Click HERE to read the latest from Scrutopia.
‘Living with Beauty’ the report of the Building Beautiful Building Better Commission was launched on 30th January by the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick MP and Roger’s co-chair Nicholas Boys-Smith. They both paid wonderful tribute to Roger. Nicholas ensured that Roger’s thought and writing was included right up to the last edit for which I will always be grateful. The report says: “Ask for Beauty”; “Refuse Ugliness” “Promote Stewardship”
“We should recognise that the pursuit of beauty is an attempt to work with our neighbours, not to impose our views on them. As Kant argued in his great Critique of Judgment, in the judgment of beauty we are ‘suitors for agreement’, and even if that judgment begins in subjective sentiment, it leads of its own accord to the search for consensus.”
The full report is available online: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/861832/Living_with_beauty_BBBBC_report.pdf
We’ll make it easier to build beautiful homes, to end the myth that quality is the enemy of supply
Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary. (Sunday Telegraph ‘Comment’ section 25 January 2020)
New homes that conform to local residents' ideas of beauty to be fast-tracked through planning system
Edward Malnick, Sunday Political Editor. (The Telegraph, Front page Sunday 25th Jan 2020)
The Commission will be launching the final final on Thursday 30th January.
The Classical Vernacular Carcanet Press (1995)
We have requested a new print run of The Classical Vernacular and are taking advance orders.
The essays, from the perspective of 'the classical vernacular', explore the nature and meaning of architecture, defending architecture without architects, and the 'vernacular tradition', that 'vulgar tongue' which is the natural language of space, proportion and light. He provides a comprehensive critique of modernism (not only the heartless modernism of architecture) from a serious intellectual perspective, based in a philosophical aesthetics which he has propounded in earlier books including The Politics of Culture (1981), The Aesthetic Understanding (1983) and The Philosopher on Dover Beach (1990), all published by Carcanet in its collections of Scruton's major essays and articles.
How to buy from us:
If you would like to order an advance copy -
The cost will be £25 plus P&P. Please note, a delivery date has not yet been secured so please be patient! Thank you.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL. Beloved husband of Sophie, adored father to Sam and Lucy and treasured brother of Elizabeth and Andrea, he died peacefully on Sunday 12th January. He was born on 27th February 1944 and had been fighting cancer for the last 6 months. His family are hugely proud of him and of all his achievements. (12.01.2020)
Tributes to Roger
Roger Scruton Was a Conservative. But What Kind? Robert P. George - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/opinion/roger-scruton.html
An appreciation. Ian Christie - https://www.cusp.ac.uk/themes/m/blog-ic-sir-roger-scruton-an-appreciation/
A personal appreciation. Ian Christie - https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2020/01/24/sir-roger-scruton-19442020-a-personal-appreciation
Barbara Kay: - https://quillette.com/2020/01/14/remembering-roger-scruton-defender-of-reason-in-a-world-of-postmodern-jackals/
Scruton was the greatest thinker of our age. Daniel Hannan -https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/18/roger-scruton-greatest-conservative-thinker-age/
Sir Roger Scruton Obituary. The Telegraph
We owe it to Scruton to follow his example. Douglas Murray - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/13/owe-roger-scruton-follow-example/
Roger Scruton knew the precious value of freedom. Melanie Philips - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/roger-scruton-knew-the-precious-value-of-freedom-tb663hgzk
Sir Roger Scruton Obituary. The Times - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sir-roger-scruton-obituary-5t7t6626x
Towering intellect whose only crime was to be a conservative. Toby Young - The Daily Mail
Sir Roger Scruton Obituary. Jane O'Grady - The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jan/14/sir-roger-scruton-obituary
How Scruton embraced religion. Frances Ward - Church Times - https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2020/24-january/comment/opinion/how-scruton-embraced-religion
