'Western Civilisation'

March 16 2018

Image of 'Western Civilisation'

Picture: Via Spike 

My further apologies for the lack of news lately. I'm on the road in Italy for 'Britain's Lost Masterpieces'. The series' director, Spike Geilinger, and I are both mega-fans of the original Civilisation series with Kenneth Clark, and on our long drives between locations we often discuss our favourite scenes. Lately we've been comparing it to the new series, Civilisations, which you can watch on the BBC iPlayer here. Now that the new series has been launched, much is often made of the fact that Clark only looked at Western art and culture, and he's sometimes criticised for ignoring the rest of the world. But as Spike shows us with the above photo of an early clapper board from Civlisation (from a book written by the series' cinematographer, Arthur Englander), the series was originally called 'Western Civilisation'. Because someone decided to drop the 'Western', Clark has been getting it in the neck ever since.

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