The Aesthetic Movement

The Aesthetic Movement,’ David DeLaura wrote in Hebrew and Hellene in Victorian England , was ‘a serious and respectable attempt to provide fullness of life to a society increasingly aware, as Arnold put it, that the immense inherited “system of institutions, established facts, accredited dogmas, customs, rules,” fails to correspond to the wants of modern life.’ An attempt by these late Victorians, as Arnold was to put it in his essay ‘Democracy’, ‘to gain a more vivid sense of their own life and activity.’

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