Primum mobile: The genesis of the Newbolt Report

John Hodgson, Ann Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In his 1928 presidential address to the English Association, Newbolt attributes the ‘chaotic social conditions of today’ to a ‘wrong turn taken in the early years of the nineteenth century’. He claims that Wordsworth's view of the value of the ‘acquaintance with the great Nature exhibited in the works of mighty poets’ came ‘nearer to the truth than [that of] any [other] Englishman of his time’. The 1921 report over which he presided, he implies, has fulfilled Wordsworth's educational ambition, by proposing English literature as ‘a means of contact with great minds, as a channel by which to draw upon their experience with profit and delight, and as a bond of sympathy between the members of a human society’. This chapter examines the ways in which particular readings of Wordsworth came to frame the thinking of influential Victorian educators and eventually Newbolt.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Newbolt Report
Subtitle of host publicationOne Hundred Years of Teaching English in England
EditorsAndrew Green
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003141891
ISBN (Print)9780367694586, 9780367694616
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameLiterature and Education Series


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