Asa Briggs

The Paradoxes of Progress

The Face of the Past: the Preservation of the Medieval Inheritance in Victorian England


Cambridge University Press 214pp £15 order from our bookshop

This fascinating study of the ways in which the Victorians approached the past reveals far more about Victorian values than volumes of Victorian anthology. Interest either in antiquity or in the middle ages – and the interest could be complementary or antagonistic was not confined to an elite of artists and social critics. It ran like a rich vein throughout the whole society and culture.

Dr Dellheim, a young American scholar, who is as much concerned with the visual as with the verbal, deals equally thoroughly with the surviving presence of the past at the core of an industrialising society and with the development of new buildings

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