British Aestheticism and the Urban Working Classes, by Diana Maltz (auth.)

By Diana Maltz (auth.)

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For the clearest representation of misdirected aesthetic education for the masses, we can turn to a Du Maurier cartoon of 1881, ‘What It Has Come To,’ in which a Mrs Muggles confides in the visiting doctor, ‘I don’t know as what’s the matter with Marier since she come from her last siterwation in Lunnon. 6). 6 George Du Maurier, ‘What It Has Come To,’ Punch 80 (16 April 1881): 177. 77 While Du Maurier had used these cartoons to characterize bourgeois aesthetes as self-absorbed and neurotic, here he sustains a class-based critique.

W. Godwin, until he was forced out by his bankruptcy in 1879. ) Oscar Wilde also moved from house to house on Tite Street, first residing with his friend Frank Miles in a house designed by E. W. Godwin at no. 44, and then living from 1884 to 1895 in no. 36 28 British Aestheticism and the Urban Working Class Cheyne Walk nevertheless retained a bohemian cachet. 37 There she hosted fashionable soirées in fancy dress. Yet her Cheyne Walk community was not merely fanciful or politically insular. Haweis’s husband, the minister Hugh Reginald Haweis, a friend of Octavia Hill, lobbied for Sunday Opening, open spaces, and concerts for the poor.

The satirist seems to claim that Wilde offers in the place of the usual vulgarity a merely different version of vulgarity, also showy, inappropriate, and self-conscious. For the clearest representation of misdirected aesthetic education for the masses, we can turn to a Du Maurier cartoon of 1881, ‘What It Has Come To,’ in which a Mrs Muggles confides in the visiting doctor, ‘I don’t know as what’s the matter with Marier since she come from her last siterwation in Lunnon. 6). 6 George Du Maurier, ‘What It Has Come To,’ Punch 80 (16 April 1881): 177.

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