- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition (April 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199535078
- ISBN-13: 978-0199535071
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.5 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Studies in the History of the Renaissance (Oxford World's Classics) New Edition
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About the Author
Matthew Beaumont is Senior Lecturer in English at the University College London.
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Top customer reviews
At a professional level of erudite literary dissection and amplification, this is clearly both a supreme professional accomplishment and a labor of love. From the note to the bibliography to the chronology, this is one of the best constructed and presented "packages" I have ever held in my hands.
It leaves me cold. I simply do not see, feel, or comprehend the bru-ha-ha over this being a clarion call to flagrant abandon, an ode to homosexuality, a challenge to the ruling class, etcetera.
I *do* see the celebration of the senses and the emphasis on appreciation in context, each piece is different for each person, it is the interaction of the person, the piece, and the moment that "creates" the unique sensory experience.
I *do* see the challenge to the Church and traditions (mostly very hypocritical as the prudes in public often turned out to be libertines in private).
I *do* learn at aestheticism has been associated with homosexuality in the past, and have to look up the word to learn that its secular meaning is (Merriam Webster Online:
1: a doctrine that the principles of beauty are basic to other and especially moral principles
2: devotion to or emphasis on beauty or the cultivation of the arts
I *do* get that the author (Pater) strives to celebrate both the human intellect and the human body as in "sound mind in sound body" but I do not see where this makes the book any kind of celebration of manly love.
I paid special attention to the conclusion, and found it bland in relation to all the bru-ha-ha.
One great quote:
QUOTE (119): The service of philosophy, and of religion and culture as well, to the human spirit, is to startle it into a sharp and eager observation. ... Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself is the end.
I love to read. I am now working my way through The Order of Things, a Catholic appreciation of philosophy, reality, and the cosmic, and I have to say that in relation to that and to Will Durant's Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition, I cannot recommend this book for anyone other than a fanatic student of the author, the literature on the literary history of the renaissance (not the same as the history of the renaissance).
Seize the day--got it. Love it. That does not make this book, in my view, a manifesto for homosexuality.
Instead of this book, I'd recommend the two above books, and these that struck me as much more valuable to the general reader:
Mapping the Moral Domain: A Contribution of Women's Thinking to Psychological Theory and Education
Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics
Pater has an elegant and engaging writing voice that draws the reader through his various arguments. His prose style is itself an object of beauty. His larger argument has been validated repeatedly throughout the 125 years since he lived. Reading this book, I found myself wondering why it was considered so controversial when it first appeared. Perhaps it was considered revolutionary for its day; but from the perspective of 2014, I found it hard to understand what all the fuss was about.
I deem it a valuable tool for chipping away the opinions of time.