This book is recommended reading for all serious travelers on the via pulchritudinis. It is an argument for the inclusion of the ‘quadrivium’ in education as an important part of the antidote to modernism. I posted this review when the book first came out about three years ago. I re-post it now because my friend Strat is very ill and will most likely not live through the summer. It is by way of a tribute to him and that I would like to draw attention to his work. He has written many articles
Here, Strat pulls together and builds with great insight on themes raised earlier and discussed in issues of the journal of faith and culture, Second Spring, which he c0- edits. I was lucky to be able to contribute some of these articles to this journal myself. The articles of mine are the product of many enjoyable hours of conversation between Strat and myself over the years and I am flattered that he refers to our conversations in the forward to this book.
Stratford has been one of the main influences on my thinking over the years and one the people who first encouraged me to start writing about my ideas. To the degree that I have done so, I could not have written anything worthwhile without his help. I first went into his office in Oxford 15 years ago looking for help in establishing a new sort of Catholic art school. I had phoned him up out of the blue because someone had told me that he was interested in similar things. He instantly agreed to see me and I travelled up to Oxford from London a week later. In this meeting he patiently listened to me and said that he would like to help me. He then invited me up to Oxford and took me through a week of guided reading and helped me to write the first article I had ever written containing these ideas. This was published in Second Spring and was entitled the Way of Beauty (this is where the name for this blog came from!). I remember two things about this, first of all how slow and difficult writing was for me at that point (I hadn’t written an essay for the consideration of others since I was sixteen years old!). Second was how patient he was in molding it, suggesting changes (Read More)