By K. Macdonald
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Additional resources for The Masculine Middlebrow, 1880-1950: What Mr. Miniver Read
If Gosse’s claims about the ‘decay of literary taste’ are bound up with changes in the market and in education, then his emphasis upon fiction as an unwelcome competitor to poetry also has implications for actual and imagined uses of anthologized writing. Indeed, the inclusion of extracts from poetry (more familiar as a ‘higher’ standard of literature) and fiction (associated more readily with the diverse, and popular, literary market) in a single anthology created a special anxiety for observers.
Mr Miniver was one of those readers, as were our great-uncles and grandfathers. By learning more about the choices in reading offered to them, we learn more about ourselves. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. Personal communication, John Baxendale to KM, 9 July 2008. Personal communication via VICTORIA listserve, 8 September 2008. Thanks to Ellen Jordan for drawing my attention to this article. Quoted in The Queenslander, Saturday 12 May 1923, p. 7. Thanks to David Carter for drawing this to my attention. 5. David Carter, personal communication, 11 October 2010.
S. Lewis in his Narnia novels, showing also a distaste for many aspects of modernity, including the move towards secularism, and the loss of enchantment which he believed accompanied the rejection of Christianity. This chapter examines The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as an allegory of England at war, in which Lewis’s emphasis on food and domesticity places Narnia firmly in the set of traditions which demarcated middlebrow taste. These chapters go some way, we hope, to draw out the nuances of how the ‘ordinary cultivated people’ and ‘a man no larger than themselves’ regarded reading, and how their reading was provided.
The Masculine Middlebrow, 1880-1950: What Mr. Miniver Read by K. Macdonald