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Title: Exorcizing the tongue : English Roman Catholic poetics, 1829-1922
Author: Pizza, Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0003 6799 4401
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Although the importance of religion, and particularly of Tractarianism, in nineteenth- century literature has been recognized for some time, little has been done - outside of studies dedicated specifically to the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins - to document the work of Roman Catholic poets in the period. In choosing to explore this relatively unknown territory, I have focused on the poetry and poetic theory of five English Roman Catholics, inquiring, in the Introduction, whether or not their work as a group presents an overarching poetic like that of their better known predecessors, the Tractarians. In Chapter Two, "The Tractarian Poetic and English Roman Catholic Poets," I consider Tractarianism as the most likely predecessor for Roman Catholic poets in the period and examine some of the problems inherent in assuming the existence of denominational poetics. Chapter Three, "'Lead, kindly light': Newman's Poetic Journey," focuses on the work of the Tractarian turned Roman Catholic poet John Henry Newman and discusses his "The Dream of Gerontius" as a turning point in the attempt to found a distinctively Roman Catholic poetry. Chapter Four, "Sprung Rhythm and the Second Spring," considers Gerard Manley Hopkins' s discussions of sprung rhythm in relation to Newman's and Archbishop Manning's calls for a Roman Catholic Literature opposed to what they believed to be the inherent Protestantism of the dominant literary tradition, paying special attention to Hopkins's negotiation of John Milton's influence in his work. Chapter Five, "'Of realty the rarest veined unraveller': Hopkins and Victorian Marianism," continues the discussion of Hopkins by uncovering the importance of Victorian controversies over the role ofthe Blessed Virgin Mary in his life and work. Chapter Six, "'Magna Est Veritas': Coventry Patmore and the Development of a Conservative Catholic Poetic," turns the discussion to a consideration of the role of Catholicism in the work of Pat more and of its relation to the major ecclesiastical force in the nineteenth-century Roman Catholic Church, Ultramontanism. Chapter Seven, "'An angry attack on Catholic Philistinism': Francis Thompson's Liberal Catholic Poetic," focuses on Thompson's I difficult relationships with both the Church of Rome and with adherents of literary Decadence, detailing his attempt to forge a liberal tradition within Roman Catholic Literature. Chapter Eight, "Faithful Rhythms: Alice Meynell and Roman Catholic Poetry at the Fin de Siecle;" looks at Meynell's work in relation to her male coreligionists, highlighting the differences in attitude and subject matter that appear in her verse. In the Conclusion, the underlying question of the study, whether or not the various attempts of these poets to form a distinctively Roman Catholic Literature constitute a poetic like that of the Tractarians, is answered, and the relations between the work of these writers and that of Roman and Anglo-Catholic poets of the twentieth century is considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available