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Postscript

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2023

Charles Martindale
Affiliation:
University of Bristol
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Affiliation:
University of York
Lene Østermark-Johansen
Affiliation:
University of Copenhagen
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Summary

Pater’s individual volumes of essays were republished and reprinted many times in the years following his death. The books passed from hand to hand, and entered the second-hand market, often featuring brief inscriptions which indicate that they were proffered as gifts, in addition to more revealing marks of ownership comprising underlinings and marginal annotations. This postscript considers a small sample of such books, helpful in illustrating the diversity and orientation of Pater’s posthumous readership. Ranging from an early copy of Appreciations bought as a schoolboy by an eminent English scholar to a pocket edition of the same work presented to a prospective Oxford student, these books testify to the continuing appeal of Pater’s writings. An underlying theme to be followed is the vexed question of Pater’s perceived relevance to the study of English literature while the subject itself was acquiring its institutional framework in British universities. Some indications of Pater’s American readership, and his appeal to the more flexible curricula of the ‘new universities’ of the 1960s, are also relevant to the context under consideration here.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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