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Byron and Italian Catholicism
Bernard Beatty

This chapter documents the evolution of Byron’s personal and poetic relationship with Catholicism from what was presumably his first real encounter with it at Newstead Abbey in 1798 through to the final cantos of Don Juan and the figure of Aurora Raby. Detailing and exploring Byron’s experience of Italian friars, priests, cardinal legates, a pope and, most importantly, Italian Catholic women, the chapter suggests that, in Catholic Italy, spiritually, Byron found ‘something sensible to grasp at’. Ranging across Byron’s poetic career, the chapter sees the poet begin as a John Knox in response to Catholicism but progressively become not only a thinker of theological precision but also a ‘sympathetic outsider’ and, indeed, even an insider to Italian Catholic experience

in Byron and Italy
Catholicism, gender and race in two novels by Louise Erdrich
Sinéad Moynihan

In her work on Catholic women writers, Jeana DelRosso identifies Louise Erdrich as one of several writers who address ‘the conflicts between Catholicism and their individual cultures with an internally divided attitude … that is informed in part by the fact that Catholicism was imported into those cultures through colonialism.’ 27 In Tracks and The Last Report, Erdrich makes the Catholic clergy the starting point for her interrogation of whether Catholicism’s colonialist function necessarily distances it irreconcilably from Native beliefs, or if the two might

in Passing into the present
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Cary Howie

I’m relatively fluent in (but, like all acquired languages, it’s one whose strangeness sometimes takes me by surprise). Nonetheless, I’ve been taken aback by the ways in which these poets—often lapsed Catholic women—have started to sound like medieval theologians, or, in fact, like certain more holistic modern readers of medieval theology, especially in their accounts of the human body in its limitations and at its limits: where our embodied humanness breaks onto the divine, for example, or where it proves most resiliently and obdurately, beautifully or

in Transfiguring medievalism
David Clare

struggles with mental illness, the Catholic women who have endeavoured to imitate her throughout the story retreat into their comfortable, bourgeois, ‘pre-Flora’ existence. This comes across as an endorsement of ‘sensible’ middle-class living over the sophisticated but eccentric Big House freedom personified by Flora. Likewise, in Lavin’s ‘Scylla and Charybdis’ (1956), it is suggested that the members of the former Ascendancy will never accept an Irish Catholic as a social equal, and that no amount of education will enable Catholics to fully participate 88  john mcgahern

in John McGahern
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Exploring sites of the Canadian ecoGothic
Alanna F. Bondar

Catholic women, finds herself pregnant but rejects herbal abortion remedies since that would mean sending an innocent soul to hell; instead, she chooses to ‘cut her own stomach open, take the baby out and baptize it, then smother it – after which she’d die herself’ (72). Ultimately, the lesson is clear: this nun chose the ‘correct’ option since she was rewarded with the

in Ecogothic
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‘Un paese tutto poetico’ – Byron in Italy, Italy in Byron
Alan Rawes
Diego Saglia

. Detailing and exploring Byron’s experience of Italian friars, priests, cardinal legates, a pope and, most importantly, Italian Catholic women, Beatty suggests that, in Catholic Italy, ‘spiritually, Byron found something sensible to grasp at’. Ranging across Byron’s poetic career, Beatty sees the poet begin as a John Knox in response to Catholicism but progressively become not only a thinker of ‘theological precision’ but also a ‘sympathetic outsider and even insider’ to Italian Catholic experience. Rather than approaching Byron’s much-​ discussed engagement with the early

in Byron and Italy
Keith P. Luria

Cochinchine, de Camboye & du Tonquin &c (Paris: Charles Angot, 1684 ), pp. 198, 244; Alberts, Conflict and conversion , p. 175. On the role of the Amantes de la Croix in providing Vietnamese Catholic women with an alternative to traditional family life, see Nhung Tuyet Tran, ‘Les Amantes de la Croix: an early modern Vietnamese sisterhood’, in Gisèle

in Conversions
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Writing sex and nation
Emer Nolan

novel The country girls (1960), is far from being the first Irish woman writer, although rural Catholic women writers were certainly rare before her time. Many more Irish women writers have emerged over the last sixty or so years. The poet Eavan Boland was probably the first explicitly to associate her work since the 1970s with the feminist critique of national myths and the recovery of occluded women’s traditions.5 In recent decades, many women writers have appeared who are generally highly sensitive to feminist perspectives and who themselves have been read with

in Five Irish women
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The story of a voice
Emer Nolan

covers, publicity shots) was bleached of any stereotypical suggestion of Irishness; despite this, her fans – Irish and non-Irish, male and female – seem to have embraced her as a startling new icon of modern Irish femininity. But a woman’s bald head also recalls the horrible spectacle of communal punishment meted out to someone who has been guilty of sexual contact with the enemy. Such images recall photographs of shaven women who had consorted with Nazis being paraded through the streets in post-Liberation France, or of Catholic women in Northern Ireland, accused of

in Five Irish women
Michael G. Cronin

history. O’Brien had made a similar journey to Mary’s when she worked as a ‘Miss’ and an English literature tutor to the son and daughter of a wealthy family near the Basque city of Bilbao in 1922 and 1923.55 As the ‘Prologue’ to the novel suggests, it was a journey made by many young Irish Catholic women of her class and generation.56 Perhaps because of this encounter with the country in her formative years, Spain is the country outside of Ireland O’Brien returned to most often in her writing. Besides Mary Lavelle and That THE EROTIC S OF LIBERAL CATHOLIC DISSENT 97

in Impure thoughts