Poet, school inspector, civil servant and critic: this study examines the interrelationship of Arnold’s different activities in tracing his evolution as a publicist to the publication of Culture and Anarchy in 1869. Kate Campbell shows how his critical concerns and attitudes first appear in his poetry and private writing, even though he reinterprets the ‘immense task’ of modern poetry as a critical programme. This book demonstrates in particular how his work in education leads to his use of indirect methods of political influence – methods that he has observed in politics, literature and journalism. As a publicist he uses such means to promote his objectives of culture and state. Accordingly, Matthew Arnold overturns the view of Arnoldian detachment as it argues his implication in the new cultural politics of the 1860s.