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Matthew Arnold   By: (1853-1919)

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Matthew Arnold by George William Erskine Russell offers readers a comprehensive and illuminating insight into the life and works of one of the most influential Victorian poets and critics. Russell's biographical account serves as a valuable resource for scholars, students, and enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of Matthew Arnold's literary career and the intellectual climate of his time.

The book is divided into several well-structured chapters that chronologically follow Arnold's life from his early years to his lasting legacy. Russell's meticulous research and attention to detail shine through each chapter, presenting a vivid portrait of Arnold's personal life, professional development, and the social context that shaped his work.

What sets this biography apart is its nuanced exploration of the various facets of Arnold's character. Russell delves into the poet's personal struggles, his familial relationships, and his ambitions, thereby painting a multi-dimensional picture of a man driven by a sense of duty and a desire to contribute to society through his art. By including excerpts from Arnold's letters and journals, Russell offers the reader a glimpse into the poet's inner thoughts and provides valuable context for interpreting his works.

Russell's analysis of Arnold's poetry and critical writings is insightful and accessible, making it a valuable aid for readers seeking to engage with the complexities of Arnold's ideas. The author deftly explores recurring themes in the poet's oeuvre, such as the tension between the rational and emotional, the decline of religious faith, and the role of culture in providing moral guidance. By examining these themes through the lens of Arnold's personal experiences and intellectual development, Russell helps readers form a deeper appreciation for the depth and scope of Arnold's contributions to Victorian literature and thought.

Moreover, Russell situates Arnold within his historical and literary context, elucidating the intellectual debates and literary movements that informed his work. He explores Arnold's relationships with his contemporaries, such as Tennyson and Browning, and discusses his engagement with prominent social, political, and cultural issues of the era. Russell skillfully contextualizes Arnold's writings within the broader cultural climate, thereby enhancing our understanding of his poetry and critical theories.

Overall, Matthew Arnold by George William Erskine Russell is a meticulously researched and engaging biography that not only sheds light on the life and work of Matthew Arnold but also provides a broader understanding of the Victorian intellectual landscape. Readers who are interested in Victorian poetry, cultural criticism, or the social and literary history of the era will find this book to be a valuable addition to their library. Russell's insightful analysis and comprehensive approach make this biography an essential read for anyone looking to explore the life and contributions of one of the Victorian era's most significant figures.

First Page:

[Transcriber's note: The inconsistent use of quotation marks in the original was retained in this etext.]

[Illustration: Matthew Arnold

From a Photograph by Sarony ]

Literary Lives






COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS Published, March, 1904



Edited by Robertson Nicoll, LL.D.

MATTHEW ARNOLD. By G.W.E. Russell. CARDINAL NEWMAN. By William Barry, D.D. MRS. GASKELL. By Flora Masson. JOHN BUNYAN. By W. Hale White. CHARLOTTE BRONTĂ‹. By Clement K. Shorter. R.M. HUTTON. By W. Robertson Nicoll. GOETHE. By Edward Dowden. HAZLITT. By Louise Imogen Guiney.

Each Volume, Illustrated, $1.00, net





"We see him wise, just, self governed, tender, thankful, blameless, yet with all this agitated, stretching out his arms for something beyond tendentemque manus ripæ ulterioris amore ." Essays in Criticism .


It may be thought that some apology is needed for the production of yet another book about Matthew Arnold. If so, that apology is to be found in the fact that nothing has yet been written which covers exactly the ground assigned to me in the present volume... Continue reading book >>

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