Reflecting Walter Pater’s diverse engagements with literature, the visual arts, history, and philosophy, this collection of essays explores new interdisciplinary perspectives engaging readers and scholars alike to revisit methodologies, intertextualities, metaphysical positions, and stylistic features in the works of the Victorian essayist. A revised contextual portrait of Pater in Victorian culture questions representations of the detached aesthete. Current editorial and biographical projects show Pater as fully responsive to the emergence of modern consumer culture and the changes in readership in Britain and the United States. New critical views of rarely studied texts enhance the image of Pater as a cosmopolitan aesthete dialoguing with contemporary culture. Conceptual analysis of his texts brings new light to the aesthetic paradox embodied by Pater, between artistic detachment and immersion in the Heraclitean flux of life. Finally, aestheticism is redefined as proposing new artistic and linguistic synthesis by merging art forms and embracing interart poetics.
Anne-Florence Gillard-Estrada is Associate Professor at Rouen University. Her research and teaching interests include British literature, art criticism, and painting of the 1860s–1890s.
Martine Lambert-Charbonnier is Associate Professor at the University of Sorbonne-Paris 4. Her field of research focuses on late-nineteenth-century literature and aesthetics in England, and especially on Walter Pater.
Charlotte Ribeyrol is Associate Professor in nineteenth-century English literature at the University Paris-Sorbonne. She is also a Member of the Institut Universitaire de France and a Marie Curie Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford (2016–2018).
"Those attempting to analyse Pater need to be able to write with clarity and precision themselves [...] this is achieved throughout the volume [...] Both the editors and the contributors deserve praise for producing a volume in which a master of literary style has been written about with both insight and elegance."
- James Downs, University of Exeter, BAVS Newsletter