The Gothic Ideology: Religious Hysteria and Anti-Catholicism in Popular British Fiction, 1780-1880

Title

The Gothic Ideology: Religious Hysteria and Anti-Catholicism in Popular British Fiction, 1780-1880

Files

Description

The Gothic Ideology argues that in order to modernize and secularize, the British Protestant imaginary needed an 'other' against which it could define itself as a culture and a nation with distinct boundaries. The 'Gothic ideology' is identified as an intense religious anxiety, produced by the aftershocks of the Protestant reformation, the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and the dynastic upheavals produced by both events in England, Germany, and France, and was played out in hundreds of Gothic texts published throughout Europe between the mid-eighteenth century and 1880. This book is the first to read the Gothic ideology through the historical context of both King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries and the extensive French anti-clerical and pornographic works that were well-known to Horace Walpole and Matthew Lewis. The book argues that Gothic was thoroughly invested in a crude form of anti-Catholicism that fed lower class prejudices against the passage of a variety of Catholic Relief Acts that had been pending in Parliament since 1788 and finally passed in 1829.

ISBN

9781783160488

Publication Date

2014

Publisher

University of Wales Press

City

Cardiff, Wales

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Comments

Table of Contents

Anti-Catholicism and the Gothic Ideology: Interlocking Discourse Networks

The Construction of the Gothic Nun: Fantasies and the Religious Imaginary

The Spectre of Theocracy: Mysterious Monks and 'Priestcraft'

The Foreign Threat: Inquisitions, Autos-da-Fé and Bloody Tribunals

Ruined Abbeys: Justifying Stolen Property and the Crusade against Superstition

Epilogue: The Penny Dreadful and the (Almost) Last Gasp of the Gothic Ideology