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Intellectuals and the politics of style.

Grimble, Simon (2016) 'Intellectuals and the politics of style.', International journal of politics, culture, and society., 30 (3). pp. 245-257.


This article addresses the characteristic styles and modes of self-presentation used by such Victorian public moralists and intellectuals as William Morris, John Ruskin and Matthew Arnold in both their writing and in their appearances as public lecturers: these were all interventions that were aimed at provoking an audience into intellectual consideration and self-reflection. The article examines how questions about the style of these figures have shaped the response to their work both at the time and in the years since their deaths; thinking about why, in Raymond Williams’s words, they have produced ‘mixed feelings of respect and suspicion’. It considers how their versions of the combination of intellectual and public life could be thought about in our post-financial crisis present, at a moment when late nineteenth century debates about ‘the elites and the masses’ are re-emerging, but where also the figure of the intellectual is taking on a renewed interest as one possible point of encounter between these forces.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:04 July 2017
Date of first online publication:20 August 2016
Date first made open access:04 July 2017

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