Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stoicism in the British Charcter

In the aftermath of the 7/7 Islamicist terror attacks in London, the tenor of the British response was widely praised as Stoical. Blog entries, with expansive links, can he found here, here and here.

This strain within the traditional British character (it is, historically, intertwined with Christianity) is important to understand if one wishes a full understanding of the Edwardians' (in general) and Marie Corelli's (in particular) reaction to the Deacadent movement. One small example is Gilbert & Sullivan's satiric operetta on aestheticism, entitled Patience. You'll be familiar with its immortal lines:

If you're anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line / as
a man of culture rare ... And ev'ryone will say / As you walk your flow'ry way, / "If he's content with a vegetable love which would certainly not suit me, / Why, what a most particularly pure young man / this pure young man must be!"

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