Call for Papers

Beauty in the Nineteenth Century

A cross-disciplinary conference hosted by the Nineteenth-Century Group at the University of Toronto.

September 19th and 20th 1997

The keynote address is to be given by W. David Shaw.

We invite abstracts for twenty minute papers on the topic of BEAUTY in the nineteenth century. We welcome papers from all disciplines including literature, music, art, philosophy, science, economics, and history. Possible topics include:

Please send 300-500 word abstracts (three copies) postmarked no later than June 1st 1997 to:

BEAUTY Conference Committee
Graduate Department of English
University of Toronto
7 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

Abstracts can also be e-mailed to Marc Plamondon at:

For further information, contact by e-mail or at the above address:
Sarah Winters (
Marc Plamondon (

The Beauty Conference Web page will contain information that will be updated regularly. Its address is:

"Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty." Wilde, preface to _Dorian Gray_

"Il y a trois noblesses: la noblesse de sang, la noblesse du genie, la noblesse de BEAUTE. Cette derniere a commence avec le monde; elle ne finira que le jour ou il cessera de naitre des femmes." Charles Diguet, _Les Jolies Femmes de Paris_ (1873)

"... if man can in a short time give elegant carriage and beauty to his bantams, according to his standard of beauty, I can see no good reason to doubt that female birds, by selecting, during thousands of generations, the most melodious or beautiful males, according to their standard of beauty, might produce a marked effect." Charles Darwin, _The Origin of Species_ (1859)

"The beautiful can have but one source ... God." Arthur Schopenhauer

"If a foolish girl, by dint of squeezing and bracing with busk and bones, secures the conventional beauty of a wasp waist, she is tolerably certain to gain an addition she by no means bargained for, a red nose...." Florence Hartley, _The Ladies' Book of Etiquette_ (1860)

"Beauty, that is purity of all accidental or inessential faults, which interrupt the form in any small way or which disturb or weaken the impression." Friedrich Overbeck

"For, happily, there exists more than one kind of beauty. There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth, the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age, if you do not spoil it by your own want of judgment. At any age, a woman may be becomingly and pleasingly dressed." _Household Words_

"... unless the work produce from the first a quick desire for better acquaintance--unless the artist at first displays some attribute or accomplishment that attracts--it may be only a damage done to taste, and a loss of time, on subsequent occasions to attempt to find beauty where none suggested itself--or charm in that which failed to charm originally." Henry Fothergill Chorley, _Modern German Music_ (1854)

"Most assuredly morality alone does not give beauty to a work of art. But beauty without morality is impossible." Max Nordau, _Degeneration_

"The things which you ought to desire in a wife are, 1. Chastity; 2. Sobriety; 3. Industry; 4. Frugality; 5. Cleanliness; 6. Knowledge of domestic affairs; 7. Good temper; 8. Beauty." William Cobbett, _Advice to Young Men_

"Beauty, like truth, is a thing which is relative to the time in which one lives and to the individual capable of understanding it." Courbet

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty" John Keats (1820)