Creative Stoke

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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  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.

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


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


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


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

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

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


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

1920s - 'places to hide':

Ballet design.
Book illustration.
The Kibbo Kift.



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.


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


Arnold Bax.
Vaughan Williams.


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


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


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






   ENTRY: Foxx, John

   John Foxx is the stage name of English musician Dennis Leigh. He was the original lead singer of the band Ultravox!, before embarking on a solo career in 1979. Primarily associated with electropop music, he has also pursued a parallel successful career in graphic design.

   Born in Chorley, Lancashire, Leigh first began experimenting with tape recorders and synthesizers whilst on a scholarship at the Royal College of Art. He was the first lead singer with Ultravox! (pre-Midge Ure), a seminal pop band whose style would fuse punk, glam, electronic and new wave. Around this time, Leigh adopted his stage name of John Foxx.

   Like the Krautrock band Neu!, an exclamation mark was part of Ultravox!'s identity. However, by the third album, Systems of Romance, released on 9 December 1978, the exclamation mark had been dropped along with many of the connections to the sounds, visuals and attitudes associated with the preceding albums. The album used synthesisers and Foxx's neo-romantic lyrics to provide a lush and driving soundscape. Its sound was generally imbued with a late European romanticism, partly inspired by German band Kraftwerk, whose close associate, the producer Conny Plank, co-produced Systems of Romance.

   Foxx left the band and signed to Virgin Records, asnd his parent album Metamatic appeared in 1980. Foxx played most of the synthesizers and "rhythm machines", as they were listed on the jacket. Metamatic explored the strange synthesis of harsh electropop, deadpan vocals, but deeply romantic subject matter in the lyrics.

   Foxx's next album was The Garden (1981) was a departure from the stark electropop found on Metamatic, bearing a greater resemblance to Foxx’s swansong with Ultravox, Systems of Romance. The Garden's starting point was in fact a song called "Systems of Romance", written by Foxx for the earlier Ultravox album but not released at the time.

   Foxx set up his own recording studio, also called The Garden, housed in an artists' collective surrounded by sculptors, painters and film makers. He made demo recordings for Virginia Astley's first album, From Gardens Where We Feel Secure, a classic of English neo-romanticism.

   In September 1983 his third solo album The Golden Section was released. A development of the sound of The Garden, Foxx described this album as a "roots check" of his earliest influences such as The Beatles, English psychedelia, and other pre-punk musical sources.

   After In Mysterious Ways (1985), Foxx gave up a public career in pop music. He sold his recording studio and returned to his earlier career as a graphic designer and artist, working under his original name of Dennis Leigh. An example of his work at this time include the book covers of Jeanette Winterson's Sexing The Cherry. He also began experimenting in ambient music, working on a project called 'Cathedral Oceans'. At about this time, Foxx released vinyl electronica dance tracks under various names.

   In 1997 Foxx made a return to the music scene with the simultaneous release of two albums, Shifting City and Cathedral Oceans. Shifting City was categorised by many commentators as an updated stylistic return to Foxx's Metamatic electropop sound. However it also displayed the influence of 1990s underground dance music and the "triphop" style, along with the psychedelic pop first apparent on the Ultravox song "When You Walk Through Me".

   Cathedral Oceans was a solo John Foxx record, an ambient return to his Catholic youth and his love of the ancient cathedrals of England and Europe. Its roots included traditional evensong, Gregorian Chant, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, and Roedelius. From his own music Foxx drew on such pieces as "My Sex" from the first self-titled Ultravox! record, "Hiroshima Mon Amour" from Ha!-Ha!-Ha!, "Just For a Moment" from Systems Of Romance, and the title track from The Garden. Foxx released two further volumes of Cathedral Oceans, in 2003 and 2005.

   In August 2003, Foxx released a double CD with Harold Budd, Translucence / Drift Music.

   In 2004, from September through October, a collection of Cathedral Oceans images was exhibited at BCB Art, Hudson, New York.

   In June 2006, Foxx released a new instrumental solo album, Tiny Colour Movies. The album contains fifteen electronic tracks which his website describes as having the "filmic, atmospheric approach" of the Metamatic-era instrumental B-sides "Glimmer", "Film One" and "Mr No".

   Foxx plans to release a new album called "Impossible", in which he once again collaborates with Louis Gordon. As of yet there is no solid release date, but it is set for release in mid-October.

Selected early works:

Ultravox - Systems of Romance (1978)

Metamatic (1980)
The Garden (1981)
The Golden Section (1983)





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

  Classical music:

Havergal Brian.
Benjamin Britten.


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


Laurie Lee.
Alan Garner.
John Gordon.


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



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.


Clifford Harper.


Derek Jarman.
David Rudkin.


Vivienne Westwood.


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


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

Seamus Heaney.
Pauline Stainer.


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.