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Edited by Alex Wong
RRP: GBP 15.19
ISBN: 978 1 784106 27 0
Categories: 19th Century, British
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Published: September 2018
448 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
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
'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, Times Literary Supplement
'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 'Possesses brilliant linguistic finesse'
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