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The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to the British neo-Romantic tradition, from 1880 to the present day.

While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden tradition to light.

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 WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?

  Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration   from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.   Characteristic themes in their work include a   mystical approach to the British landscape...

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  This is the online   Encyclopedia-BNR,   version 0.5 beta.

  Contact the editor.
INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1880-1920:


  Fiction:

George Macdonald.
Lewis Carroll.
John Ruskin.
Christina Rosetti.
Rudyard Kipling.
William Morris.
Richard Jefferies.
Edward Carpenter.
Kenneth Grahame.
Arthur Machen.
Algernon Blackwood.
'Saki'.

  Poetry:

G.M. Hopkins.
W.B. Yeats.
A.E. Housman
Laurence Binyon.

  Music:

Gustav Holst.
Vaughan Williams.
Edward Elgar.
Granville Bantock.

  Painting:

Edward Burne-Jones.
Maxwell Armfield.
Mark Symons.
John Duncan.
George Henry.
  & Edward Atkinson
  Cornell.

Gerald Moira.
Robert Bateman.
Samuel Palmer.
Walter Crane.
Edward Robert Hughes.
Bernard Sleigh.
Eleanor Fortescue
  -Brickdale.

Nathaniel Sparks.
F.C. Robinson.
Reginald Hallward.
Laurence Housman.
James Joshua Guthrie.
Paul Nash.
Charles Mahoney.
Arthur Rackham.
Thomas Cooper Gotch.
Christopher Wood.

  Movements:

Symbolism.
Aesthetic movement.
Birmingham Group.
Neo-gothic architecture.
Pictorialism.
Fairy & ghost photos.


1920s - 'places to hide':

Ballet design.
Book illustration.
The Kibbo Kift.


1930-to-1955:


  Fiction:

John Cowper Powys.
J.R.R. Tolkien.
Mervyn Peake.
C.S. Lewis.
Daphne du Maurier.
Mary Webb.
Herbert Read.
Forrest Reid
T.H. White.
Hugh Walpole.

  Non-fiction:

Robert Graves.
Rev. Francis Kilvert.
Geoffrey Grigson.
Bill Brandt.
Roger Mayne.
John Deakin.
Nikolaus Pevsner.

  Music:

Arnold Bax.
Vaughan Williams.

  Painting:

John Piper.
John Craxton.
John Minton.
David Jones.
Graham Sutherland.
Stanley Spencer.
Eric Ravilious.
Ralph Chubb.
Charles Mahoney.
Michael Ayrton.
Thomas Monnington.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas.
Edwin Smith.
Ithell Colquhoun.
Francis Berry.
George Barker.
Laurence Whistler.

  Film:

Humphrey Jennings.
Powell & Pressburger.
David Lean.
Epic British film music.

 


 

 

 

 

   ENTRY: Britten, Benjamin.

   Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, O.M., C.H. (b. November 22, 1913 d. December 4, 1976) was a British composer, conductor, and pianist.

   Britten was born in Lowestoft in Suffolk, the son of a dentist and a talented amateur musician. He schooled at Gresham's School. In 1927, he began private lessons with Frank Bridge. He also studied, less happily, at the Royal College of Music under John Ireland and with some input from Vaughan Williams.

   His first compositions to attract wide attention were performed in 1934. The following year he met the poet W.H. Auden with whom he collaborated, and in 1936 met tenor Peter Pears, who was to become his life-partner and musical collaborator.

   At the end of the Second World War he premiered the first of a series of operas, Peter Grimes, his greatest success so far. Britten was however encountering opposition from sectors of the English musical establishment and gradually withdrew from the London scene, founding the English Opera Group in 1947 and the Aldeburgh Festival the following year, partly (though not solely) to showcase his own works.

