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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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.








"In the context of English history itself, the extent to which a powerful imagination or significant passage of writing can affect external events - can in a real sense 'create history' - is of absorbing interest" -- Peter Ackroyd, Albion, 2002.

"I believe modern art as resistance is headed for the condition of the Unseen. That which is real but not seen has the power of the occult, of the imagination, of the erotic - like Sean's spirit-mask [left by him] at Patrick's Well [in County Kildare], it gives back meaning to the landscape - it abides unnoticed until someone perhaps takes it as a free gift - by its very existence it challenges the world of the commodified image and changes (however slightly) the shape of consensus reality. Even at its most hidden and secret, it exercises a magnetic effect, brings about subtle shifts and re-alignments - and at least in theory, it gives up merely talking about the world in order to change it. Is this perhaps however covertly an authoritarian act? No, not if it were a sharing of meaning, an opening into the field of "delicate tenuities". What if it were rendered completely invisible? Then perhaps we might speak of the presence of spirits, of a necessary re-enchantment too tenuous for the imperial heaviness of the eye - and of a necessary clandestinity. And what if it were to re-appear sometime as sheer opposition to the unbreathing virtuality of a world which is always deferred, always someplace else, always fatal?" -- Peter Lamborn Wilson, Millenium.

"for all these artists, the pursuit of landscape was always more than a quest for phenomena, or the appearances of the natural and human forms. They were intent upon a transfiguration of what they saw: often they laid claim to a religious or spiritual vision; always they wanted to rupture the surfaces of the given with imaginative transformations. Landscape, for them, was an arena in which the subjective and the objective, the deeply personal and the richly traditional could be mingled in new and previously unseen ways." -- Peter Fuller, Images of God.

"Moonlight, Avebury, 1974 [by Fay Godwin] ... This photograph, in particular, demolishes at a blow the urbanite's notion that the works produced by William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Edward Calvert and the rest of the Brotherhood of Ancients were, even in their own day, an exaggerated form of special pleading in the face of early industrialization; idealized and romanticized beyond relevance to the issues of the real world. For here it all is, not far off two centuries later, the moon and the stone; the flock and the trees; the dwellings tucked down, inconspicuous yet through their occupants vital to the organization, organization in the sense of organic patterning, of everything else present in the picture." - Phillip Stokes.

"What we want art to do for us is to stay what is fleeting, and to enlighten what is incomprehensible, to incorporate the things that have no measure, and immortalise the things that have no duration." -- John Ruskin.


Contemporary art:

"There is evidence, here and there, of younger artists re-engaging with aspects of Romanticism … There is a new engagement with the idea of landscape, and how landscape can become embroiled with human feeling." Financial Times, "Romantic spirit in a landscape of theory" Jan 20, 2006.

The Sydney Morning Herald, in its review of the 2006 art, noted and sneered at the "dabbling in neo-romantic imagery”, and The Art Newspaper called the Whitney Bienneal... "neo-Romantic in the concentration on the irrational and the erotic."

The L.A. Times wrote in 2006... "Something remarkable is happening just beneath the surface of the art world. Its makeup has been shifting — slightly and subtly at first, but with a recent torrential surge that may have put it on the verge of a sea change. Rich new collectors are buying up strange artworks from a host of until recently fringe-dwelling galleries, and the guardians of high culture are being forced to sit up and take notice. Little galleries are springing up everywhere, devoted to a kind of dark, cartoonish pictorialism".



"You can discuss voting Conservative with your mother, with the waiter, taxi driver, but not with the art world. To say you are Conservative is to say you're a Nazi. It's absurd." -- Gilbert & George, The Observer, 5th May 2002.

"One of the odder social developments of the past 40 years has been the growing sense that there is something decidedly 'off-message' to even admit the fact, let alone celebrate it, that there is a country called England and that, in being of it, one is English." -- William Packer, Financial Times.

"England is the only country apart from guilt-ravished Germany where it is actually shameful to be proud of where you come from. [...] It is impossible to build a coherent nation where all citizens, newcomers and oldtimers are proud to belong if the defining national emotion is shame." -- Anthony Browne in The Observer, 21st April 2002.

"In most towns and cities around the world, three cultures coexist more or less amicably. There's international high culture [...]. There's international pop culture [...]. And alongside them, there's a distinctive indigenous [folk] culture, celebrated in local festivities, and exported as an advertisement for the nation. It has an official place in the school curriculum, and a protected niche on the broadcasting networks, and it is encouraged (and subsidised) by the government. Everywhere except England." -- Mike Sutton, "England, whose England? - Class, gender and national identity in the 20th century folklore revival."




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.