Learned Lives in England, 1900-1950
Title Details

16th October 2020

290 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press

Learned Lives in England, 1900-1950

Institutions, Ideas and Intellectual Experience

by William C Lubenow

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
If objectivity was the great discovery of the nineteenth century, uncertainty was the great discovery of the twentieth century.
This book explores the tangled relationships between knowledge and politics during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Changes within universities, particularly in Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics,made them, more than before, research institutions. Additionally, renovations within the grand empires of learning, represented by the Royal Society of London and the British Academy, lead to the recognition and acceptance of different forms of learning. The less formal coteries such as the Bloomsbury Group, the Society for the Protection of Knowledge, and the Scholarship and Theoretical Biology Club, are not neglected in this exploration of learned life.Indeed, members of all these societies transported knowledge from North America and the Continent, especially from the Warburg Institute, shifting the demographic and conceptual bases of British intellectual life. Thus, certain important twentieth-century themes transpire throughout this study: specialization, professionalization, objectivity, the emergence of the expert, and the rise of the social sciences.

The twentieth century, with its hotand cold wars, distorted intellectual life by demands for application and for useful research. Learned people in Britain seduced themselves by patriotism and became complicit by developing defensive clichés seeking to explain howBritish knowledge was somehow different from German, and later, Soviet knowledge. If objectivity was the great discovery of the nineteenth century, as Lubenow demonstrated in "Only Connect": Learned Societies in Nineteenth Century Britain (2015), this book shows that uncertainty was the great discovery of the twentieth century.

WILLIAM C. LUBENOW is Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey. His previous books included Liberal Intellectuals and Public Culture in Modern Britain, 1815-1914 (2010) and "Only Connect": Learned Societies in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2015), both published by the Boydell Press.
Introduction
Research in the Universities
The Great and the Good in the Scholarly World: The Royal Society and the British Academy
Interstitial Societies
Exile and Escape: Transporting Knowledge
The 'New Men': 'Intellectual Aristocracy' or 'Our Age'
Tangled Loyalties
Conclusion
"An extraordinarily learned book written by an extremely learned author...One is deeply grateful to find out so much and so perceptively how intellectual life was conducted in England, through the mind and so to speak the body in its social aspects in the first half of the 20th century." CERCLES

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Title Details

16th October 2020

290 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press