Artibus et Historiae no. 5 (III)

1982, ISSN 0391-9064

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KATARZYNA MURAWSKA - An Image of Mysterious Wisdom Won by Toil: The Tower as Symbol of Thoughtful Isolation in English Art and Literature from Milton to Yeats

The work concerns the origin and evolution of the tower-motif as the symbol of meditational, self-imposed isolation, present in the art and literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, mainly English. It treats Milton's Il Penseroso, its 19th century illustrations, the towers built and created in the literary fiction by William Beckford, Precy Bysshe Shelley, William Butler Yeats, together with the prospect towers raised up then in landscape parks. The work concentrates on two different, but often combined aspects of the tower symbolism, i.e. philosophical isolation and escapism, which were finally incorporated in the secularised cliché of the Ivory Tower.

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