This chapter examines Walter Pater's career during a time when literary critics faced a serious crisis of authority. It evaluates Pater's first book, Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) as well as the criticisms it received. It presents a spectrum of quoted material which in fact comprises a large proportion of the novel's overall content. It notes that Pater's principal intellectual concern was to engage with the concepts of textual and historiographical authority. It discusses how Pater was attempting to undertake the kind of critical enterprise which Grant Allen had insisted on a decade earlier. However, this was no longer possible. In Marius the Epicurean and Plato and Platonism, Pater was trying to write works in which and for which authority existed in the author alone.
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