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Edited by Alex Wong
Categories: 19th Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (448 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2018)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Sep 2018)
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Famed for his singular prose style as much as for his controversial aestheticist principles, Walter Pater (1839-1894) was one of the great essayists in a century of great essayistic writing. His first book, Studies in the History of the Renaissance — one of the most original and influential texts of the Victorian Aesthetic Movement — was described by Arthur Symons as ‘the most beautiful book of prose in our literature’, and his later work moved Vernon Lee to call him ‘the natural exponent of the highest aesthetic doctrine’. Selected Essays is a generous gathering of Pater’s essays on literature, art, history, philosophy and mythology — all of them, in the words of Oscar Wilde, ‘delicately wrought works of art’. The selection is accompanied by Alex Wong’s critical and biographical introduction and rich explanatory notes.
Awards won by Alex Wong Short-listed, 2017 Roehampton Poetry Prize Short-listed, 2017 The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize (Poems Without Irony)
'Pater is a shade or trace in virtually every writer of significance from Hopkins and Wilde to Ashbery.'
Denis Donoghue, Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls
'Wong's introduction is enormously stimulating and suggestive, elegantly written, and thoughtfully organized and it takes the reader to the shore of the vast sea of Pater's work anthologized in the main body of the text... this is a portable Pater that provides enough stimulus, raw text, and admirable, thoughtful annotation to act as an outstanding guide to a great writer.'
J. B. Bullen, Studies in Walter Pater and Aestheticism
'Alex Wong's intelligent selection for Carcanet includes the obligatory essays on Leonardo (1869), Botticelli (1870) and Giorgione (1877), as well as the notorious conclusion to The Renaissance (1873) ... Wong's succinct notes cover an impressive range and his selection for Carcanet is an excellent starting point for the first-time reader.'
Elizabeth Prettejohn, London Review of Books
'Eloquently synopsizes the major arguments regarding certain hallmarks of Pater's critical stance and aestheticist worldview... A welcome occurrence and worthy of notice and commendation... There is much that will reward the reader intrepid enough to follow both the main roads and the byways of Pater's thought'
Meghan Freeman, English Literature in Translation Praise for Alex Wong 'He loves words and their enticing shape-changing propensities; he loves accuracy of definition and has a consuming distaste for slovenliness.'
Peter Scupham 'Possesses brilliant linguistic finesse'
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