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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gordon Jackson Important new article on Cecil Sharp (107* d) RE: Important new article on Cecil Sharp 19 Apr 19


I found the piece very interesting (although perhaps a proofreader could have been employed?).

Nowhere did I see an assertion that The Golden Bough was about ‘rural England’.

Also, having been in education in a wide variety of settings, including as a lecturer in a high security prison for fourteen years, I am well aware of the difference between being friendly and being friends. There is no question Sharp was friendly with his informants; anyone involved in any kind of ethnographic research, as well as education in its broadest sense, will know it is vital to form positive relationships in order to elicit cooperation, information … and songs. Such relationships may be genuine or cynical, and may be indistinguishable from each other; in purely practical terms it doesn’t especially matter, as long as everyone is satisfied with the result. For example, when I go into a shop to buy a loaf of bread I might smile (on a good day!), say something about the weather, pay for my bread, give thanks and leave. I am being friendly, not attempting to form a lifelong friendship.

I think Professor Gemie might have made more of Sharp’s contradictory belief in cultural Darwinism, whilst simultaneously believing cultural evolution, at least for the rural poor, should end!

I'm not clear what Sharp's dietary preferences have to do with anything!


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