Abstract

This essay traces the influence of Victorian debates about aesthetic education in Thomas Hardy's 1890 short story "Barbara of the House of Grebe." Hardy's story, loosely based on an anecdote about the grandson of the eighteenth-century aesthetic theorist Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury, concerns the uses of art for the education of character. Against the claims for moral transformation made by Victorian educational reformers such as Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin, Hardy suggests that art can easily become a tool for subordinating students rather than a means of fashioning free and autonomous individuals.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 863-878
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-06
Open Access
No
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