This book examines nineteenth-century interests in beauty, and considers whether these aesthetic pursuits were necessary to British public life.
1. 'Of universal or national interest': Charles Eastlake, the Fine Arts Commission, and the Reform of Taste;
2. Reconstituting publics for art: John Ruskin and the Appeal to Enlightened Interest;
3. The pleasures and perils of self-interest: calculating the passions in Walter Pater's essays;
4. Figuring the individual in the collective: the 'art-politics' of Edward Poynter and William Morris;
5. The humanist interest old and new: John Addington Symonds and the nature of liberty.
Lucy Hartley is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of Physiognomy and the Meaning of Expression in Nineteenth-Century Culture (Cambridge, 2001), and essays on a wide range of subjects including intellectual history and art history, John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, and nineteenth-century aesthetic theories. She is the editor of The History of British Women's Writing, 1830-1880 (2018).