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Beautiful Sanctuaries in Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century European Literature


Hugo Walter

This book is a collection of wonderful and thoughtful essays that explore the theme of beautiful sanctuaries in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European literature. The book focuses especially on selected works by Percy Shelley, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Henrik Ibsen, and James Hilton. These sanctuaries of light, natural beauty, and tranquility comfort, nurture, and soothe the heart, mind, and soul of the individual, and inspire creative expression.


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Preface xi


Preface In my previous monograph, Sanctuaries of Light in Nineteenth Century European Literature, I explored the theme of sanctuaries of light, serenity, and natural beauty in selected works of William Wordsworth, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Joseph von Eichendorff, and Charlotte Brontë. In this monograph, Beautiful Sanctuaries in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century European Literature, I discuss the theme of sanctuaries of light, tranquility, harmony, and natural beauty in various works of Percy Shelley, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Henrik Ibsen, and James Hilton. The chapter on Hoffmann in this monograph represents a revised version of the chapter in the previous monograph. I would also like to add a personal note here which is relevant to my discussion of the notion of sanctuaries of light. I have been interested in literary studies and in the theme of sanctuaries in literature for many years, dating back to my youth growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. The natural beauty, the architectural magnificence and splendor, the luminescence, and the tranquility of the town of Princeton and of Princeton University have always attracted and appealed to me and have been consistently inspirational for me aesthetically, emotionally, and spiritually. The sense of a lovely sanctuary or refuge which I have felt in Princeton and in various other places in the United States, in Europe, in Canada, and in Asia is infused with the aura of the “healing Paradise” (355) of rejuvenating vitality which culminates Percy Shelley’s “Lines written among the Euganean Hills” and with the spirit of...

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