Walter Pater, Writer and Critic 1839-1894

A graduate of Queen's College, Walter Pater was elected a Fellow of Brasenose in 1864. He retained his position until his death thirty years later, although in the last ten years of his life he gave up his duties as a tutor and lived for some years in London. He led a relatively quiet and uneventful life, but his influence has been extensive.

He is usually cited as a proponent of the doctrine of 'art for art's sake', and his prose style is much admired. Much of his work was concerned with the art and literature of the Renaissance. His Studies in the History of the Renaissance established his reputation as an aesthete; he was an acknowledged influence on later members of the aesthetic movement, including Oscar Wilde. His most famous work is Marius the Epicurean, about the spiritual and intellectual life of a young Roman in the second century A.D.

The Brasenose Archive holds an extensive collection of records relating to Pater. Please contact [email protected] if you have a question about these records or Pater's time at Brasenose.

If you are interested in the Brasenose collection of books by or belonging to Pater please contact [email protected] 

Those interested in scholarship and research in Walter Pater may also be interested in the website for the International Walter Pater Society





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