Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

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This volume uses materials drawn from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the University of Delaware to offer a new interpretation of the significance and prevalence of the portrait image during the final decades of the nineteenth century in Britain. It focuses on how and why representations of writers' and artists' faces circulated through the periodical press, through exhibition spaces in London, and through book publishing, while it looks at the ways in which audiences learned to "read" these faces for information about masculinity, femininity, class status, and especially for an understanding of the concept of "genius." Margaret D. Stetz's work highlights throughout the importance of Oscar Wilde as the writer who best exploited the new market for portraits in advancing his own career, but moves beyond him to consider the broader topic of writers' and artists' faces as objects of idealization, caricature, and also of close study by the general public. It examines, too, the portrait as a marker both of celebrity and of modernity, in an age that ushered in the present by defining itself through advertising, public relations, and commodification.
 

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Contents

FACING THE LATE VICTORIANS
17
William Allingham 18241889
18
William Archer 18561924
20
Sir J M James Matthew Barrie 18601937
24
Aubrey Beardsley 18721898
26
Aubrey Beardsley 18721898
28
Sir Max Beerbohm 18721956
30
Sir Max Beerbohm 18721956
32
Jane Morris 18401914
76
William Morris 18341896
78
E Edith Nesbit 18581924
79
Ida Nettleship 18771907
80
Walter Pater 18391894
82
Joseph Pennell 18571926
84
Lucien Pissarro 18631944
86
Charles de Sousy Ricketts 18661931
88

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt 18401922
34
Sir Edward BurneJones 18331898
35
Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine 18541930
36
Ella DArcy 18561937
38
George Du Maurier 18341896
40
George Egerton Mary Chavelita Dunne Bright 18591945
42
Michael Field Katherine Bradley 18481914 and Edith Cooper 18621913
44
Sarah Grand Frances Clarke McFall 18541943
46
John Gray 18661934
48
Thomas Hardy 18401928
50
Henry Harland 18611905
52
Frank Harris 18561931
54
W E William ErnestHenley 18491903
56
A E Alfred Edward Housman 18591936
58
Sir Henry Irving 18381905
60
Henry James 18431916
62
Rudyard Kipling 18651936
64
RichardLe Gallienne 18671947
66
Richard Le Gallienne 18671947
67
Caroline Blanche Lady Lindsay née Fitzroy 18441912
68
Violet Manners nee Lindsay Duchess of Rutland 18561937
70
George Meredith 18281909
72
Alice Meynell 18471922
73
T Thomas Sturge Moore 18701944
74
W Walford Graham Robertson 18661948
90
Dante Gabriel Rossetti 18281882
92
Sir William Rothenstein 18721945
93
Sir William Rothenstein 18721945
94
John Singer Sargent 18561925
96
Olive Schreiner 18551920
98
George Bernard Shaw 18561950
100
Walter Sicken 18601942
102
Algernon Charles Swinburne 18371909
104
Algernon Charles Swinburne 18371909
106
Alfred Lord Tennyson 18091892
108
Dame Ellen Terry 18471928
110
Victoria Queen of Great Britain 18191901
112
H G Herbert George Wells 18661946
114
James McNeill Whistler 18341903
116
James McNeill Whistler 18341903
118
Oscar Wilde 18541900
120
Oscar Wilde 18541900
122
Oscar Wilde 18541900
124
W B William Butler Yeats 18651939
126
Living English Poets
128
Copes Christmas Card December 1883
130
INDEX
149
Copyright

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Page 13 - Hers is the head upon which all the ends of the world are come, and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set it for a moment beside one of those white Greek goddesses or beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed!
Page 13 - All the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and moulded there, in that which they have of power to refine and make expressive the...
Page 12 - In the dim arrested light that struggled through the cream-coloured silk blinds, the face appeared to him to be a little changed. The expression looked different. One would have said that there was a touch of cruelty in the mouth.
Page 13 - The fancy of a perpetual life, sweeping together ten thousand experiences, is an old one ; and modern thought has conceived the idea of humanity as wrought upon by, and summing up in itself, all modes of thought and life. Certainly, Lady Lisa might stand as the embodiment of the old fancy, the symbol of the modern idea.
Page 12 - His mouth covered half of his face, the most lascivious coarse repulsive mouth I had ever seen. I might stand it in a large crowded drawing-room, but not in a parlor eight-by-eight lit by three tallow candles. I should feel as if I were under the sea pursued by some bloated monster of the deep, and have nightmares for a week thereafter.
Page 12 - ... lifted to his lips the communion cup, and therein squatted a toad. A sort of murmur of frantic protestation began to rise in his throat; but Peschi, unconscious of our agitation, now lifted the lamp, passed round with it behind the mask, held it high, and let the rays stream downwards from above. The astounding way the face changed must have been seen to be believed in. It was exactly as though, by some cunning sleight of hand, the mask of a god had been substituted for that of a satyr. . . ....
Page 10 - there cannot, I feel convinced, be a greater incentive to mental exertion, to noble actions, to good conduct on the part of the living, than for them to see before them the features of those who have done things which are worthy of our admiration and whose example we are more induced to imitate when they are brought before us in the visible and tangible shape of portraits.

About the author (2007)

Margaret D. Stetz is the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware.

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