Valuable and timely in its long historical and critical perspective on the legacy of romanticism to Victorian art and thought, The Rescue of Romanticism is the first book-length study of the close intellectual relationship between Walter Pater and John Ruskin, the two most important Victorian critics of art. Kenneth Daley explores the work and thought of both writers in context with other Victorian writers, and enlarges the issues at stake between them, connecting these issues to ongoing artistic, cultural, and political concerns of the modern world.
Professor Daley gives a more finely honed picture than ever before of romanticism’s emergence as a literary concept in Victorian England, detailing the political differences that characterize the opposition between John Ruskin and his younger contemporary, Walter Pater, over the nature of romanticism. Individual chapters reassess the Victorian reception of such romantic figures as Wordsworth, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Leonardo, and Michelangelo.
Daley demonstrates how Pater’s “modern” reading of romanticism emerged from Ruskin's distrust of romanticism and from Ruskin’s arguments and examples defining pathetic fallacy. His discussion of Ruskin’s Oxford lectures and their timing in Pater’s developing career refresh the intersections of the two bodies of work and the portrait of the Victorian period in general.
Kenneth Daley is an associate professor in the English department at Ohio University.
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The late-Victorian discovery of the music hall by English intellectuals marks a crucial moment in the history of popular culture. Music Hall and Modernity demonstrates how such pioneering cultural critics as Arthur Symons and Elizabeth Robins Pennell used the music hall to secure and promote their professional identity as guardians of taste and national welfare. These social arbiters were, at the same time, devotees of the spontaneous culture of “the people.”
Goslee’s study maintains that Newman’s Anglican writing, although widely considered irrelevant to the main currents of the post-Enlightenment, in fact reinterprets Romantic transcendence within a uniquely dialogic paradigm. It is this paradigm, he argues, that critics need to explore as a link between sacred and secular domains within Victorian culture. Goslee’s own exploration is accomplished in three parts.
John Ruskin's prominence as the author of “Of Queen's Gardens,” his principal statement of Victorian gender opposition, makes him an ideal example for analyzing the power of mythic discourse to undermine gender division. Here, Ruskin creates a vision of feminine authority that draws simultaneously upon several sources (including the goddess Athena and Queen Victoria herself) to empower women in a worldwide arena redefined as a broader version of their domestic realm.