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Vernon Lee : aesthetics, history, and the Victorian female intellectual /
Christa Zorn.
Athens : Ohio University Press, c2003.
xxxi, 213 p.
0821414976 (alk. paper)
More Details
Athens : Ohio University Press, c2003.
0821414976 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Christa Zorn is an associate professor of English at Indiana University Southeast, New Albany.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-01-01:
Colby offers the first full-length biography of Vernon Lee (born Violet Paget) since Peter Gunn's Vernon Lee: Violet Paget, 1856-1935 (CH, Jan'65), and Zorn provides the first critical study of Lee's work. Together, they provide a portrait of late Victorian intellectual life on the cusp of modernism. Colby's well-written, chronological discussion combines analyses of major works with significant events in Lee's life. She reads Lee to see what shaped and influenced her fascinating mind. Coupling heretofore unpublished letters and journals with Lee's publications, Colby begins with Lee's difficult, peripatetic childhood and education in an expatriate family that finally settled near Florence, Italy, where she established herself as a public intellectual writing about aesthetics, history, philosophy, and social issues. Colby talks about Lee's childhood friendship with John Singer Sargent; the plagiarism charge of Bernard Berenson; the critical evaluations of J.A. Symonds and Henry James; her passionate, complicated friendships with women such as Clementina Anstruther-Thomson; and her social circles in Italy and England. Colby also discusses Lee's controversial novel Miss Brown, her travel writings, and her popular science fiction stories. She concludes that Vernon Lee does not fit neatly into any one category; she sees her, in short, as protean.Zorn comes to nearly the same conclusion in her volume, using feminist perspective and modern critical theory. She covers Lee's historicism (her failure to distinguish between fact and fiction) and discusses her approach with references to Jacob Burckhardt, John Ruskin, Walter Pater, and J.A. Symonds. Zorn poses questions throughout, titling one section "Vernon Lee: A Feminist?" and another "Miss Brown--An Aesthetic Bildungsroman?" The final chapter focuses on Lee's supernatural tales, including "Amour Dure," "Dionea," and "Prince Alberic and the Snake Lady." ^BSumming Up: Both highly recommended. All levels. J. C. Kohl emerita, Dutchess Community College
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2003
Choice, January 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Life and Letters: Vernon Lee's Role in Literary Historyp. 1
History and the Female Voicep. 25
Between the Lines of Gender and Genrep. 60
Literary Form and Alternative Subjectivityp. 76
Miss Brown--An Aesthetic Bildungsroman?p. 111
Vernon Lee and the Fantasticp. 140
Notesp. 169
Works Citedp. 195
Indexp. 207
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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