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The Resource Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford, Linda Dowling

Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford, Linda Dowling

Label
Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford
Title
Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford
Statement of responsibility
Linda Dowling
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • In April 1895, Oscar Wilde stood in the prisoner's dock of the Old Bailey, charged with "acts of gross indecency with another male person. These filthy practices, the prosecutor declared, posed a deadly threat to English society, "a sore which cannot fail in time to corrupt and taint it all." Wilde responded with a speech of legendary eloquence, defending love between men as a love "such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare." Electrified, the spectators in the courtroom burst into applause. Although Wilde was ultimately imprisoned, the courtroom response to his speech signaled a revolutionary moment -- the emergence into the public sphere of a kind of love that had always been proscribed in English culture. In this luminous work of intellectual history, Linda Dowling offers the first detailed account of Oxford Hellenism, the Victorian philosophical and literary movement that made possible Wilde's brief triumph and anticipated the modern possibility of homosexuality as a positive social identity. A homosocial culture and a language of moral legitimacy for homosexuality emerged, Dowling argues, as unforeseen consequences of Oxford University reform. Through their search in Plato and Greek literature for a transcendental value that might substitute for a lost Christian theology, such liberal reformers as Benjamin Jowett unintentionally created a cultural context in which male love -- the "spiritual procreancy" celebrated in Plato's Symposium -- might be both experienced and justified in ideal terms. Dowling traces the institutional career of Hellenism from its roots in Oxford reform through its blossoming in an approach to Greek studies that came to operate as a code for homosexuality. Recreating the incidents, controversies, and scandals that heralded the growth of Hellenism, Dowling provides a new cultural and theoretical context within which to read writers as diverse as Wilde, Jowett, John Addington Symonds, Walter Pater, Lord Alfred Douglas, Robert Buchanan, and W.H. Mallock. -- Publisher
  • In April 1895, Oscar Wilde stood in the prisoner's dock of the Old Bailey, charged with "acts of gross indecency with another male person. These filthy practices, the prosecutor declared, posed a deadly threat to English society, "a sore which cannot fail in time to corrupt and taint it all." Wilde responded with a speech of legendary eloquence, defending love between men as a love "such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare." Electrified, the spectators in the courtroom burst into applause. Although Wilde was ultimately imprisoned, the courtroom response to his speech signaled a revolutionary moment -- the emergence into the public sphere of a kind of love that had always been proscribed in English culture. In this luminous work of intellectual history, Linda Dowling offers the first detailed account of Oxford Hellenism, the Victorian philosophical and literary movement that made possible Wilde's brief triumph and anticipated the modern possibility of homosexuality as a positive social identity. A homosocial culture and a language of moral legitimacy for homosexuality emerged, Dowling argues, as unforeseen consequences of Oxford University reform. Through their search in Plato and Greek literature for a transcendental value that might substitute for a lost Christian theology, such liberal reformers as Benjamin Jowett unintentionally created a cultural context in which male love -- the "spiritual procreancy" celebrated in Plato's Symposium -- might be both experienced and justified in ideal terms. Dowling traces the institutional career of Hellenism from its roots in Oxford reform through its blossoming in an approach to Greek studies that came to operate as a code for homosexuality. Recreating the incidents, controversies, and scandals that heralded the growth of Hellenism, Dowling provides a new cultural and theoretical context within which to read writers as diverse as Wilde, Jowett, John Addington Symonds, Walter Pater, Lord Alfred Douglas, Robert Buchanan, and W. H. Mallock. -- Publisher
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1944-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Dowling, Linda C.
Dewey number
480/.71/141
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
PR468.H65
LC item number
D68 1994
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • English literature
  • Homosexuality and literature
  • Greek philology
  • Classicism
  • Gay men
  • Oxford (England)
  • Filhellenisme
  • Homoseksualiteit
  • Victoriaanse tijd
  • Gräzistik
  • Homosexualität
  • Literatur
  • hellénisme
  • hellénisme
  • Filhellenisme
  • Homoseksualiteit
  • Victoriaanse tijd
Label
Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford, Linda Dowling
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-168) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Aesthete and effeminatus -- Victorian manhood and the warrior ideal -- The Socratic eros -- The higher sodomy
Control code
29258598
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xvi, 173 pages
Isbn
9780801429606
Lccn
93032781
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1586498
Label
Hellenism and homosexuality in Victorian Oxford, Linda Dowling
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-168) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Aesthete and effeminatus -- Victorian manhood and the warrior ideal -- The Socratic eros -- The higher sodomy
Control code
29258598
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xvi, 173 pages
Isbn
9780801429606
Lccn
93032781
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1586498

Library Locations

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