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Introduction

An Experiment in the Art of Living

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2022

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Summary

In 1924, a wealthy New York philanthropist, Dorothy Straight (née Elmhirst), married a Yorkshire-born agricultural economist, Leonard Elmhirst. The First World War had made both of them question the self-oriented, market-driven doctrine of laissez-faire liberalism that underpinned the Western world. ‘I found that the bottom of life had dropped out,’ Leonard Elmhirst wrote, ‘and that the old beliefs could not stand the test’. Both wanted to dedicate themselves to creating a community apart from mainstream society, where a better mode of holistically integrated, democratic living could be pioneered. In 1925 they bought a run-down estate in South Devon, Dartington Hall, and began a social, cultural and education experiment that they hoped would ‘set the pace’ for Britain and the rest of the world. They devoted the rest of their lives to this project, which became one of the best-known and most influential of the many small-scale interwar utopian experiments.

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Chapter
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Practical Utopia
The Many Lives of Dartington Hall
, pp. 1 - 14
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Introduction
  • Anna Neima
  • Book: Practical Utopia
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049269.001
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  • Introduction
  • Anna Neima
  • Book: Practical Utopia
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049269.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Anna Neima
  • Book: Practical Utopia
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049269.001
Available formats
×