Idleness and Idling in Anna Mary Howitt’s An Art-Student in Munich (1853)

  • Heidi LiedkeEmail author


This chapter argues that Anna Mary Howitt experienced positive idleness in Munich and used the study of art and her imagination as means to transfigure what she was seeing. Liedke’s reading is centred on three aspects: first, Howitt’s use of colour and descriptions in her writing through which she creates “word paintings” that are embedded in Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics; second, her experience of spaces of idleness (churches and places in nature) which is, third, linked to and enabled by her creation of a personal cityscape through idling through the city’s streets which Liedke demonstrates by referring to Michel de Certeau’s terminology. Howitt’s idleness has a dual quality: it is receptive, when she is trying to learn as much as she can from her art teacher and the new surroundings by looking, and active, when it inspires her to use her own imagination and create a city and a text that is her own.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Koblenz-LandauLandauGermany
  2. 2.Queen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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