Culture and Anarchy

Matthew ARNOLD (1822 - 1888)

Culture and Anarchy is a series of periodical essays by Matthew Arnold, first published in Cornhill Magazine 1867-68 and collected as a book in 1869. The preface was added in 1875. Arnold's famous piece of writing on culture established his High Victorian cultural agenda which remained dominant in debate from the 1860s until the 1950s. According to his view advanced in the book, "Culture [...] is a study of perfection". He further wrote that: "[Culture] seeks to do away with classes; to make the best that has been thought and known in the world current everywhere; to make all men live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light [...]". His often quoted phrase "[culture is] the best which has been thought and said" comes from the Preface to Culture and Anarchy: The whole scope of the essay is to recommend culture as the great help out of our present difficulties; culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically. (Summary by Wikipedia)

Genre(s): Essays & Short Works, Modern

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 - Preface Nicole Lee
00:57:42
Play 01 01 - Chapter 1 Part 1 Sweetness and Light Nicole Lee
00:29:56
Play 02 02 - Chapter 1 Part 2 Sweetness and Light Nicole Lee
00:26:14
Play 03 03 - Chapter 2 Part 1 Doing As One Likes Nicole Lee
00:23:39
Play 04 04 - Chapter 2 Part 2: Doing As One Likes Nicole Lee
00:21:01
Play 05 05 - Chapter 3 Part 1: Barbarians, Philistines, Populace Nicole Lee
00:29:50
Play 06 06 - Chapter 3 Part 2: Barbarians, Philistines, Populace Nicole Lee
00:26:54
Play 07 07 - Chapter 4: Hebraism and Hellenism Nicole Lee
00:27:54
Play 08 08 - Chapter 5: Porro Unum Est Necessarium Nicole Lee
00:33:41
Play 09 09 - Chapter 6 Part 1: Our Liberal Practitioners Nicole Lee
00:28:30
Play 10 10 - Chapter 6 Part 2: Our Liberal Practitioners Nicole Lee
00:28:14
Play 11 11 - Chapter 6 Part 3: Our Liberal Practitioners Nicole Lee
00:27:56