Varied Types

Varied Types

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Varied Types by G. K. Chesterton

Published:

1905

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Varied Types

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Charlotte BrontëWilliam Morris And His SchoolThe Optimism Of ByronPope And The Art Of SatireFrancisRostandCharles II.StevensonThomas CarlyleTolstoy And The Cult Of SimplicitySavonarolaThe Position Of Sir Walter ScottBret HarteAlfred The GreatMaeterlinckRuskinQueen VictoriaThe German EmperorTennysonElizabeth Barrett Browning

Book Excerpt

g the circumstances, be called triumphant. Our carpets began to bloom under our feet like the meadows in spring, and our hitherto prosaic stools and sofas seemed growing legs and arms at their own wild will. An element of freedom and rugged dignity came in with plain and strong ornaments of copper and iron. So delicate and universal has been the revolution in domestic art that almost every family in England has had its taste cunningly and treacherously improved, and if we look back at the early Victorian drawing-rooms it is only to realise the strange but essential truth that art, or human decoration, has, nine times out of ten in history, made things uglier than they were before, from the "coiffure" of a Papuan savage to the wall-paper of a British merchant in 1830.

But great and beneficent as was the æsthetic revolution of Morris, there was a very definite limit to it. It did not lie only in the fact that his revolution was in truth a reaction, though this was a partial explanation of his parti

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