolitical The Story of Britain (Fromm, 1997) with a chronicle of British arts that is both erudite and accessible. The work is a fascinating journey of discovery, recording the energy and eccentricity that has typified British culture from the time of the Roman occupation to the National Lottery funding of the arts. Along the way, we meet the heroes and the villains, the rulers and the romantics, the artists and the academics. The physical and psychic landscapes of the island are charted, as is the development of its literature, poetry, painting, music, architecture, and performing arts--all with an expert eye for detail and the author's unmistakable enthusiasm for his topic. A wealth of marvelous illustrations adds immensely to the dramatic impact of the book as well as to its value as a research tool and an important addition to any library collection, public or private. The glorious achievements of the people of "this sceptred isle" are well served by this author. Highly recommended.--Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712664950
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Roy Strong was Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967 to 1973, and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1974 to 1987. He is now a full-time writer, broadcaster and consultant, whose previous books include The Story of Britain, The Cult of Elizabeth and Henry Prince of Wales.

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