Classics Transformed: Schools, Universities, and Society in England, 1830-1960

By Christopher Stray | Go to book overview

4
Competition, Challenge, and the Erosion of
Classical Authority

[As a result of the abolition of close boroughs] men who would cheer on their narrow fortunes by the hope of parliamentary advancement, must now appeal to the people, who have little sympathy with the successful imitator of Alcaean measures, or the honoured adept in 'longs and shorts'.

Edward Bulwer ( 1833)1

If you do not write good longs and shorts, how can you ever be a man of taste? If you are not a man of taste, how can you ever hope to be of use in the world?

Thomas Balston, headmaster of Eton (c. 1843)2

This chapter surveys a range of challenges to the authority of classics which were gathering strength in the mid-Victorian decades. Victorian classics, as we have seen, was a high-status formation situated in a social and cultural market relatively unregulated by the State and manned by amateur gentlemen; but by 1870 a range of challenges had begun to erode its authority both as a cultural exemplar and as an élite social formation. Direct social challenges were made to its domination of highstatus curricula; the market of cultural goods began to be affected by State intervention; and as a result of both these processes, a classical near-monopoly gave way to curricular pluralism. This pluralism eroded the authority of classics through the sheer fact of effective competition;

____________________
1
Bulwer's comment comes from his England and the English (1833: repr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 156. Bulwer's scathing comments on the results of an Eton education (ibid. 157) were quoted in the previous chapter.
2
Balston's remark was made to his pupil, the young Leslie Stephen, in the early 1840s: see N. Annan, Leslie Stephen, his Thought and Character in Relation to his Time ( London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1951), 20. The remark has often been quoted to illustrate the nature of Victorian classics; it shows, rather, how the 18th-century tradition of elegant composition persisted in some conservative enclaves.

-83-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Classics Transformed: Schools, Universities, and Society in England, 1830-1960
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 336

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.