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By Hilary Fraser

This research is a crucial contribution to the highbrow background of Victorian England which examines the religio-aesthetic theories of a few vital writers of the time. Dr Fraser starts off with a dialogue of the classy dimensions of Tractarian theology after which proceeds to the orthodox certainties of Hopkins' idea of inscape, Ruskin's and Arnold's moralistic feedback of literature and the visible arts, and Pater's and Wilde's religion in a faith of artwork. the writer identifies major cultural and ancient stipulations which decided the interdependence of aesthetic and non secular sensibility within the interval. She argues that definite tensions within the considered Wordsworth and Coleridge - tensions among poetry and faith, uprising and response, individualism and authority - persevered to show up themselves during the Victorian age, and as society turned more and more democratic, faith in flip turned more and more own and secular.

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Extra info for Beauty and Belief: Aesthetics and Religion in Victorian Literature

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171 The correspondence between the natural object and the spirit, between the world and the soul, exists independently of man's figurative interpretation of it. 172 Instead he asserts the objective truth of natural sacramentalism. Creation becomes a magnificent array of symbols bearing a solemn and sacramental significance, attesting to God's permanent presence in the world among men. Through his under­ standing of the moral function of all created things man is able to participate in supernatural truth.

61 He distinguished between the Primary Poet who 'spontaneously moved by impulse, resort[s] to composition for relief and solace of a burdened or over-wrought mind',6 2 whose poetry is the absolutely sincere expression of 'the overflowing warmth of his own natural feelings, kindled by circumstances in which he was himself placed',63 and the Secondary Poets, who 'imitate the ideas, the expression, and the measures of the former',64 in short, those who work themselves up to an ' artificial glow'65 of pseudo-poetic feeling.

The very pulsation and throbbing of his intellect, does he image forth, to all does he give utterance, in a corresponding language, which is as multiform as this inward mental action itself and analogous to it, the faithful expression of his intense personality, attending on his own inward world of thought as its very shadow : . . his thought and feeling are personal, and so his language is personal. 83 Literary style and biography are mutually dependent because they both aim to express the inner essence of a character through the medium of living language.

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