chapter  2
23 Pages

MATTHEW ARNOLD’S THOUGHT IN 1851

UNLIKE his admired Marcus Aurelius, Matthew Arnold left to the world no comprehensive notice of the debt he owed to each of his teachers, and of the sources from which he derived his main ideas in life; but he did leave a number of note-books, a small portion of which refer to his early development, a considerable volume of correspondence of which a large proportion, referring to the years before his marriage, appears to have been destroyed, and most importantly, two volumes of poetry composed while he was still in his twenties and revealing in some detail the state of mind in which the young inspector found himself at the outset of his new career. 1 From these sources it is possible to construct, not a philosophy of education nor even any ideas directly bearing on education, but simply the chief problems and the main lines of thought which interested Arnold at that time and which were instrumental in determining the direction of his subsequent thought on educational matters.