Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck

(1241 words)
  • Natasha Aleksiuk Duquette

Theologian, abolitionist and theorist Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck influenced nineteenth-century aesthetics through her original concept of the contemplative sublime. Her Theory on the Classification of Beauty and Deformity (1815) divides aesthetic perceptions into four categories: the terrible sublime, the contemplative sublime, the sentimental, and the sprightly. In the early nineteenth century, her idea of the contemplative sublime presented a new, unique, and inclusive aesthetic category. Schimmelpenninck proposes that the bold vigor of the terrible is a necessary, first step towards the calm dauntlessness of the contemplative. In doing so, she builds on the work of earlier women writers, such as travel writer Lady Mary …

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Duquette, Natasha Aleksiuk. "Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 May 2005
[, accessed 09 October 2015.]