Zarathustra Among the Edwardians: Aspects of Nietzsche’s Reception in Britain, ca. 1900-1914

By W. Jay Reedy.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Friedrich Nietzsche (d. 1900) was one of the most original thinkers of the late 19th century. In recent times, his multivalent writings have inspired an array of very different readings and cultural movements, including fascism, existentialism, and poststructuralism. But his complex and problematic legacy was already apparent decades ago. the time of his death, his iconoclastic “philosophizing with a hammer” was influencing numerous intellectuals in both Germany and France. However, the reception and interpretation of his works in an Edwardian Britain partially isolated from Continental trends was slower, tentative, and tinged by characteristics peculiar to British culture. Nevertheless, Nietzsche became a figure rather frequently referred to by such avant-garde writers and artists as George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, A. R.Orage, Frederick Delius, John Davidson, Herbert Read, Robert Graves, Anthony Ludovici, and F. C. S. Schiller. While a number of British conservatives found Nietzsche’s insights supportive, Germanophobe patriots like William Archer in 1914 came to stress that Nietzsche’s aphorisms were a menacing symptom of Teutonic militarism unfit for “civilized” readers.

Keywords: Friedrich Nietzsche, Britain, 1900-1914

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.143-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.122MB).

Prof. W. Jay Reedy

Professor of Humanities and Social Science, History Department, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI, USA

I have taught at various universities in the USA for over 20 years specializing in European Cultural History. My research in the history of the social philosophy and science has appeared in a number of books and journals including Journal of the History of Ideas, History of Political Thought, History of the Human Sciences, Historical Reflections, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, etc.

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