The Catholic Revival In English Literature,1845-1961: Newman, Hopkins, Belloc, Chesterton, Greene, Waugh
Publish Date: 2003-10-03
Author: Ian Ker
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This text 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 trilogy The Sword of Honour in 1961, it explores how Catholicism shaped the work of these six prominent writers. 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 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 Catholic revivalists were not so much influenced by traditional Catholic 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. interest in 19th- and 20th-century English literature, or the relation between literature and theology.