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: Gotch, Thomas Cooper

   Thomas Cooper Gotch (b. 1854 in Kettering, d. 1931 in London) was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter and book illustrator.


   Gotch came from a middle-class business family who were also distinguished scholars and artists. He was sent to a local art school, went to Antwerp (Ecole des Beaux Arts) and Paris (J.P. Laurens), then studied at The Slade in London (1878-1880). In 1881 at age 26, after a long engagement, he married fellow art student Caroline Burland Yates (1854-1945).

   After varied and energetic world travel, he became more and more involved with the fractious politics around the resistance to the domination of the Royal Academy of Art, and was a founder member of the New English Art Club.

   Gotch and his wife settled at the Newlyn artists' colony in Cornwall, from around 1887, although they had previously visited as early as 1880. There he founded the Newlyn Industrial Classes, where the local youth could learn the arts & crafts. He also helped to set up the Newlyn Art Gallery, and served on its committee all his life. He founded (1887) and later served as President (1913-1928) of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists. Among his friends in Newlyn were fellow artists Stanhope Forbes and Albert Chevallier Tayler.

   His beloved only daughter, Phyllis Marian Gotch (born France 1882), made the young Gotch family a mainstay of the Newlyn social-scene. She and her circle of friends (used by Gotch as models) inspired the stories of H.D. Lowry. Phyllis later became a writer and singer, and married around 1913.

   He had an elder brother, John Alfred Gotch, a successful architect, architecture scholar and antiquarian writer.

   Thomas Cooper Gotch appears to have been buried at Newlyn.


   In Newlyn he worked first at painting local scenes in the then-fashionable realist manner. But even these often had a romantic edge, such as The Wizard or an obvious love of surface colour.

   In 1891 a visit to Florence, Italy, opened his eyes to the work of the romantic European symbolists. He took the brave step of changing his style, to make romantic decorative paintings, when the prevailing fashion was against him. His first work in this new style was "My Crown and Sceptre" (1892), which was the progenitor to his most well-known work "The Child Enthroned" (1894). The latter, on original exhibition, was hailed by The Times newspaper as the star of that year's Royal Academy show. Until that time, his new style of work had drawn much critical scorn.

   He painted various subejcts including religious Christian scenes, history painting, portraits, and a few landscapes. His best-known paintings, which form the bulk of his work, usually portray girl-children in ornate classical or medievalist dress. The appearance of the girls in his paintings is often noted as being very modern. Gotch was a close and lifelong friend of Henry Scott Tuke, whose work featured a parallel focus on the boy-child. Gotch's life-long adoration of the beautiful girl-child was shared by other Victorian giants such as John Ruskin and Lewis Carroll.

   His emotionally-charged work was immensely popular and critically acclaimed for most of his life, although interest in neo-romanticism waned after the First World War and he turned to watercolours of flowers. He also illustrated books, such as Round About Wiltshire, The Land of Pardons (an early study of Breton folklore & Celtic Christianity), and contributed illustrations to school readers such as Highroads of Literature.

   A retrospective show was held in Newcastle in 1910, and a memorial exhibition in Kettering in 1931.

   Much of his work has survived, and much is still in England; but has never been collected in a print edition. Manuscripts relating his life & work are in the care of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The Alfred East Gallery in Kettering has a substantial collection of his work, but only a small part of it is on permanent display. The gallery sells a small 32-page booklet on Gotch.

   There was a show in 2001, "T.C. Gotch: The Last of the Pre-Raphaelites" at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.

Selected list of paintings:

The Wizard (notable early work)
The Orchard (1887) (notable early work)
My Crown and Sceptre (1892)
The Child Enthroned (1894)
Portrait of Phyllis Gotch in Blue (198?)
The Pageant of Children (1895)
Alleluia (1896)
Dawn of Womanhood (1900)
The Message (1903)
The Return From The Pageant (1907)

Further reading:

Baldry, A.L. "The Work of T.C. Gotch", The Studio, Vol.13, March 1898, pages 73-82.
Lomax, Pamela. The Golden Dream: A Biography of Thomas Cooper Gotch (Sansom & Company, 2004) (120 pages, paperback).





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.