Mario Praz

Mention of Mario Praz in my post about Hugh Honour has made me realise that many people already know much more than I do about his significance to English writing about romanticism and design.   He arrived in England in 1923 with introductions as to who to meet from Vernon Lee, taught Italian Studies at Liverpool University for ten years before taking up a chair in Manchester, and published La Carne, la Morte e il Diavolo nella letteratura romantica in 1930.   It was about sadism, incest and necrophilia.  His book about seventeenth-century emblem books was published by the Warburg in 1939 and Gusto Neoclassico in 1940.   I had assumed he was gay, but, on the contrary, he married an Englishwoman, had a mistress in the war and described his furniture as his whores.

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