Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 24 August 2020

More Rumblings at the National Trust

Having posted earlier about the National Trust and the path it appears to be taking I now see in a link from The Independent that some of its members are getting irritated. The report can be read at Subscribers cancel National Trust memberships accusing organisation of ‘getting political’ over slaveryBeing The Independent it is, of course, favourable to that which is politically correct but it does show that the ‘culture war’ has made its way into the National Trust. The seemingly obsessive contemporary concern to highlight the fact of slavery in the time when many country houses were being built and furnished is a good example of Presentism. That is to say the idea that we twenty first century beings, being modern and enlightened, know so much more about being humane than people in the past - and that we are entitled to deconstruct and indeed abolish a past about which the main advocates of changing attitudes to such things are either unhealthily obsessed or staggeringly ignorant.

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