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Elizabeth Gaskell used Gothic as a symbolic language to explore the dark side of Unitarian thought. She explores, in rationalist terms, evils origins, effects, and remedy, using Gothic tropes as metaphors for humanly created misery. Gaskell locates the roots of ‘evil’ in an unenlightened social order – in ‘The Crooked Branch’ erroneous parenting, and in ‘The Poor Clare’ wider social structures, both distorted by the ideology of privilege. ‘The Poor Clare’ also engages with the tension between moral determinism and personal responsibility, and defends a Unitarian salvation. This tale also demonstrates Gaskell‘s views on aspects of Roman Catholicism.

Gothic Studies
James Herbert, The Spear and ‘Nazi Gothic’

This article examines the ways in which James Herbert‘s The Spear (1978) attempted to combine nineteenth century gothic with the contemporary thriller. The novel deals with the activities of a neo-Nazi organisation, and the essay draws parallels between Herberts deployment of National Socialism and the treatment of Roman Catholicism in earlier Gothic texts. Contextualising the novel within a wider fascination with Nazism in 1970s popular culture, it also considers the ethical difficulties in applying techniques from supernatural Gothic to secular tyranny.

Gothic Studies
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A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82

Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the Family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality, and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology, devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Thérèse.

Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the Family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ before and after Vatican II.

, and the reverse is the case in eight. However, in only four do Roman Catholics outnumber Protestants – Belize, Canada, Grenada and St Lucia. The realms collectively constitute, then, a population of subjects of the monarch that are predominantly Christian of unknown degrees of commitment but with a substantial minority with other religions, no recorded religion or no religion. The two largest Christian denominations, Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism, each have the attachment of about one-fifth of the combined population, but the Anglican support is heavily

in Monarchy, religion and the state
Polemic and ideology in Heylyn’s 1630s writings

official spokesman for the Laudian movement, what broader ideology did he present in his works? This chapter is intended to scrutinize the dominant themes in his published works of this decade, relating in particular to the nature of the English Reformation, puritanism, Roman Catholicism, and the foreign Reformed churches. We will seek in part to determine whether these reveal a unified and consistent vision, or whether tensions and ambiguities can be observed. Given that the best picture that historians now have of Laudianism is one that has consciously synthesized a

in Laudian and royalist polemic in seventeenth-century England
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National identity in The Wild Irish Girl and Sybil

one of Queen Victoria’s prime ministers. Disraeli, of course, became another. By the time that Sybil was published, the Reform Bill had widened the franchise a little, and the Act of Toleration had put Roman Catholicism on a better footing. Both of the nations which are in conflict in Sybil are British – we might now prefer to call them two cultures – the rich

in Cultural identities and the aesthetics of Britishness

chapter, Hutchinson in the 1720s was merely convinced that the Church and state in Ireland would be better served by devising and implementing conversion schemes designed to remove the political threat posed by the mass of the population’s adherence and political deference to Roman Catholicism and the pope. Once this sense of Catholic threat retreated 99 Burns, Irish Parliamentary politics, ii, pp. 17–22; Edith Mary Johnston, Ireland in the eighteenth century (Dublin, 1974), p. 29. 100 LJ, iii, 245– 6. Bishop of Down and Connor 147 in Hutchinson’s mind during the

in Witchcraft and Whigs
Allegories of the Armada

When the Spanish invasion force of 1588 met with successful English resistance and disastrous weather, losing thousands of men and 62 of 130 ships, contemporary observers and participants on both sides believed the outcome reflected God’s intervention. English sermons used Bible stories to develop a patriotic and providentialist interpretation of the gathering threat and subsequent Spanish defeat. Sermons before the attempted invasion, by Thomas Drant, Meredith Hanmer, and William Gravet, demonstrate the comparison preachers drew a between Islam and Roman Catholicism (as Spenser created a Muslim sultan to represent the Roman Catholic Spanish threat). Sermons celebrating the English victory, by John Prime, Thomas White, Roger Hackett, and Stephen Gosson, show that Spenser and the preachers drew on the same biblical theme of God’s judgment and motifs of horses, chariot, and hardware.

in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis

This chapter focuses on the enormous and impoverished parish of Whalley, of which Pendle formed a part, addressing the role played by religion in the trials. Historians have recently looked more to religion and ideas for explanations of witch trials. It is suggested that witchcraft trials were concentrated in areas where there were clashes between strong Roman Catholicism and vigorous reforming Protestantism, and singled out Lancashire as an example. The county was certainly notable at this period for both of these religious tendencies. The spiritual vacuum left by the destructive dissolution of Whalley Abbey in the reign of Henry VIII, the continuing attachment of the population to the older forms of religious belief, and the rise of a determined, reforming Puritanism in the generation or so preceding the trials of 1612 are stressed. The Reformation proceeded slowly and unreformed religious ideas remained entrenched. But when the godly crusade against sin did finally get underway, it was magistrates such as Roger Nowell and his colleagues among the Protestant gentry of the area who were in the forefront of the campaign to eradicate what they saw as the related phenomena of Catholicism, superstition and witchcraft.

in The Lancashire witches

religious opinions’2 – in other words, that he was in danger of converting to Roman Catholicism. Even years later, this friend continued to insist that the poem, which was not finally published until 1868, ‘might have been harmful originally’.3 Several years later, another Anglican’s invocation of the Virgin Mary became the topic of a more public debate. In 1849, Priscilla Lydia Sellon, foundress of the Anglican Society of Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Trinity, in Devonport, was forced to reply to anonymous charges published in the Devonport telegraph that, in part because

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary