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  • Published: 16 October 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784870812
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $24.99

Culture and Society

Coleridge to Orwell



A ground-breaking work exploring how culture developed in the West. Relevant and readable more than fifty years after its first publication

Acknowledged as a masterpiece of materialist criticism, this book delves into the complex ways economic reality shapes the imagination. Surveying two hundred years of history and English literature – from George Eliot to George Orwell – Williams provides insights into the social and economic forces that have shaped British culture and society. Provocative and revolutionary in its day, this work overturned conventional thinking about the development of a common British mentality.

  • Published: 16 October 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784870812
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Raymond Williams

Raymond Williams was born in 1921 in the Welsh border village of Pandy, and was educated at the village school, at Abergavenny Grammar School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. After serving in the war as an anti-tank captain, he became an adult education tutor in the Oxford University Delegacy for Extra-Mural Studies. In 1947 he was an editor of Politics and Letters, and in the 1960s was general editor of the New Thinker’s Library. He was elected Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1961 and was later appointed Professor of Drama.

His books include Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961) and its sequel Towards 2000 (1983); Communications (1962) and Television: Technology and Cultural Form (1974); Drama in Performance (1954), Modern Tragedy (1966) and Drama from Ibsen to Brecht (1968); The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence (1970), Orwell (1971) and The Country and the City (1973); Politics and Letters (interviews) (1979) and Problems in Materialism and Culture (selected essays) (1980); and four novels – the Welsh trilogy of Border Country (1960), Second Generation (1964) and The Fight for Manod (1979), and The Volunteers (1978).

Raymond Williams was married in 1942, had three children, and divided his time between Saffron Walden, near Cambridge, and Wales. He died in 1988.

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Praise for Culture and Society

He was the foremost political thinker of his generation in Britain who in his most formidable books, Culture And Society, The Long Revolution and The Country And The Town, redrew the map of our cultural history, and elsewhere made heroic interventions in the main political debates of his time

Guardian

For those who read English in the '60s, it was common to revere Williams as both a rock of integrity and a pathfinder for new ways of seeing culture, communication, class and democracy

Independent

Brave, intelligent, and disciplined...a most impressive work

C. P. Snow

Penetrating, lucid, objective, and also honestly engaged...the best reasoned plea that I have read for a common culture

Angus Wilson

Brilliantly intelligent...a good critic and also an original thinker

Stuart Hampshire

Of quite radical importance...mature seriousness and unflagging candour...magnificent

Frank Kermode

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