Jim Cheshire
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Stained glass and Victorian culture
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This chapter illustrates some of the ways in which stained glass fitted into the mid-Victorian world. Although there was quite a lot of interconnection between the leading members of the Gothic Revival in Europe, it is difficult to find any direct European influences on the English stained glass market. Ecclesiology undoubtedly stimulated the market for stained glass, but it also created problems for aspiring glass-painters. From 1845, a small but steady stream of monographs concerned with stained glass began to appear. The influences contributing to the revival of stained glass were social, religious and economic. Church-building was clearly a major influence on the revival of stained glass but cannot explain it alone: it is of course quite possible to erect a church with plain glass. The Oxford Movement was a theological renaissance that reinterpreted the identity of the Church of England in terms of its pre-Reformation roots.

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