See also:English man of letters, was
See also:born at
See also:Shadwell on the 4th of
See also:August 1839 . He was the second son of
See also:Richard Glode
See also:Pater, a medical man, of Dutch extraction, born in New
See also:York .
See also:Baptiste Pater, the painter, was probably of the same
See also:family . Richard Pater moved from Olney to Shadwell early in the century, and continued to practise there among the poorer classes . He died while his son Walter was yet an
See also:infant, and the family then moved to
See also:Enfield, where the
See also:children were brought up . In 1853 Walter Pater was sent to
See also:King's School, Canterbury, where he was early impressed by the aesthetic beauties of the
See also:cathedral . These associations remained with him through
See also:life . As a schoolboy he read
See also:Modern Painters, and was attracted to the study of
See also:art, but he did not make any conspicuous mark in school studies, and showed no signs of the
See also:literary taste which he was afterwards to develop . His progress was always gradual . He gained a school
See also:exhibition, however, with which he proceeded in 1858 to
See also:Oxford . His undergraduate life was unusually uneventful; he was a shy, "
See also:reading man," making few friends .
See also:Jowett, however, was struck by his promise, and volunteered to give him private tuition .
But Pater's class was a disappointment, and he only took a second in literae humaniores in 1862 . After taking his degree he settled in Oxford and read with private pupils . As a boy he had cherished theidea of entering the
See also:Church, but, under the influence of his Oxford reading, his faith in
See also:Christianity became shaken, and by the
See also:time he took his degree he had thoughts of graduating as a Unitarian
See also:minister . This project, too, he resigned; and when, in 1864, he was elected to a fellowship at Brasenose, he had settled down easily into a university career . But it was no
See also:part of his ambition to sink into
See also:academic torpor . With the
See also:assumption of his dbties as
See also:fellow the sphere of his interests widened rapidly; he became acutely interested in literature, and even began to write articles and criticisms himself . The first of these to be printed was a brief
See also:essay upon
See also:Coleridge, which he contributed in 1866 to the
See also:Westminster Review . A few months later (
See also:January, 1867) appeared in the same review his now well-known essay on Winckelrnann, the first expression of his
See also:idealism . In the following
See also:year his study of " Aesthetic
See also:Poetry " appeared in the Fortnightly Review, to be succeeded by essays on Leonardo da
See also:Vinci, Sandro
See also:Pico della
See also:Mirandola and Michelangelo . These, with other studies of the same kind, were in 1878 collected in his Studies in the
See also:History of the
See also:Renaissance . Pater was now the centre of a small but very interesting circle in Oxford . Such men as cherished aesthetic tastes were naturally
See also:drawn to him; and, though always retiring and, in a sense, remote in manner, he was continually spreading his influence, not only in the university, but among men of letters in
See also:London and elsewhere .
See also:body of Pre-Raphaelites were among his friends, and by the time that
See also:Marius the Epicurean appeared he had quite a following of disciples to
See also:hail it as a
See also:gospel . This
See also:fine and polished
See also:work, the chief of all his contributions to literature, was published early in 1885 . In it Pater displays, with perfected fullness and loving elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to
See also:asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own . In 1887 he published Imaginary Portraits, a series of essays in philosophic fiction; in 1889, Appreciations, with an Essay on
See also:Style; in 1893,
See also:Plato and
See also:Platonism; and in 1894, The
See also:Child in the
See also:House . His Greek Studies and his
See also:Miscellaneous Studies were collected posthumously in 1895; his
See also:romance of Gaston de Latour in 1896; and his Essays from the "
See also:Guardian" were privately printed in 1897 . A collected edition of Pater's
See also:works was issued in Igor . Pater changed his residence from time to time, living sometimes at
See also:Kensington and in different parts of Oxford; but the centre of his work and influence was always his rooms at Brasenose . Here he laboured, with a wonderful particularity of care and choice, upon perfecting the expression of his theory of life and art . He wrote with difficulty, correcting and recorrecting with imperturbable assiduity . His mind, moreover, returned to the religious fervour of his youth, and those who knew him best believed that had he lived longer he would have resumed his boyish intention of taking
See also:holy orders . He was cut off, however, in the
See also:prime of his
See also:powers . Seized with rheumatic fever, he rallied, and sank again, dying on the
See also:staircase of his house, in his
See also:sister's arms, on the
See also:morning of
See also:Monday the 3oth of
See also:July 1894 .
Pater's nature was so contemplative, and in a way so centred upon reflection, that he never perhaps gave full utterance to his individuality . His
See also:peculiar literary style, too, burnished like the
See also:surface of hard
See also:metal, was too austerely magnificent to be always persuasive . At the time of his
See also:death Pater exercised a remarkable and a growing influence among that necessarily restricted class of persons who have themselves something of his own love for beauty and the beautiful phrase . But the cumulative richness and sonorous
See also:depth of his language harmonized intimately with his deep and
See also:earnest philosophy of life; and those who can sympathize with a
See also:nervous idealism will always find inspiration in his sincere and sustained
See also:desire to "
See also:burn with a hard,
See also:gem-like flame," and to live in harmony with the highest . (A . WA) . Mr Ferris Greenslet's Walter Pater (in the " Contemporary Men of Letters " series, 1904) is an interesting piece of
See also:criticism . Mr Arthur
See also:Benson's study in the " English Men of Letters " series is admirable . See too a
See also:sketch in Edmund Gosse's Critical
See also:Kit-Kats; and an estimate from a
See also:Roman Catholic standpoint in Dr
See also:Barry's Heralds of Revolt, where Pater is compared with J . Addington
See also:Symonds . T .
See also:Wright's Life of Walter Pater (1907) is an elaborate but unsatisfactory piece of work .
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