Barry J. Faulk is a professor in the English Department at Florida State University and the author of British Rock Modernism: The Story of Music Hall in Rock (2010). He has published numerous articles on British literature and cultural studies.
The late-Victorian discovery of the music hall by English intellectuals marks a crucial moment in the history of popular culture. Music Hall and Modernity demonstrates how such pioneering cultural critics as Arthur Symons and Elizabeth Robins Pennell used the music hall to secure and promote their professional identity as guardians of taste and national welfare. These social arbiters were, at the same time, devotees of the spontaneous culture of “the people.”In