Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) was an English poet and cultural critic. Born in Middlesex, he was educated at Balliol College in Oxford. He became a school inspector and this allowed him to see social conditions which would inspire some of his later critical work. He published several books of poems. He won the Newdigate Poetry Prize for a poem on Cromwell. In his later years he turned to writing prose and became known as a critic on English social ills, writing particularly about the disparities between rich and poor society. He wrote about continental school systems and how their methods could be used to create a better organizational structure for English schools.
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