Vernon Lee was the pseudonym of the British writer Violet Paget
(1856-1935). She is known mostly for her supernatural fiction. She
also wrote essays and poetry. She contributed to The Yellow Book
and was a follower of Walter Pater. Her literary works explored the
themes of haunting and possession. She was responsible for
introducing the concept of empathy into the English language.
Empathy was a key concept in Lee's psychological aesthetics which
she developed on the basis of prior work by Theodor Lipps. Her
response to aesthetics interpreted art as a mental and corporeal
experience. This was a significant contribution to the philosophy
of art which has been largely neglected. Additionally she wrote,
along with her friend and colleague Henry James, critically about
the relationship between the writer and his/her audience pioneering
the concept of criticism and expanding the idea of critical
assessment among all the arts as relating to an audience's (or her
personal) response. She was a strong proponent of the Aesthetic
movement. Among her famous works are: A Phantom Lover (1890),
Hauntings (1890) and Art and Life (1896).
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