Although Catherine Livingston Garrettson (1752–1849) initially encountered feelings of isolation upon converting to Methodism, she discovered that the written word allowed her to engage in relational rather than solitary religious experiences. Over time, the written word helped her create a web of meaningful ties with imagined and actual kin and motivated her to form, develop and foster additional relationships in multiple contexts. Garrettson’s story thus demonstrates the need to consider how the real and imagined communities encountered through reading and constructed through writing have played a role in the spiritual development of early American women. Indeed, women’s experiences serve not simply to explain aspects of American social development, but to illuminate their broader world of connections – familial, religious, social and literary.
Catholicism and Nonconformity in Nineteenth-Century ‘Jewish Conversion’ Novels
This article examines English Evangelical novels focused on the conversion of Jewish characters, published from the 1820s to the 1850s. It concentrates particularly on the way these novels emphasised the importance of the Church of England in constructing national and religious identity, and used Jewish conversion as a way to critique Catholicism and Nonconformity. Jewish worship, rabbinic authority and Talmudic devotion were linked to Roman Catholic attitudes towards priesthood and tradition, while Jews were also portrayed as victims of a persecuting Roman Church. Nonconformity was criticised for disordered worship and confusing Jews with its attacks on respectable Anglicanism. As a national religion, novelists therefore imagined that Jews would be saved by a national church, and often linked this to concepts of a national restoration to Palestine. This article develops and complicates understandings of Evangelical views of Jews in the nineteenth century, and their links to ‘writing the nation’ in popular literature.
The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.
This article focuses on the career and writings of a neglected eighteenth-century High Church cleric, Thomas Townson (1715–92). It aims to restate his contemporary prominence as a writer and pastor and present fresh research into the intergenerational transmission and reception of High Church ideas and practices within a distinctive religio-political milieu in Staffordshire and Cheshire. In this recovery of contexts, it notes Townson’s relatively slight inspirational importance within both the Hackney Phalanx and the earlier Oxford Movement, and argues that, while there were undoubted continuities and connections between the Georgian Church of England and the Tractarians, Townson’s marginality for most of the latter serves to confirm Peter Nockles’s emphasis on the Oxford Movement as, in many senses, a ‘new start’.
Women and University Spaces at Owens College, Manchester 1883–1900
This article focuses on women at Owens College, Manchester between 1883 and 1900. It does so through the lens of the everyday places, spaces and material features that symbolically defined an everyday experience on the periphery of college life. Having achieved admission to Owens in 1883, the first women to enter this newly coeducational space were met by hostility and resistance that expressed itself both in words and the careful guarding of formerly male preserves. This article therefore examines the objects, doorways, rooms and lecture halls that formed the daily environment for women as they crossed the boundary of Manchester’s Oxford Road. It considers how they navigated and appropriated space within the college and how, physically and discursively, they carved out room to belong.
Gaspard Bouttats’s Collage Portraits for Prudencio de Sandoval’s Historia de la vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos V in the Whitworth Collection
This article is about how one approaches images that are both disjunctive and disjointed. It studies a set of nineteen images by the Flemish printmaker Gaspard Bouttats, focusing on four specific examples. The nineteen prints are now in the Whitworth Gallery but come without any provenance beyond the signature of their maker. Hitherto, they have not been studied in detail, but were in fact made for a book, Prudencio de Sandoval’s Historia de la vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos V, published in Antwerp in 1681 by Hieronymus Verdussen III. However, the prints now take the form of a set of loose sheets. Accordingly, the core argument rests on the fact that it is not helpful to study Bouttats’s prints in the context of de Sandoval’s book because this fails to account properly for their composite nature, their current state and their virtually limitless potential for circulation. The main contention is that such prints are best understood as collages. Therefore, they are viewed here through the lens of emerging scholarly literature on medieval and early modern texts and images that also fall into this category.
Toleration, Supersessionism and Judaeo-Centric Eschatology
This article on an early modern pamphlet which can be found in the John Rylands Library Special Collections asserts the importance of John Goodwin’s analysis of Zechariah 13:3 in A Post-Script or Appendix to […] Hagiomastix (1647). I argue that this pamphlet’s significance is not only its emphasis on toleration, but also that it is a striking example of Judaeo-centric millenarian thought in which Zechariah 12–14 is understood as prophesying a future time in which the Jews will be restored to the Land of Israel. I also analyse the pamphlet’s relationship to supersessionism and compare Goodwin’s interpretation with those of Samuel Rutherford, William Prynne, John Owen and, in particular, Jean Calvin. I explain that Goodwin’s use of the analogy of Scripture hermeneutic helps to explain his belief in Judaeo-centric eschatology. I then show how one of Goodwin’s followers, Daniel Taylor, used Judaeo-centric biblical exegesis to petition Oliver Cromwell for Jewish readmission to England.
This article examines a notebook owned by the poet and topographical writer Norman Nicholson, which is held in his collection at the John Rylands Library. The notebook, entitled Topographical Notes: Morecambe Bay etc., includes detailed notes and sketches taken at numerous locations in Cumbria, many of which recur in Nicholson’s poetry and topographical texts. The article analyses Nicholson’s note-taking practices, with particular attention to sensory experience and how this was expressed by the writer. The notebook is especially valuable because no other book of its kind survives in Nicholson’s archive, and because it can be dated towards the end of a long interlude in his career as a poet. The notes can be understood as lying in the space between Nicholson’s poetry and his topographical writing: although ostensibly collecting information for Greater Lakeland (1969), Nicholson’s treatment of light and vision suggests that he was beginning to experiment with some of the themes that characterise his later poetry. The article reflects on what these notes can tell us about Nicholson’s note-taking ‘in the field’, and suggests that his habit of treating the landscape as a repository of history is akin to what Kitty Hauser has called the ‘archaeological imagination’.
The Manchester Royal Infirmary Students Gazette (1898–99) and its subsequent titles, the Manchester Medical Students Gazette (1901–13), the Manchester University Medical School Gazette (1921–59), the Manchester Medical Gazette (1960–78) and Mediscope (1979–98), are a valuable resource for the history of the social and academic life of the medical students and the work of the Medical School at the University of Manchester. The volumes provide a record of advances in medical practice, historical articles and biographical details of staff. A recently completed database of the main articles and authors is a new resource to research these journals. This article sketches the history of the Gazette and outlines its value as a source for medical historians.