Saturday, July 03, 2021


Filled Up With Rubbish

G.M. Trevelyan (1876-1952), An Autobiography & Other Essays (London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1949), pp. 57-58:
Literature and history are twin sisters, inseparable. In the days of our own grandfathers, and for many generations before them, the basis of education was the Greek and Roman classics for the educated, and the Bible for all. In the classical authors and in the Bible, history and literature were closely intervolved, and it is that circumstance which made the old form of education so stimulating to the thought and imagination of our ancestors. To read the classical authors and to read the Bible was to read at once the history and the literature of the three greatest races of the ancient world. No doubt the Classics and the Bible were read in a manner we now consider uncritical, but they were read according to the best lights of the time and formed a great humanistic education. To-day the study both of the Classics and of the Bible has dwindled to small proportions. What has taken their place? To some extent the vacuum has been filled by a more correct knowledge of history and a wider range of literature. But I fear that the greater part of it has been filled up with rubbish.

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