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Anti-Catholicism and Nineteenth-Century Fiction by Susan M. Griffin

Anti-Catholicism and Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series


Anti-Catholicism and Nineteenth-Century Fiction by Susan M. Griffin

Susan Griffin uncovers and analyses the important but neglected body of anti-Catholic fiction written between the 1830s and the turn of the century in both Britain and America. Griffin examines Anglo-American anti-Catholicism and reveals how this sentiment provided Victorians with a set of political, cultural and literary tropes through which they defined themselves as Protestant and therefore normative. She draws on a broad range of writing including works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Kingsley, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte and a range of lesser-known writers. Griffin traces how nineteenth-century writers constructed a Church of Rome against which 'America', 'Britain' and 'Protestant' might be identified and critiqued. This book will be essential reading for scholars working on British Victorian literature as well as nineteenth-century American literature; it will be of interest to scholars of literary, cultural and religious studies.


Review of the hardback: 'At the end of Susan Griffin's valuable book ... one is left with a sense of admiration at her methodological sureness of touch ... Griffin's perceptive and well-researched book offers much fascinating food for thought ...
James H. Murphy, Victorians Institute Journal Review of the hardback:

'One of the lessons of 9/11 is that we ignore the politics of religion at our peril. Today's conflicts regarding faith have long, complicated histories, which we are just beginning to learn how to read and understand. Susan M. Griffin's Anti-Catholicism in Nineteenth Century Fiction is a major contribution to this work: a new cultural history of religion.'
John Carlos Rowe, USC Associates

Professor of the Humanities, University of Southern California

About the Author

Susan M. Griffin is Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Louisville. She is the editor of the Henry James Review and author and editor of numerous works including The Art of Criticism, The Historical Eye, and Henry James Goes to the Movies.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th January 2009


Susan M. Griffin

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Cambridge University Press


296 pages


Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers



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