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The Edinburgh FestivalsCulture and Society in Post-war Britain$
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Angela Bartie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748670307

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670307.001.0001

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The Cultural Resort of Europe: The Creation of the Festival, c. 1944–1947

The Cultural Resort of Europe: The Creation of the Festival, c. 1944–1947

(p.23) 2 The Cultural Resort of Europe: The Creation of the Festival, c. 1944–1947
The Edinburgh Festivals

Angela Bartie

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter covers the origins of the Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama, placing it firmly within the cultural and social context of the immediate post-war society. It considers the organisation, administration and funding of the inaugural Festival against the background of newly introduced state-sponsored support for the arts – the Arts Council – and the growing awareness of tourism as an important ingredient in the local and national economy. It explores the politics of cultural provision in 1940s Britain – including tensions relating to national cultural identity and the continuing emphasis on ‘high culture’ – as well as the new alliance between the churches and the arts. Overall, this chapter explores the new uses put forward for culture in the immediate post-war period and the tensions related to these.

Keywords:   post-war, national identity, high culture, Arts Council, Edinburgh International Festival, tourism, churches, society, 1940s

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