I am grateful to Molly Youngkin for her thoughtful, detailed review of Mathilde Blind: Late-Victorian Culture and the Woman of Letters for The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies (vol. 29, Fall 2020, pp. 102-06). Her first paragraph succinctly summarizes my major goals in writing the book:
This . . . biography of the politically radical woman aesthete Mathilde Blind is important for several reasons. It changes the way we think about aestheticism, since it shows how women such as Blind were central in aesthetic circles that have been traditionally presented as male dominated, and it characterizes aestheticism as more politically aware than has typically been acknowledged. In addition, it provides a more nuanced view of the relationship between the New Woman and male decadents by indicating the complex relations between New Women such as Blind and decadents such as Arthur Symons. Finally, it adds significantly to our awareness of how literary criticism about the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley developed, since Blind (who wrote in a variety of genres, but is known primarily for her poetry) contributed significantly to this development in the 19th century.
My thanks to Professor Youngkin and The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies for this review.