Strangeness and Beauty: Volume 1: Ruskin to Swinburne

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This is a two-volume anthology of criticism of art and literature from approximately 1840 to 1910. The central purpose of the anthology is to show how Romantic ideas of art and imagination were transformed by a number of writers in the nineteenth century and became the fundamental premisses of modernist aesthetics. Volume 1 begins with the development of the Romantic idea of the artist-critic as preacher in the work of Ruskin, whose aim was very much that of this Romantic forebears, Blake and Wordsworth: to awaken humanity to a greater spiritual perception. The volume also concerns itself with the transformation of this in works such as Arthur Hallam's essay on his friend Tennyson, which is central to the writing of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and with the development of French Romanticism into the influential aesthetic movement of Symbolism in the work of Gautier and Baudelaire. The volumes comprise general introductions and introduction to individual extracts, full annotation and helpful guides to further reading.