A Pater Chronology


Born on August 4 in Stepney, London, the third child of surgeon, Richard Glode Pater (1797?-1842) and Maria Hill (1803?-1854). The other children are William (1835-1887), Hester (1837-1922) and Clara (1841-1910).


Death of Richard Pater, Walter’s father. The family moves, first to Hackney, London, and then to Enfield, London, where Pater attends the local grammar school.


The family moves to Harbledown, Kent, and Pater attends the King’s School, Canterbury, as a day boy.


Maria Pater, Walter’s mother, dies.


Leaves the King’s School with prizes in Latin and Ecclesiastical History. Enters Queen’s College Oxford to read Classics.

Pater’s aunt Hester takes Pater’s sisters to Heidelberg for their education.


Spends the Long Vacation in Heidelberg.


Studies under the tutorship of Benjamin Jowett.


Second-class honours in Literae Humaniores.

Rents rooms in the High Street, Oxford. Pater works as a private tutor.

In December, his aunt Hester dies.


Elected member of the Old Mortality Society, Oxford.


Elected probationary fellow of Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford.

Reads his ‘Diaphaneitè’ essay to the Old Mortality Society.

Spends the Long Vacation in Paris with his sisters.


Travels to Italy, visiting Pisa, Florence and Ravenna, with C.L. Shadwell during the Long Vacation.


‘Coleridge’s Writings’, published anonymously in the January issue of the Westminster Review.


‘Winckelmann’, likewise published anonymously, in the January issue of the Westminster Review.

Becomes a lecturer at Brasenose College.


‘Poems by William Morris’ published anonymously in the Westminster Review.


‘Notes on Lionardo da Vinci’ published in the Fortnightly Review. This is Pater’s first signed essay.

Moves with his sisters into a rented house in 2 Bradmore Road, North Oxford.


‘A Fragment on Sandro Botticelli’ is published in the Fortnightly Review.


‘The Poetry of Michelangelo’ and ‘Pico della Mirandola’ are published, both in the Fortnightly Review.


Visits Arezzo and composes ‘Joachim du Bellay’, ‘Luca della Robbia’, ‘Aucassin and Nicolette’ and the ‘Preface’ to his first book.


February 15, Studies in the History of the Renaissance is published by Macmillan.


Publishes ‘On Wordsworth’ and ‘A Fragment on Measure for Measure’ in the Fortnightly Review.

Due to a scandal involving W. M. Hardinge, and through the interference of Jowett, Pater is passed over for the University Proctorship.


‘Romanticism’ is published in Macmillan’s Magazine, and ‘A Study of Dionysus’ in the Fortnightly Review.

Pater gives a lecture on Demeter and Persephone at the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

W.H. Mallock satirizes Pater as Mr. Rose in The New Republic, serialized in Belgravia from June to December.


May 24, a second edition of The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry, is published, with the ‘Conclusion’ omitted. Publishes ‘The School of Giorgione’ in the Fortnightly Review. 


‘The Child in the House’, Pater’s first imaginary portrait, is published in Macmillan’s Magazine. Pater probably also begins composition of ‘Imaginary Portrait 2: An English Poet’.

Publishes ‘The Character of the Humorist: Charles Lamb’ in the Fortnightly Review, and prepares and cancels another volume of essays, The School of Giorgione and Other Studies.

Begins lecturing on Greek art and archaeology at Oxford.


Publishes ‘The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture’ and ‘The Marbles of Aegina’ in the Fortnightly Review.


Leaves England for Rome in December to gather inspiration for Marius the Epicurean. Spends some 7 weeks in Rome.

Publishes ‘Samuel Taylor Coleridge’ in T.H. Ward’s The English Poets series.


Resigns his tutorship to concentrate on Marius. Publishes ‘Dante Gabriel Rossetti’ in Ward’s The English Poets series.


On March 4, Marius the Epicurean: His Sensations and Ideas is published. The second edition is published on November 12.

In August, Pater moves with his sisters to 12 Earl’s Terrace, London, but retains his Brasenose College rooms. 

‘A Prince of Court Painters: Extracts from an Old French Journal’ appears in the October issue of Macmillan’s Magazine.


‘Sebastian van Storck’ appears in the March issue of Macmillan’s Magazine. On 17 March Pater’s review of Mrs. Ward’s translation of Henri-Frédéric Amiel’s Journal Intime appears in The Guardian. ‘Sir Thomas Browne’ appears in the May issue of Macmillan’s Magazine and ‘Denys l’Auxerrois’ in the October issue of that journal.


Pater’s older brother, William, dies.

‘Duke Carl of Rosenmold is published in the May issue of Macmillan’s Magazine.

May 24 sees the publication of Imaginary Portraits, a volume containing ‘A Prince of Court Painters’, ‘Denys l’Auxerrois’, ‘Sebastian van Storck’ and ‘Duke Carl of Rosenmold’.


The third edition of The Renaissance is published in January. The ‘Conclusion’ has been restored and ‘The School of Giorgione’ included.

Pater serializes his unfinished second novel Gaston de Latour in the June to October issues of Macmillan’s Magazine.

The essay on ‘Style’ is published in the December issue of the Fortnightly Review.


Travels to Bergamo, Brescia and Milan.

Writes a number of reviews for the Guardian, the Pall Mall Gazette and the Nineteenth Century.

Publishes ‘Hippolytus Veiled: A Study from Euripides’ and ‘The Bacchanals of Euripides’ in Macmillan’s Magazine (August and May issues), ‘Giordano Bruno: Paris 1586’ in the August issue of the Fortnightly Review, and ‘Shakespeare’s English Kings’ in the April issue of Scribner’s Magazine. 

On November 15, Appreciations is published.


Second edition of the Imaginary Portraits, with only very small alterations, is published in March.

In May, a second edition of Appreciations is published.

‘Art Notes in North Italy’ appears in the November issue of the New Review.

‘Prosper Mérimée’ appears in the Fortnightly Review in December.

Pater probably begins composition of his unfinished imaginary portrait ‘Gaudioso the Second’, now at the Houghton Library, Harvard.


Lectures on Plato at Brasenose College.

Composes ‘The Genius of Plato’ in December.


‘The Genius of Plato’, ‘A Chapter on Plato’, ‘Lacaedemon’ are published in the Contemporary Review and Macmillan’s Magazine.

‘Emerald Uthwart’ appears in the June and July issues of the New Review.

Third and revised edition of Marius the Epicurean is published in August.

‘Raphael’ appears in the October issue of the Fortnightly Review.

Pater writes the ‘Introduction’ to Shadwell’s Purgatory, published by Macmillan.


Plato and Platonism published on February 10.

During the summer, Pater and his sisters move back to 64 St Giles in Oxford.

‘Apollo in Picardy’ appears in the November issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.

In December, the fourth edition of The Renaissance is published.


‘The Age of Athletic Prizemen’, ‘Notre-Dame d’Amiens’ and ‘Vezelay’ appear in the Contemporary Review and the Nineteenth Century.

On July 30, Pater dies of pleurisy and a heart attack. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery. C.L. Shadwell is made his literary executor.


On January 11, Greek Studies: A Series of Essays is published, edited by Shadwell.

‘Pascal’ is published in the February issue of the Contemporary Review.

On October 11, Miscellaneous Studies, again edited by Shadwell, is published.


6 October: Gaston de Latour: An Unfinished Romance is published, likewise under the editorship of Shadwell.


The Works of Walter Pater: Edition de Luxe is published by Macmillan, in 8 volumes.


The Works of Walter Pater, New Library Edition, is published by Macmillan, in 10 volumes.