Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture
It has long been recognised that the Gothic genre sensationalised beliefs and practices associated with Catholicism. Often, the rhetorical tropes and narrative structures of the Gothic, with its lurid and supernatural plots, were used to argue that both Catholicism and sexual difference were fundamentally alien and threatening to British Protestant culture. Ultimately, however, the Gothic also provided an imaginative space in which unconventional writers from John Henry Newman to Oscar Wilde could articulate an alternative vision of British culture. Patrick O'Malley charts these developments from the origins of the Gothic novel in the mid-eighteenth century, through the mid-nineteenth-century sensation novel, toward the end of the Victorian Gothic in Bram Stoker's Dracula and Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure. O'Malley foregrounds the continuing importance of Victorian Gothic as a genre through which British authors defined their culture and what was outside it.
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aesthetic Ambrosio Anglican Anglo-Catholic Ann Radcliffe anti-Catholic architecture Audley Court become black veil blood Braddon Carmilla Carson Catholicism Christ Christian Church confessional conflation convent corruption cultural describes domestic Dorian Gray Dracula England English erotic eruption Eucharist fact Fanu’s fascination foreign Freud Gothic architecture Gothic novel Hardy Hardy’s Harker Helsing heterosexual homoerotic horror idolatry infiltration Jude the Obscure Jude’s Lady Audley Lady Audley’s Secret Laura’s Lewis’s Lucy marriage Matilda Maturin medieval Melmoth the Wanderer metaphor mirror modern Monc¸ada Monk monstrous murder Mysteries of Udolpho narrative nineteenth century Oxford Movement passion Pater perverse Polidori’s portrait precisely priest Protestant Protestantism Radcliffe Radcliffe’s relationship religion religious and sexual revelation rhetoric ritual ritualist Robert Roman Catholic Romanist Rome Ruskin sacramental saints seduction seems sexual and religious sexual deviance simultaneously Stoker’s Stones of Venice structures suggests symbol tradition transgression trope turns ultimately undead vampire Van Helsing vestments Victorian Wilde Wilde’s woman