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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Gothic and Catholicism

Religion, Cultural Exchange and the Popular Novel, 1785 - 1829

This unique volume offers up a groundbreaking analysis: proof that a revision is required of the critical commonplace idea in gothic scholarship that the roots of the gothic novel belong within the popular anti-Catholicism of late eighteenth-century Britain. Arguing that despite the predominance of Catholic motifs in gothic novels (monks, nuns, abbeys, and confessionals have long been interpreted as signifying subversiveness), the gothic was neither anti-Catholic nor anti-church, and instead part of a British culture much more sympathetic towards Catholicism during the long eighteenth century—especially during and immediately following the French Revolution—than has been previously supposed.

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2009

Gothic Literary Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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“A highly original contribution to the field which is sure to generate debate among scholars of the Gothic.”

James Watt, University of York

Table of Contents


1        ‘A compliment to be called Papist’? English Toleration of Catholicism in the Later Eighteenth Century

2        Roman(ticized) Catholicism in Literature and Culture in the Eighteenth Century

3        The Cloister Theme in Lewis and Radcliffe

4        The Gothic Nun and the Promotion of Devotion

5        The Monk as Hero, the Hero as Monk




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