Walter Pater born 4 August 1839 (d. 1894)
Walter Horatio Pater was an English essayist and literary critic.
Among British prose writers of the Victorian era, Pater stands as the embodiment of stylistic elegance. A close student of German philosophy (particularly the work of Hegel) and well read in the French writers of the period, Pater's criticism and fiction were highly cerebral, yet embraced the purely sensuous dimensions of art and life. From the 1870s through the 1890s, he was regarded by the reading public as a major theorist and practitioner of Aestheticism and Decadence.
His stylistic elegance and his dangerous ideas about art's autonomy from morality, combined with rumours of homosexuality at Oxford, where he taught, made Pater's name virtually synonymous with gay sensibility during the late nineteenth century. He is believed to have been an influence on the work of Oscar Wilde.
In recent decades, Pater has been rediscovered by critics as one of the most important English sources of literary Modernism.
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