Arts > Landmark revisited

08 March 2018 | by Lucy Lethbridge

Landmark revisited


The viewer interested in peering into aspects of the far-distant culture of mid-twentieth-century Britain will find the episodes of Kenneth Clark’s 1969 series Civilisation, now available on BBC iPlayer, instructive and sometimes ­startling. A patrician, besuited figure who mentions Ruskin without assuming any need to explain to his listener who Ruskin was, Sir Kenneth was the arbiter of canonical taste for the watchers of early television documentaries: for him and them, the story of civilisation meant the history and triumph of Western art and culture.

Now, nearly 50 years later, the BBC has revisited the theme of its landmark documentary series but, in keeping with the culture of the early twenty-first century, has expanded it


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