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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


The aesthetics of the brotherhood founded in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in reaction against the conventionality and academicism of contemporary painting. The Pre-Raphaelites advocated a return to the simplicity and piety of Italian painting before Raphael (1483-1520). These ideals were appropriated by a group of literary artists -- Rossetti, his sister Christina, Algernon Charles Swinburne, William Morris, and others -- whose sensuous exactitude resulted in their being designated the "Fleshly School" of poetry. As well as exhibiting this attentiveness to exact detail, their productions incorporate aspects of medievalism and supernaturalism.

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.
Last modified: March 31, 1997