The Novel and Middle-Class England
In the course of thinking about modern English literature and society, and the range of people who have written about it (including, that is, people as different as Arnold, Lawrence, Eliot, Leavis, Raymond Williams, Hoggart, Georg Lukács), at some point or other, it seems to me, one has to decide between two mutually exclusive ideas: you can see English language and literature either as the nodal point of society, the focus of all that is creative in it; or as one of several key influences, not all of which are, or should be, at all times either consonant or equally important.
KeywordsMiddle Class Material Interest Walk Away Great Writer Great Novelist
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- 1.For figures on literacy see: J. W. Dodds, The Age of Paradox (Gollancz, 1953), esp. pp. 128f.;Google Scholar
- R. K. Webb, The British Working Class Reader, 1790–1848 (Allen and Unwin, 1955 );Google Scholar
- R. D. Altick, The English Common Reader (Chicago, 1957 );Google Scholar
- E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Pelican ed., 1968 ) pp. 783–94.Google Scholar
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