Catholic Revival in English Literature, 1845–1961, The

  • Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene, Waugh

  • by Ian Ker

  • 248 pages, 0.00 x 0.00

  • Paperback | 9780268038809 | October 2003

  • Hardcover | 9780268038793 | October 2003

  • eBook | 9780268024055 | October 2020


The Catholic Revival in English Literature, 1845-1961 presents a thorough discussion of the six principal writers of the Catholic revival in English literature—Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene, and Waugh. Beginning with Newman’s conversion in 1845 and ending with Waugh’s completion of the triology The Sword of Honor in 1961, this book explores how Catholicism shaped the work of these six prominent writers. John Henry Newman claimed in The Idea of a University that post-Reformation English literature was overwhelmingly Protestant and that there was no prospect of a Catholic body of literature. Describing this claim as “happily lacking in prescience,” Ian Ker persuasively argues that Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene, and Waugh succeeded in producing a substantial body of literature written by Catholics who wrote as Catholics. These revivalists were not so much influenced by traditional themes of guilt, sin, and ceremony, as they were attracted to unexpected facets of Catholicism. The idea of a Catholic priest as a craftsman is a recurring motif, as is the celebration of the ordinariness and objectivity of Catholicism. Ker’s compelling and intelligent reading of these six major writers will appeal to anyone with an interest in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature, or the relation between literature and theology.