Lord Raglan (1885-1964), aka Fitzroy Richard Somerset, fourth Baron of Raglan, was a British amateur anthropologist who became president of the Royal Anthropological Institute in the 1950s, challenging the division between the academy and the popularization of the discipline. Alongside his counter-current theoretical inclinations, mixing (hyper)diffusionism and (neo-)Frazerian ritualism, he can be considered as a protostructuralist, interested in the symbolic logic of cosmological themes. Author of books such as The Hero (1936), How Came Civilization? (1939), The Origins of Religion (1949), Lord Raglan brings a dissonant note to the history of the discipline.
“Making Space for the Incisive but Idiosyncratic: A Biography of Lord Raglan”
Jeremy MacClancy, 2018
Fitzroy Richard Somerset, the 4th Baron Raglan (1885-1964), was actively engaged in anthropological debate from the 1930s to the 1960s. The last of the gentleman scholars in anthropology Raglan, who never held a university post yet became the President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) in the 1950s, consistently transcended any academic/popular divide. For anthropologists who regard their subject in conventional historiographic (...)