Appendix I of the author's Hebrew and Hellene in Victorian England: Newman , Arnold, and Pater, which University of Texas Press published in 1969. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.
Bibliographical information appears in the form of in-text citations, which refer to the bibliography at the end of each document to which the note refers.
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he sources of Arnold's and Pater's views of the Renaissance need further study. Certainly Pater knew at first hand Hegel's view of the Renaissance, in Wallace Ferguson's words, "as both the antithesis of the Middle Ages and the forerunner of the Reformation," and his view of medieval feudalism and the Church as combining "to destroy freedom and to barbarize and debase the spirit." (The Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five Centuries of Interpretation, p. 171.) Of course Hegel was summing up a long-held German view, alluded to earlier in this study, which tended to identify the Renaissance "with the ideas of reaction against medieval transcendentalism and of the reassertion of man's self-consciousness, his moral and intellectual autonomy, and his spiritual reconciliation with this present world. "(Ibid, p. 172.) The Hegelian version of this familiar view, in the broadest sense "Protestant," Arnold would have absorbed in his wide reading in Continental periodicals in the fifties and sixties. Certainly both Arnold's and Pater's careers antedate all Burckhardtian revisionist attempts to reread the relations between medieval md Renaissance. Of course neither man anticipated the rehabilitation of medieval thought which a later generation effected; scholastic philosophy is a matter of contemptuous indifference to Pater, and to Arnold, especially in the religious writings, one of deep ignorance and hyper-Protestant prejudice. They anticipate later views only with regard to the Reformation: Pater scarcely mentions it (see, Ren-1, p. 128), while Arnold, throughout the sixties, almost invariably refers to it with either carefully qualified praise or with outright criticism. Arnold and Pater diverge most in their evaluation of the medieval religious achievement. Pater nowhere shows the warm appreciation of the "wide-embracing" spirit of the medieval Church, "the Church of the multitude," which Arnold displayed in the opening pages of "Pagan and Mediaeval Religious Sentiment." And even amid the defense of Hellenism in Culture and Anarchy, Arnold could say of Christian self-sacrifice: "Of this endeavour, the animating labours and afflictions of early Christianity, the touching asceticism of mediaeval Chris-
Jules Michelet seems to have played an important role in forming the views of both men. The Renaissance, volume seven of his great History of France (1833-1862), appeared in 1855. He shared Hegel's view of the antithesis between the medieval and Renaissance spirits. Through Michelet underplays the importance of the Italian Renaissance proper from Leonardo da Vinci, he does see art as vital: the Renaissance is the reconciliation of art and reason, the beautiful and the true. (Ibid, p. 176-177.) While he includes the Reformation within the Renaissance, as Hegel did not, Michelet's view of the Renaissance as a rebirth of the human spirit has the essential Hegelian ingredients: "art and the rebirth of antiquity, reconciliation with nature, the rediscovery of man's inner nature and his external world." (Ibid, 177.)
That Pater knew Michelet's History is proved by a citation concerning Abelard, in 1873 (Ren-1, p. 5). Sir Kenneth Clark, in his Introduction to the Renaissance (pp. 15-16) notes the importance of Michelet in Paters early thought, and comments (p. 16): "It was Michelet who first saw the spirit of the Renaissance foreshadowed in Abelard and Joachim of Flora [sic] and Michelet who saw this spirit reaching its perfection in Leonardo da Vinci." Arnold's notebooks contain numerous citations from Michelet, and the reading lists from 1856 on refer again and again to the History. In February 1863 Arnold read an article in French on Michelet and the Middle Ages (NB, pp. 569, 628), "Preface to Michelet's Renaissance" (NB, p. 570) is listed for March 1863 and is on the list of books for 1864: "re-read Heine's articles on Germany, and Michelet on the Renaissance" (NB, p. 577). "Pagan and Mediaeval Religious Sentiment" appeared in April 1864.
Ferguson, Wallace K. The Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five Centuries of Interpretation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948.
Last modified 26 August 2007