"There are yet other kinds of work which may be done?" : aesthetic history and the representation of the Italian past, 1850-1935

Moore, Daniel Thomas (2008). "There are yet other kinds of work which may be done?" : aesthetic history and the representation of the Italian past, 1850-1935. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Accepted Version

Download (12MB)


This thesis explores a number of interdisciplinary writings on the Italian past by later nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artistically minded critics and cultural commentators, with a view to recovering their historiographical importance. Beginning with an exploration of the parameters and scope of a genre defined as 'aesthetic history', along with some theoretical work grounded in current debates about the nature of historical representation, this thesis goes on to offer in-depth discussion of texts on the Italian past by John Ruskin, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence and Adrian Stokes. By offering a critical reconstruction of each author's thinking about the past, along with the cogent and ill-explored engagements they make with historiographical study, this thesis affords the reader a better understanding of some of the tensions present in historical writing - tensions surrounding
issues of epistemology, visuality, psychology and materiality - during what were decades of great change in historical thinking. Moreover, this thesis offers a detailed investigation into the important role played by the Italian past in the aesthetic-historical canon, which in turn produces a more complicated picture of the connections between literature, aesthetics and
historiography during this period.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
School or Department: Department of English
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
D History General and Old World > DG Italy
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6150


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year