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Rediscovering Herbert Horne

Poet, Architect, Typographer, Art Historian

Ian Fletcher

Publication Year: 1990

Herbert Horne (1864-1916) was a figure of alarming versatility: poet, architect, editor, essayist, typographer, designer of books, and the first scientific historian of art from the British Isles. is great book on Botticelli has been called by John Pope-Hennessy "the best monograph in English on an Italian painter." Horne's splendid editorship of the Century Guild Hobby Horse led Bernard Berenson and others to hail him as the successor of William Morris. Horne the connoisseur also gathered a choice selection of drawings and paintings which await closer appreciation. They are housed in his residence, now the Museo Horne, Florence, Italy. In spite of his achievements he passes unmentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography, and aside from distinguished but brief discussions of his art activities by Fritz Saxl and Frank Kermode, no book-length study has been devoted to him until this volume. Readers should note: the 1990 print edition of Rediscovering Herbert Horne is out of prnt.

Published by: ELT Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3


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pp. iii-v

List of Illustrations

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pp. vi-viii

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pp. ix-xiii

Ian Fletcher has written so well about the world of the 1890s that it is hard to believe that his extraordinary creativity has ceased. Now thanks to the dedication of Robert Langenfeld, Loraine Fletcher, and Kathleen Mason Driskell the book that he was working on for many years, in the midst of doing so much else, has been made ready for the press. ...

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pp. xiv-xvi

Before 1900, Herbert Horne's life is a field more appropriate to the literary historian. A historian of art is a requisite for some just estimate of Horne's activities after that date. To the latter term, I cannot pretend, so I touch tentatively, if extensively, on Horne as collector and as art historian. ...

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1. The Early Phase

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pp. 1-8

Herbert Horne's name is probably more familiar to historians of art than to those concerned with literary history.1 His work on Botticelli remains authoritative and he preserves a minor but honourable place in the history of design, largely through his connexion with A. H. Mackmurdo and the Century Guild. ...

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2. Horne and Some Contemporaries

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pp. 9-18

Frailty of body and strength of personality is the impression Horne made on many of his contemporaries. Yet such strength of personality was only evident on long acquaintance. Horne was never a ready talker and the very judiciousness of his talk tended to leave a false effect of dilettantism. ...

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3. The Poet and His Poetry

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pp. 19-50

By the middle 1880s Horne had become a habitue of the Alhambra. For a short while it was a circus, but developed in the late 1870s and 1880s into one of the centres of London nightlife. The entertainment, as at the Empire, which opened in 1887, consisted of ballet, singing and variety turns, ...

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4. The Craftsman and Architect

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pp. 51-58

As with his poetry, Horne's work in design tapers off sharply after 1890. In that year, his partnership with Mackmurdo was dissolved. Horne had become, in Mackmurdo's version, too absorbed in his literary work to be much assistance with the firm's architectural commissions, ...

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5. Crucial Years as Editor

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pp. 59-92

Such notice as Horne occasionally receives from literary historians derives from his association with the Century Guild Hobby Horse (5.1). After some feeble contributions to the first, abortive issue of 1884, Horne edited all the later issues from 1886 to 1891. ...

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6. The Typographer and Book Design

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pp. 93-116

These were the years also of the Rhymers' Club and of its hero Verlaine's visit in 1893 to London, organized jOintly by Horne and Symons. The part that Horne played among the Rhymers in the Club is difficult to determine. Having abandoned poetry, he did not contribute either to the first or the second of the Club's anthologies, ...

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7. The Art Historian: Italy and Botticelli

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pp. 117-144

From the years 1894-1895 on, Horne was to spend much time in Italy. When in London, he utilized his mother's house at 14 Cheyne Walk, though he kept his rooms for a few years at 4 Kings Bench Walk (where he designed a fireplace). In Florence, his life during the 1890s sounds lively enough: ...

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8. The Final Phase

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pp. 145-155

Although not precisely in the world of connoisseurs, art historians and dealers, Reginald Turner, like Rothenstein, saw as much of Horne as anyone during Horne's last years. Turner indeed presents an image of Horne in his novel Samson Unshorn (1909). ...


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pp. 156-164


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pp. 165-178


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pp. 179-188

E-ISBN-13: 9780944318621
Print-ISBN-10: 0944318029

Page Count: 190
Illustrations: 18
Publication Year: 1990

OCLC Number: 868221455
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Rediscovering Herbert Horne

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Subject Headings

  • Artists -- England -- Biography.
  • Horne, Herbert P. (Herbert Percy), 1864-1916.
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