Obituary: Sir Roger Scruton. The Revd Steve Wilkinson -https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2020/24-january/gazette/obituaries/sir-roger-scruton
Remembering Roger Scruton. Alev Scott - https://www.ft.com/content/4090c72e-3789-11ea-ac3c-f68c10993b04
My friend Roger Scruton. Christina Hoff Sommers - https://www.aei.org/society-and-culture/my-friend-roger-scruton/
Roger Scruton is dead, but his books and ideas will live on. Daniel Johnson - https://www.thearticle.com/roger-scruton-is-dead-but-his-books-and-ideas-will-live-on?utm_source=bibblio_article_page
Roger Scruton, 1944-2020. Flagg Taylor - https://thebulwark.com/roger-scruton-1944-2020/
Roger Scruton, 1944-2020. Remebering the philosopher. Tim Crane - https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/roger-scruton-1944-2020-tim-crane/
Roger Scruton: Conservative thinker dies at 75. BBC - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51084248
Roger Scuton: Conservative lodestar. Danny Kruger - https://unherd.com/2020/01/roger-scruton-conservative-lodestar/
The Hounds in Full Cry: Roger Scruton's Conservatism. Bradley Birzer - https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-hounds-in-full-cry-roger-scrutons-conservatism/
4 ways Sir Roger shaped me. Bryan Baise - https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/4-ways-sir-roger-scruton-shaped-me
Roger Scruton: A Conservative for Modern Times. Dominic Green - https://www.wsj.com/articles/roger-scruton-a-conservative-for-modern-times-11578955867
A perfect knight: Remembering Roger Scruton. Daniel Hannan https://www.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/a-perfect-knight-remembering-roger-scruton/
Policy Exchange pays tribut to Sir Roger Scruton. Professor Robert Grant - https://policyexchange.org.uk/news/policy-exchange-pays-tribute-to-sir-roger-scruton/
The Philosopher of Love. Thierry Baudet - https://forumvoordemocratie.nl/actueel/sir-roger-scruton-philosopher-of-love
The philosopher's mind at its end. Mark Dooley - https://thecritic.co.uk/the-philosophers-mind-at-its-end/
Roger Scruton, British philosopher and conservative lightning rod, dies at 75. Harrison Smith - https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/roger-scruton-british-philosopher-and-conservative-lightning-rod-dies-at-75/2020/01/13/44b8f7d8-3615-11ea-bb7b-265f4554af6d_story.html
RIP Roger Scruton. Mark Lees - https://www.theoldie.co.uk/blog/rip-sir-roger-scruton-1944-2020
Scruton: Philosopher par excellence. Anthony O'Hear - https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/february-2020/philosopher-par-excellence/
The Gratitude of a Lover of Wisdom. Nicholas Bartulovic - https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/17/the-gratitude-of-a-lover-of-wisdom/
Obituaries in the Czech media:
More extensive and personal tributes:
We mark the conclusion of a most interesting year by expressing sincere gratitude to all the many people who have sent messages of support and appreciation to Sir Roger, in the wake first of the media storm and later in the light of his cancer diagnosis. Happy Christmas and warmest gratitude to you all.
The process of recovery has begun, and we look forward to a remission. Meanwhile the good will expressed has been quite overwhelming, and has helped Roger to move back towards his desk, to take up his pen, and to experience once again the joy of living and writing. Soon he hopes to make the next step, out into the winter fields, there to refresh his mind with the experience recorded in these paragraphs from News From Somewhere:
“Our own green lane has retained its character, as a living and self-healing thing. And in the winter it takes on a beautiful remoteness. Its soggy surface, bordered by blackthorn hedges where the red beads of bryony linger into the New Year, acquires a faint silver sheen, and the sparse winter light lies in flakes on the waterlogged ruts, as though scattered there.
It is the winter that such place provide their most lasting refreshment to the eye. For life has retreated, leaving its many colours half-hidden but perceivable, and the landscape is filled with a subtle counterpoint. The lesson so patiently taught by Corot, Turner and Cézanne – that no natural object is truly monochrome, and that even in the blackest thicket can be discovered all the colours of the palette – is repeated by winter. And that is why there is no better time to visit the country, to walk or ride in the fields, and to take the chance of the weather for the sake of the eyes.
