Anti-Catholicism and Nineteenth-Century Fiction

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Susan Griffin uncovers and analyses the important but neglected body of anti-Catholic fiction written between the 1830s and the turn of the century in both Britain and America. Griffin examines Anglo-American anti-Catholicism and reveals how this sentiment provided Victorians with a set of political, cultural and literary tropes through which they defined themselves as Protestant and therefore normative. She draws on a broad range of writing including works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Kingsley, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte and a range of lesser-known writers. Griffin traces how nineteenth-century writers constructed a Church of Rome against which 'America', 'Britain' and 'Protestant' might be identified and critiqued. This book will be essential reading for scholars working on British Victorian literature as well as nineteenth-century American literature; it will be of interest to scholars of literary, cultural and religious studies.