About the Author
Vernon Lee was the pseudonym of the British writer Violet Paget (1856-1935). She is known mostly for her supernatural fiction. She also wrote essays and poetry. She contributed to The Yellow Book and was a follower of Walter Pater. Her literary works explored the themes of haunting and possession. She was responsible for introducing the concept of empathy into the English language. Empathy was a key concept in Lee's psychological aesthetics which she developed on the basis of prior work by Theodor Lipps. Her response to aesthetics interpreted art as a mental and corporeal experience. This was a significant contribution to the philosophy of art which has been largely neglected. Additionally she wrote, along with her friend and colleague Henry James, critically about the relationship between the writer and his/her audience pioneering the concept of criticism and expanding the idea of critical assessment among all the arts as relating to an audience's (or her personal) response. She was a strong proponent of the Aesthetic movement. Among her famous works are: A Phantom Lover (1890), Hauntings (1890) and Art and Life (1896).
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