Their topics include the six ages of history and the renewal of the human person: Christian humanism in Bede's gospel homilies, human dignity and bodily necessity according to Bernard of Clairvaux, conceiving the soul: Aelred of Rievaulx and the sanctifying labor of the mind, Dante and the human identity: a transformation from grace to grace, and feminality
as positive perfection and the active participation of women in generativity in the philosophical theology of John Duns Scotus.
these young girls (he even called them Flappers) felt free enough to adopt (and they were fewer than usual at that time) he openly despised.' (17) The much younger Charles Jephcott, husband of the novel's central character Harriet, is, by contrast, far more susceptible to the 'coloured dreams' of domesticity, even as he confronts the reality of the disruption of their relationship by Harriet's first love: '"How could your walking in the park with Vesey affect our life together in this house ...?" He broke off, feeling that he was mentioning the house too often, looking too much round the room, as if interior decoration decided everything.' (18) Harriet, too, can find a similarly fleeting refuge in the role of Happy Housewife:
It was in Florence in the early spring of 1886 that Amy met Vernon Lee - the male pen-name beneath which Violet Paget cloaked her feminality
. Novelist and aesthetician, she lived in her mother's Florentine villa with her, but took wing for a season each year to spend some time in London, where she was an accepted figure on the literary scene.