Biography of Matthew Arnold


Arnold, Matthew, born in 1822, eldest son of Dr. Arnold of Rugby. Was educated at Winchester, Rugby, and Balliol College, Oxford, and was a distinguished critic, poet, scholar, and theologian. He was elected Fellow of Oriel College in 1845, and in 1851, after having been for some time private secretary to Lord Lansdowne, he was appointed Lay Inspector of Schools under the Committee of Council on Education, in which capacity he twice visited the Continent for the purpose of collecting information, and which appointment he resigned in 1886. His poetic activity was manifested in early life; for 10 years (1857-1867) he held the chair of poetry at Oxford, and among his productions may be noted his Newdigate prize poem "Cromwell" (1843), "The Strayed Reveller," and a volume of "New Poems" published in 1869. As a critic, he holds a very high place. His later works were chiefly theological, being attempts to grapple with the supernatural aspects of Christianity from a rationalistic standpoint. "St. Paul and Protestantism" (1870), "Literature and Dogma" (1873), and "God and the Bible" (1875), are among his writings. Died, 1888.