Indeed, the worse the weather, the more refreshing the effect. Green dissolves in water, loses its sickly surfeit, and allows the residual notes of autumn to appear through the storm. Driving rain and wind-tormented branches fill the air with spangled flakes of red and brown. The bare trunk of an ageing hawthorn, deprived of its green mantle and its distracting gift of berries, comes suddenly alive, its bark streaked with vermilion, folded into itself and breaking away to reveal long stretches of polished pewter. The mottled gold of the weeping willow, the deep crimson hue of the dogwood, the pallid cinnamon of the field maple, the many tobacco-leaf, rust coloured and auburn highlights in the bark of an ash: all these are a source of delight, once you begin to notice them. The last ogee leaves of hazel, saffron yellow at the edges, but shading into green, recall the colours of the nut itself, while here and there in the hedgerows the vermilion rosehips and the last purple sloes give a poignant farewell to the life that produced them, like jewels in an old lady’s hair.
It is an interesting exercise to stare into a dark, denuded hedgerow and count the colours. Every shade of red and blue, from salmon pink to scarlet, and from deepest indigo to pale forget-me-not, is lurking there, recuperating from the light of summer. And as you watch these hues glimmer like embers you come to understand some of the mystery of colour how red excludes green and yellow and blue; how white is somehow not a colour at all, and the metal shades are like glosses in which colours are trapped and made invisible. These strange phenomena are not explained by the physics of light – a fact that Goethe noticed, and which led him to compose his great treatise on colour. They are not facts about things, but about us seeing things. Pondering them we are also pondering the mystery of consciousness. How is it that the world not only is, but also seems? Why was it not sufficient for the world to be?"
Extract from News from Somewhere. P. 124 -125.
Despite everything, I have so much to be grateful for
My 2018 ended with a hate storm, in response to my appointment as chair of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. But the new year brings a lull, and I hope and pray that the Grand Inquisitor enthroned by social media will find another target.
On Tuesday 3rd December, the Hungarian Ambassador Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky welcomed friends and guests to announce that the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of Hungary would be awarded to Sir Roger Scruton in the presence of the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán . The Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó presented the order of the President of Hungary on the decoration of Sir Roger Scruton with the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit. The celebration event took place at The Hungarian Embassy.
And is also available here Laudation_address_of_PM_Orban.pdf
A report can be read from Hungary Today here https://hungarytoday.hu/orban-lauds-sir-roger-scruton-loyal-friend-of-freedom-loving-hungarians/
You can also read Daniel Johnsons article here: https://www.thearticle.com/european-nations-have-given-roger-scruton-their-highest-honours-why-not-ours-too
On Friday 15th November Sir Roger was awarded the Silver Medal by the Senate of the Czech Parliament in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which saw the abolition of the communist system in the former Czechoslovakia and the liberation from totalitarian control of the Czech and Slovak people. The was medal presented by the President of the Senate at a gala dinner in Prague, in the presence of the British Ambassador, and many of those who took part, both in the dissident movements in Czech politics, and in the underground university that was established to offer education to people who had been expelled from the official system. Sir Roger is delighted that the help offered to Czech and Slovak citizens by his fellow countrymen is being recognized in this way, and hopes that the deep sympathies established in those years will remain as influential in European politics as they were in the decade after 1989.
Czech reports can been seen below
The 1989 uprising against communism in Eastern Europe was a bid for freedom, and for many commentators it was little more than that. The oppressors happened to be the Communist Party, backed up by their Soviet masters, but they might have been the henchmen of a tin-pot dictatorship or a gang of Mafiosi. The important point, for many observers, is that the oppressors had set out to control things, and the people had at last said no.
Read the full article online HERE
- Scrutopia Alumni Thurs 27 August – Sun 30 August 2020
- Scrutopia Summer School 2020
- Streets With Nooks and Crannies Are Beloved and Endangered - TAC, 4 Oct 19
- The Madness of Crowds - Review for Unherd, 17 Sept 19
- The Architecture of Social Isolation- Berggruen Institute, 11 Sept 19
- BBBBC Interim Report
- The 2019 Scrutopia Summer School
- Roger Scruton gets his job back - The Spectator, 23rd July 19
- The Telegraph - 20th July 19
- Letter from the Secretary of State 9/7/19