Following his major work on Rudolf Steiner's ten visits to Britain, Crispian Villeneuve studies Steiner's relationship to the British Isles in the 40 or so years before those visits took place. The theme of Steiner's early connection to British culture leads inevitably to the broader topic of his relationship to modern science. This in turn highlights the polarity and tension between the Goethean philosophic view that arises from Middle Europe, and the 'Baconian' perspective emanating from Western Europe. Interweaving these contrasting Baconian and Goethean world-views, Villeneuve presents numerous primary texts - often culled from obscure sources, and many previously unavailable in English translation - with commentary relating to Rudolf Steiner and the nineteenth century. We learn about Steiner's teachers, Karl Julius Schroer and Edmund Reitlinger, as well as English polymath William Whewell. The latter figure was perhaps the greatest admirer of Francis Bacon in recorded history, but maintained manifold connections to Middle Europe.
Rudolf Steiner: The British Connection offers genuinely new and valuable research into the early life and thought of one of the greatest cultural innovators of our time.