By Fred Inglis
This is the 1st biography of the final and maximum British idealist thinker, R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943), a guy who either idea and lived at complete pitch. top identified this present day for his philosophies of background and paintings, Collingwood was once additionally a historian, archaeologist, sailor, artist, and musician. A determine of large strength and ambition, he took as his topic not anything under the complete of human activity, and he lived within the comparable means, trying to event the entire diversity of human ardour. during this vibrant and rapidly paced narrative, Fred Inglis tells the dramatic tale of a striking lifestyles, from Collingwood's chuffed Lakeland adolescence to his successes at Oxford, his archaeological digs as a popular authority on Roman Britain, his solo crusing adventures within the English Channel, his lengthy fight with sickness, and his occasionally turbulent romantic life.
In a fashion extraordinary at the present time, Collingwood tried to collect all facets of human idea right into a unmarried concept of sensible adventure, and he wrote sweeping bills of historical past, paintings, technology, politics, metaphysics, and archaeology, in addition to a very popular autobiography. chiefly, he committed his existence to arguing that history--not science--is the one resource of ethical and political knowledge and self-knowledge.
Linking the highbrow and private aspects of Collingwood's lifestyles, and delivering a wealthy historical past of his milieu, History Man additionally assesses Collingwood's impression on generations of students after his loss of life and the renewed acceptance of his value and curiosity today.
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Additional resources for History Man: The Life of R. G. Collingwood
30 Such habits were what Collingwood himself found enacted in the paintings by his parents stacked against the walls of his home. They were “a visible record of an attempt to solve a deﬁnite problem,” and they took their place in a thronged household in which the conversation was not disputatious but more a reporting of what the interlocutors were about, what were the questions and problems upon which they were deliberating. This conversazione was joined by all the family, naturally, and by all the visitors, about whom it was naturally assumed that they too were addressing not the great mysteries (whatever they may be) but particular and more or less piercing questions alive in the present moment.
This is culture at its most ﬁerce and penetrative, and it is no surprise that the great anthropologist Sir Edward Evan EvansPritchard saw in the 1930s such a close resemblance between these customs and the ancestor worship, patriliny, slavery, endogamy, and so forth in the remote African tribes he studied. The very geography of the school and its magniﬁcent aesthetics enforce tribal self-awareness. The Close, a wide, empty ﬁeld, is held in by very tall, cast-iron railings. This is the playing ﬁeld (Old and New Bigsides) on which the tribe-deﬁning rituals of sport are enacted against rival schools.
The men are the real veritable actual gnomes of fairy book. They are dressed exactly like dwarves; and if they were smaller they would be the creatures who have the house in the story of Snow White. Their houses are toy houses—and their town is a toy town, all little wooden houses— with grass on roofs—apparently pigstyes—up and down toy paths, very steep—all in rock just like Old Man hard and clear, daisies by the sides of the streets—which can’t be bicycled or driven in, and—inside the houses, such jolly old quaint comfort—like the house described in Scott’s “Pirate”—sort of cabins—good furniture and brass things and walls panelled and papered with exactly the patterns we should have liked for the Morningroom.
History Man: The Life of R. G. Collingwood by Fred Inglis