To be born into the middle or upper classes of Matthew Arnold's England was in a sense to be born into the classical tradition. The precise contour and uses of the tradition, in Arnold's thought and writing, are the subject of this unique study by Warren D. Anderson. In Matthew Arnold and the Classical Tradition, Anderson shows how the young poet first experimented with his classical heritage, how he moved toward deep involvement and then withdrew to a more objective position. The author examines Arnold's school and university background, his poetry and later prose, his relationship to Stoicism and Epicureanism. The resulting study is absolutely central to an appreciation of Arnold and to an understanding of the classical foundations of Western literature. It shows clearly and accurately the ways in which the nineteenth century interpreted the fifth century B.C.