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Plays and Puritans, And Other Historical Essays

By Kingsley, Charles

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Book Id: WPLBN0000629711
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 79.02 KB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Plays and Puritans, And Other Historical Essays  
Author: Kingsley, Charles
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Blackmask Online Collection
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Publisher: Blackmask Online


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Kingsley, C. (n.d.). Plays and Puritans, And Other Historical Essays. Retrieved from

Excerpt: THE British Isles have been ringing for the last few years with the word ?Art? in its German sense; with ?High Art,? ?symbolic Art,? ?Ecclesiastical Art,? ?dramatic Art,? ?Tragic Art,? and so forth; and every well?educated person is expected, nowadays, to know something about Art. Yet in spite of all translations of German ?AEsthetic? treatises, and ?Kunstnovellen,? the mass of the British people cares very little about the matter, and sits contented under the imputation of ?bad taste.? Our stage, long since dead, does not revive; our poetry is dying; our music, like our architecture, only reproduces the past; our painting is only first?rate when it handles landscapes and animals, and seems likely so to remain; but, meanwhile, nobody cares. Some of the deepest and most earnest minds vote the question, in general, a ?sham and a snare,? and whisper to each other confidentially, that Gothic art is beginning to be a ?bore,? and that Sir Christopher Wren was a very good fellow after all; while the middle classes look on the Art movement half amused, as with a pretty toy, half sulkily suspicious of Popery and Paganism, and think, apparently, that Art is very well when it means nothing, and is merely used to beautify drawing?rooms and shawl patterns; not to mention that, if there were no painters, Mr. Smith could not hand down to posterity likenesses of himself, Mrs. Smith, and family. But when ?Art? dares to be in earnest, and to mean something, much more to connect itself with religion, Smith?s tone alters. He will teach ?Art? to keep in what he considers its place, and if it refuses, take the law of it, and put it into the Ecclesiastical Court. So he says, and what is more, he means what he says; and as all the world, from Hindostan to Canada, knows by most practical proof, what he means, he sooner or later does, perhaps not always in the wisest way, but still he does it.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents: Plays and Puritans, 1 -- Charles Kingsley, 1


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