The Old Enemies: Catholic and Protestant in Nineteenth-Century English Culture

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Divisions between Catholics and Protestants have been a feature of English history since the Reformation. Even into the industrial nineteenth century, age-old theological disagreements were the cause of religious and cultural conflicts. The Old Enemies asks why these ancient divisions were so deep, why they continued into the nineteenth century and how novelists and poets, theologians and preachers, historians and essayists reinterpreted the religious debates. Michael Wheeler, a leading authority on the literature and theology of the period, explains how each side misunderstood the other's deeply held beliefs about history, authority, doctrine and spirituality, and, conversely, how these theological conflicts were a source of inspiration and creativity in the arts. This wide-ranging, well-illustrated study sheds light on nineteenth-century history, literature and religion.