The Victorian Vision: Studies in the Religious Novel

By Margaret M. Maison | Go to book overview

1: THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

CHAPTER 1
PRIGS, PEWS AND PENITENTS: EARLY TRACTARIAN FICTION

IF England escaped the horrors of a revolution in the Victorian age her National Church did not. The history of the Church of England during this time is a stirring record of warfare, struggle, persecution, agonized secession and fiercest conflict, differences of religious belief causing hostilities not merely confined to verbal clashes, lawsuits and imprisonments but extending to the level of actual physical fighting. Witness the state of St. Barnabas' Church, Pimlico, in 1851:

During the whole of that memorable year it was held only as a beleaguered city is held by armed men against the violence of enemies who battered the doors, shouted through the windows, hissed in the aisles, and tried to storm the chancel gates.

The Anglican Church had indeed awakened from her eighteenth-century slumbers to become a real Church Militant. It was unfortunate, however, that so much of her war was internal, that

-11-

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The Victorian Vision: Studies in the Religious Novel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction *
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Orthodox Faith 9
  • 1: the Church of England 11
  • 2: the Catholic Church 138
  • 3: the Free Churches 183
  • 2 - Lost Faith 207
  • 3 - Towards Unorthodox Faith 285
  • Conclusion 339
  • Bibliography 345
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