David, thanks for taking the time to post this synopsis. It gives us a
glimpse of Eliot in the picture of a man he admired.
On Mon, 8 Oct 2012 09:26:22 +0100, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I haven't yet taken in the whole of his book, but I think that Bro Every
>was advocating a return to mainstream Christian values and attitudes, which
>he felt largely had been lost or abandoned since about the end of the
>He saw greed and pursuit of profit replacing Christian propriety; trivial
>and meaningless pastimes and diversions replacing worthwhile recreation (cf
>perhaps Eliot's 'distracted from distraction by distraction'). He
>pointed to contemporary buildings and vernacular architecture as victims of
>these forces - comparing the mock-Tudor speculative boxes of suburbia with
>modest, utilitarian, medieval and Georgian buildings and settlements.
>He advocated that the discrimination should be Christian not as of
>righteousness but simply because it provided a time-honoured code of values
>of assured goodness, which modern society he argued was largely bankrupt
>in. He didn't absolve the Church though from having somewhat lost its way,
>His outlook seems much the same as eg John Betjeman's revolt against
>'ghastly good taste' in architecture and his ridiculing of concrete boxes
>with a steel girder cross on the front and a Saint Ecumenicus sign on the
>front as absurd and ugly compared with traditional church architecture,
>which was put up for the glory of God.
>Michael Roberts too (another pal of Eliot) approached similar from a
>geopolitical perspective and Charles Williams and perhaps CS Lewis from a
>Generally, if one views the whole canon of immediate prewar English
>cultural thought as a carnival procession, this seems to have been one of
>the main bandwagons. It was just such a great pity that Roberts and
>Williams both suddenly dropped dead and fell off the float not far from the
>start. It was a far poorer event without them.