The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays

The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays

The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays

The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays

Excerpt

This volume arises from a series of lectures organized by the Liverpool Centre for Medieval Studies and sponsored by the University of Liverpool. Both that series and this book were conscious responses to the approach of the 800th anniversary of the traditional foundation date of the city of Liverpool. The theme was chosen to reflect this commemoration of a medieval event. Liverpool is not a medieval city, but it is a city in which the study and influence of the middle ages has often flourished, and it was this aspect of the city's culture, as well as its thirteenth-century origins, that we wished to bring out.

It is a ripe time to do so. As several of the contributors to this book point out, medievalism has until recently been one element in a view of the past based on a simple dichotomy of the universal versus the national. To 'universal' have been attached adjectives such as 'imperial', 'patristic', 'classical', while with 'national' have been put 'royal', 'catholic' and 'medieval'. It is only now that the study of medievalism is moving on from these simple oppositions, beyond the notion that to recall the middle ages was to react against the values associated with classicism.

Assessing medievalism on the regional level is valuable precisely because it reveals how it blended with other cultural influences under those particular conditions. As is obvious to every visitor, the classical and the medieval co-exist in Liverpool. Harvey Lonsdale Elmes designed both St George's Hall ('he freest neo-Grecian building in England and one of the finest in the world', according to Pevsner), and the grandly Gothic Collegiate Institution in Shaw Street. These styles exist, moreover, in a different balance from, for instance, the more obviously Gothic Manchester. To take another example, Alfred Waterhouse, that most eclectic of Victorian architects, was born in Liverpool and worked in Manchester, and contributed buildings to both; he was responsible, indeed, for the core university buildings in both cities (both Gothic, and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.