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By Hugo G. Walter

Magnificent homes in 20th Century eu Literature is a set of significant and resourceful essays that discover the subject of fabulous and aesthetically attention-grabbing homes in 20th century ecu literature. It focuses particularly on very important works by way of Thomas Mann, Evelyn Waugh, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Siegfried Lenz, whereas additionally discussing different major homes in glossy ecu literature.

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In “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” Percy Shelley creates a sanctuary of light and suggests that the light of intellectual beauty has the capacity to challenge and counterbalance mortality. In asserting that the light of intellectual beauty “Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream” (36), the persona implies the capacity of the individual who is sensitively aware of such beauty to distance himself from the vicissitudes of mortality, whether temporarily or more permanently. In the first stanza of the “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” the persona laments that the power of such nonmaterial beauty is transient; in the second stanza the persona continues this concern, praising the vitality of the spirit of beauty to illuminate the surrounding environment while at the same time expressing a sadness that such beauty does not last.

The count’s reception room is impressive, opening into the conservatory, with the large bust and full-length portrait of Catherine the Great. In Part One, Chapter XX the spacious bedroom where the dying Count Bezukhov is surrounded by doctors, princesses, family members, servants is divided into parts by columns and an arch and displays Persian rugs. The section of the bedroom behind the columns contains a high silk-curtained mahogany bed and a large case of illuminated icons and holy images. At the end of Part One, Chapter XXI the Count passes away and Pierre inherits great wealth.

The interior of Blooms-End is depicted as being pleasant and comfortable; the house itself appears to have the aura of a Frank Lloyd Wright creation in its aesthetic unity with the surrounding natural environment. The house of Bathsheba Everdene in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is also very interesting architecturally. An example of “the early stage of Classic Renaissance” (59) this house “had once been the manorial hall upon a small estate around it” (59) and was now “merged in the vast tract of a non-resident landlord” (59).

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