Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider ...
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Nine-part series telling the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day, for the first time on a global scale. It is now nearly half a century since Kenneth Clark's ... See full summary »
In each episode historian Simon Schama treats, in his own erudite, unconventional and somewhat socially engaged style, a work of art from a great master. He concentrates not just on the art... See full summary »
One of the greatest achievements of television -broadcast from 1964 in 26 episodes. Use of extensive archive footage and sound effects, linked with contemporary classic music of that area. ... See full summary »
Andrew Marr's History of the World is a 2012 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers 70,000 years of world history from the beginning of human civilisation, ... See full summary »
Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider civilisation's articulations and expressions in some of man's finest works of art.Written by
In the segment titled "The Light of Experience", narrator Lord Clark discusses the great developments in Europe of the XVIIth century - mathematics, measurement, observation - and notes that these "were not hostile to architecture; nor to music, for this was the age of one of the greatest English composers, William Purcell." Here he is misquoting himself, for in the book that accompanies this series (Civilisation. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1969, p.218) he correctly names the composer as Henry Purcell. See more »
I suppose it's debatable how far Elizabethan England can be called civilized. Certainly, it doesn't provide a reproducible pattern of civilisation as does, for example, 18th-century France.
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Enlighteneing, engaging, and intimate program of scholarly work
First broadcast in 1969,Civilization was produced not only to showcase the new medium of color television but also to reassure a then turbulent society of its established roots.
Before viewing Civilization I had never heard of Kenneth Clark, or K Clark as he was known to his contemporaries. At first glance he appears to be the product of a stodgy old order, a stereotypical brown flannel suit poised very uneasily in the Age of Aquarius. However his soft demeanor, articulate observations and frank but reasonable opinions quickly become very endearing qualities. I soon found myself very disappointed I had never met the man, or at least lived through his era.
I can say with confidence that if you seriously enjoy history, particularly the European variety, you will enjoy Civilization. Even if you don't, the stunning and intimate portrayal of 1500 years of art may still be captivating enough to hold your attention. This program is unlike anything broadcast in the post-MTV era, and it sets a standard of culture and erudition that puts networks which should know better, like the History Channel, to shame.
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