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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Hester RACISM in British Folk Movement (84* d) RE: RACISM in British Folk Movement 25 Apr 03

Hi, Malcolm:

Thanks for the info on Georgina Boyes, and your lovely description of the multi-cultural Halifax event.

By "party" politics, I assume you mean Labour. Which is what I'd come to expect of those involved in the folk scene (although with Blair these days, it's not exactly a democratic socialist party anymore, is it?). Sort of left your Left in a muddle, I guess.

I wonder if, by mentioning Boyes' "agenda", our unknown guest was suggesting that she is - gasp! - a feminist? Too right, so am I!

>>>Rolf Gardiner, for example, was not anything like as influential as she makes him out to have been<<<

Well, in _Step Change_ Boyes describes Gardiner as:

"a founder member of the Travelling Morrice, chief theoretician and moving spirit behind the exclusively male Morris Ring".

She states that:

"Throughout the 1930s, Gardiner continued to lecture at Cecil Sharp House, attend events, contribute to the letters page of the English Folk Dance and Song Society's magazine and dance at the annual Morris Ring gathering at Thaxted. Although he held no office in the English Folk Dance and Song Society, he was an influential presence and close to the Society's leadership. Douglas Kennedy, who headed both the Society and the Morris Ring, was a lifelong friend and shared some of his political associations."

That sounds pretty influential to me, Malcolm. Or do you believe Boyes has made factual errors in this passage?

She goes on to quote Roy Judge's assessment of Gardiner's personality and influence:

"Rolf's enthusiasm led him beyond most other men. In everything that he did, Rolf was always larger than life, a charismatic communicator of ideas, becoming a character and a legend in his own time. More ordinary men looked on him with a certain wonderment."

>>>if we are to believe people who were there at the time<<<

What reading would you suggest I do to explore that alternative assessment of Gardiner's influence?

>>>I do feel that she may at times not be quite so objective as might perhaps be desirable.<<<

Well, 'objectivity' is generally dismissed these days in academia as being an illusory and unobtainable goal. [Then again, I'm pretty much an unreformed Structuralist, so who am I to spout po-mo theory.]

Cheers, Hester

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