   Britten was a lifelong devotee of youth, and his best known work is The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1946), which was composed to accompany Instruments of the Orchestra, an educational film produced by the British government, narrated and conducted by Malcolm Sargent. It has the subtitle 'Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell', and takes a melody from Henry Purcell's Abdelazar as its central theme. Britten gives individual variations to each of the sections of the orchestra, starting with the woodwind, then the string instruments, the brass instruments and finally the percussion. Britten then brings the whole orchestra together again in a fugue before restating the theme to close the work. The original film's spoken commentary is often omitted in concert performances and recordings.

   The opera Grimes marked the start of a series of his English operas, of which Billy Budd (1951) and The Turn of the Screw (1954) and A Midsummer Night's Dream were particularly admired.

   These operas share common themes, with that of the romantic 'outsider' particularly prevalent. Most feature such a character, excluded or misunderstood by society; often this is the protagonist, such as Peter Grimes and Owen Wingrave in their eponymous operas.

   The greatest success of Britten's career was, however, the musically more conventional War Requiem, written for the opening of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral in 1962. The War Requiem was later filmed by Derek Jarman.

   In the last decade or so of his life, Britten suffered from increasing ill-health and his late works became progressively more sparse in texture. They include the opera of the novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (1973), the Suite on English Folk Tunes "A Time There Was" and Third String Quartet (1975), which drew on material from Death in Venice.

   Britten was made a life peer on 2 July 1976 as Baron Britten, of Aldeburgh in the County of Suffolk. A few months later he died of heart failure at his house in Aldeburgh. He is buried in the churchyard there.

Further reading:

Humphrey Carpenter. Benjamin Britten: a biography (1992)


~

INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1955-to-1975:

  Painting:

Leslie Hurry.
Robin Tanner.
Ceri Richards.
Michael Ayrton.


  Classical music:

Havergal Brian.
Benjamin Britten.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas   (reputation).
Vernon Watkins.
Ted Hughes.
Christopher Logue.
Keith Vaughan.
Ore magazine.
Eric Ratcliffe.
Edwin Morgan.
Roland Mathias.

  Fiction:

Laurie Lee.
Alan Garner.
John Gordon.

  Non-fiction:

Laurie Lee.
E.P. Thompson.
J.A. Baker.
Geoffrey Grigson.


1975-to-2000:


  Photography:

Fay Godwin.
James Ravilious.
Raymond Moore.
Andy Goldsworthy.

  Popular music:

Robert Wyatt.
Syd Barrett.
Marc Bolan.
John Foxx.
Throbbing Gristle.
Genesis P. Orridge.
The Dancing Did.
Virginia Astley.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.

  Classical music:

Dave Heath.

  Illustration:

Clifford Harper.

  Film:

Derek Jarman.
David Rudkin.

  Fashion:

Vivienne Westwood.

  Literature:

Angela Carter.
Ted Hughes.
Peter Ackroyd.
Heathcote Williams.
Keith Roberts.
Richard Cowper.
Robert Holdstock.
Susan Cooper.

  Poetry:

Kathleen Raine.
Roland Mathias.
Gwyn Thomas.
R.S. Thomas.
George Mackay
  Brown.

Seamus Heaney.
Pauline Stainer.

  Artists:

Graham Ovenden.
Annie Ovenden.
Ann Arnold.
Robert Lenkiewicz.
John Elwyn.
Cecil Collins.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Andrew Logan.
Alan Reynolds.
Norman Ackroyd.
Christopher P. Wood.
Jim Leon.

  Groups & circles:

The Ruralists.
Temenos magazine.
Resurgence magazine.
Crop Circles, makers.
English Underground.


2000 - to the present:

Andrew Logan.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Vivienne Westwood.
Andy Goldsworthy.
Christopher Bucklow.
Peter Ackroyd.
Pauline Stainer.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.
Jon Aldersea.
Christopher P. Wood.
Made in Staffordshire, England.   2007. Last updated: 18th Jan 2007. Site search by PicoSearch.
Some of the initial E-BNR text was sourced or partly derived from Wikipedia, used here under the GNU licence.