The Gothic and Catholicism

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

Maria Purves

The Gothic and Catholicism

Maria Purves

Distributed for University of Wales Press

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2009
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780708320914 Published January 2010 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

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.



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




Review Quotes
James Watt, University of York

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

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