This is the first book to give a general account of the transformation of classics in English schools and universities from being the amateur knowledge of the Victorian gentleman to that of the professional scholar, or from an elite social marker to a marginalized academic subject. The challenges to the authority of classics in 19th-century England are analyzed, as are the many and various ideological responses of its practitioners. The impact of university reform on the content and organization of classical knowledge is described in detail, with special reference to Cambridge. Chapters are devoted to the effects of state intervention, social snobbery, and democracy on the provision of classics in schools, and the dissensions within the bodies set up to defend it. The narrative runs clear up to the present, fully covering along the way the abolition of Compulsory Latin in 1960 and the absence of classics from the National Curriculum in 1988.
`It is required reading for understanding the plight of classics in English-speaking lands today ... What I like about the book is that it makes me think. It is controversial. There is much new material ... I warmly recommend a splendid book.'
William M Calder III, Classical World
`This is a dense (in the best sense) book, which chronicles the declining influence of the classics in a manner both learned and unpartisan ... As one might expect, there are excellent footnotes.'
`Classics Transformed is... not a dull work, and more in the same field will be welcome. S.'s most instructive pages are those concerned with the class-background and education of the leading men of the Education Office and its successor, the Board of Education.'
H.D. Jocelyn. Journal of Roman Studies LXXXIX 1999.