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augustjdavis


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Posted Wed Jul 30th, 2008 6:12pm Post subject: House Beautiful
Hello -

I was listening today to podgram 3, "Wallpaper". In connection with Oscar Wilde's aestheticism and his pioneering attitude toward interior design I have a question with which I hope someone might be able to assist.

Concerning Wilde's American lectures on 'The House Beautiful': was he the first person to coin that term in connection with interior design matters? And did he adopt it from John Bunyan's 17th-century The Pilgrim's Progress?

I would appreciate elucidation on this point - together with additional early uses of this phrase - from anyone able to provide it.

Many thanks,
August

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augustjdavis


Member

Posted Wed Jul 30th, 2008 7:00pm Post subject: House Beautiful
With some further digging, it would seem that Walter Pater (along with Ruskin, mentor to Wilde at Oxford) is the bridge from Bunyan to Wilde with a secularised / aestheticised allegorical adoption of the House Beautiful.

Found this in Maureen Moran's article:
"Walter Pater's house beautiful and the psychology of self-culture", published in English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, 22 June 2007.

But if someone can provide further details - please do (as all leads are welcome since this question arises from a dusty corner of my doctoral research).

Many thanks,
August

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