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The century guild hobby horse and Oscar Wilde: a study of British little magazines, 1884-1897

Tildesley, Matthew Brinton (2007) The century guild hobby horse and Oscar Wilde: a study of British little magazines, 1884-1897. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is a detailed examination of subversive aesthetic and decadent British periodicals from 1884 until 1897. Viewed as cultural documents, the magazines The Century Guild Hobby Horse, The Dial, The Yellow Book and The Savoy are explored with particular reference to their positioning of the artist in relation to society. Major secondary sources are the works of Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater's The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry. The Hobby Horse is viewed as being the origin of a particular discourse on the importance of the artist for society at large, and its editorial bias is examined as being a product of certain Hellenic elements in Oxford of the 1860s and 1870s. Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray features heavily in the first section. The book is initially used as a touchstone for exploring the issues of the Socratic master-pupil relationships, clandestine and subversive sexuality, the duality of subversive literary texts, and the transition from aestheticism into decadence, after which Wilde's only novel is shown to have been inspired in part by specific writings within the Hobby Horse itself. The second section examines the importance of Catholicism to a renaissance of the Hellenic within artistic communities of the 1880s and '90s, and the third and final section explores the legacy of these elements of the Hobby Horse in the later magazines The Dial, The Yellow Book and The Savoy. Specific attention is paid to the perceived relationship between Oscar Wilde and the Yellow Book in the final chapters, where the erroneous nature of the supposed links between Wilde and the Yellow Book is exposed, and Wilde's true connection with the little-known Century Guild Hobby Horse is revealed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:32

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