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: Jennings, Humphrey

   Humphrey Jennings (b. August 19, 1907 Walberswick, Suffolk - d. September 24, 1950 Greece) was a British film-maker and one of the founders of the Mass Observation organisation. Jennings was described by film maker Lindsay Anderson as: "the only real poet that British cinema has yet produced."

   He was the son of an architect father, and a painter mother. He studied at Cambridge where, when not studying, he created advanged stage designs and was the founder-editor of Experiment in collaboration with William Empson and Jacob Bronowski.

   After graduating with a starred First Class degree in English from Pembroke College, Cambridge, Jennings undertook a number of jobs - including photographer, painter and theatre designer. In 1929, he married Cicely Cooper. He evenually found his niche in John Grierson's GPO Film Unit in 1934.

   In 1936 Jennings helped with the organisation of the 1936 Surrealist Exhibition in London, in association with Herbert Read and André Breton. It was at about this time that Jennings became involved in the start-up stages of Mass Observation, and was to make the film May the Twelfth as a montage of the 1937 coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth for Mass Observation.

   With the outbreak of the Second World War, the GPO Film Unit became the Crown Film Unit, a movie-making propaganda arm of the Ministry of Information, and Jennings joined the new organisation.

   Jennings made only one feature length film, the 70-minute Fires Were Started (1943), also known as I Was A Fireman, a wartime propaganda movie detailing the work of the Auxiliary Fire Service, which blurred the lines between fiction and documentary. This film, which uses techniques such as montage is considered one of the classics of the genre.

   He made a number of notable short films, inclusively patriotic in sentiment and deeply interested in Englishness, such as: "Spare Time"; "Our Country", "The Dim Little Island", "A Diary for Timothy" (written by E.M. Forster), "Words for Battle", "London Can Take It!", and "Family Portrait" (his last film, of the Festival of Britain). Co-directed with Stewart McAllister, Jennings' best remembered short film, made 1942, is "Listen to Britain".

   His films were often later criticised for being 'too poetic' by those who preferred the straight 'grim social critique' approach that became the norm in the 1960s and 70s.

   He died on the cliffs of the Greek island of Poros, while scouting locations for a future film on post-war healthcare in Europe. He is buried near T.H. White in the Protestant Cemetery at Athens.

   His reputation always remained very high among film makers, but had faded among many others. From 2001 this situation was partly rectified: firstly by the feature-length documentary by Oscar-winning documentary-maker Kevin Macdonald, Humphrey Jennings: The Man Who Listened to Britain (Figment Films, 2002); and secondly by Kevin Jackson's monumental 450-page biography Humphrey Jennings (Picador, 2004). In 2003 his work was included in the Tate Britain retrospective "A Century of Artists' Film in Britain". As of 2005, nearly all the films of Humphrey Jennings are available on DVDs.

Further reading:

Jackson, Kevin (Ed.). The Humphrey Jennings Film Reader (1993)
Jackson, Kevin. Humphrey Jennings (2004)





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.