This is a book about nineteenth-century anti-Catholic discourses and how Charlotte Brontë portrayed Roman Catholicism in her novels. Research for this book involved the reading of a great many anti-Catholic texts written during and around the middle of the nineteenth century in order to place Brontë’s depiction of Catholicism within the framework of Victorian social ideologies. It is not a book about religion and although such works as Marianne Thormahlen, The Brontës and Religion (1999) have been consulted they have not been engaged with as they are not relevant to my argument which revolves around the use of anti-Catholic imagery determined by the cultural context of the day. Anti-Catholicism, although part of the English cultural inheritance from the time of the Reformation, was especially prominent in the nineteenth century for historical reasons and much anti-Papist propaganda that was prevalent in the eighteenth century2 re-emerged in a slightly different form at this time. In this book, publications are approached in terms of gender-relations, patriotism, strategies of power and control and how they emerge from the narratives of anti-Catholic, Victorian literature and the novels of Charlotte Brontë.


Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylum Pastoral Letter Religious Atmosphere Catholic Doctrine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Recent Position of Catholics in England Addressed to the Brothers of the Oratory (London: Burns and Lambert, 1851), p. 1.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    D.G. Paz, Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England (California: Stanford University Press, 1992), p. 51.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Statistics taken from: Derek Holmes More Roman than Rome and Gloria McAdam, My Dear Sister: An Analysis of Nineteenth-century Documents Concerning the Founding of a Women’s Religious Congregation (Bradford: University of Bradford, PhD Thesis, 1994).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Robert Klaus, The Pope the Protestants and the Irish (New York: Garland Publishing, 1987), p. 281.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Dawson Massy, Dark Deeds of the Papacy Contrasted with the Bright Lights of the Gospel, also the Jesuits Unmasked and Popery Unchangeable (London: Seeleys, 1851), p. 155.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Henry Drummond MP, To the People of England on The Invasion (London: Bosworth and Harrison, 1859).Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    For example, Ambrosio in M.G. Lewis, The Monk, 1786.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    D.G. Paz, Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England (California: Stanford University Press, 1992), p. 61.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Rev. M. Hobart Seymour, Convents or Nunneries. A Lecture in Reply to Cardinal Wiseman (London: Seeleys, 1852), pp. 14, 24.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Catherine Sinclair, Modern Superstition (London: Simpkin and Marshall & Co., 1847), pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Lisa Wang, Uses of Theological Discourse in the Novels of the Brontë Sisters (London: Birkbeck College, PhD Thesis, 1998), pp. 17,146.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Rosemary Clark Beattie, ‘Fables of Rebellion: Anti-Catholicism and the Structure of Villette’, ELH 5 (1986): p. 821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 18.
    S. Gilbert and S. Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984), p. 414.Google Scholar
  14. 19.
    Robert Bernard Martin, The Accents of Persuasion: Charlotte Brontë’s Novels (London: Faber and Faber, 1966), p. 148.Google Scholar
  15. 21.
    Tom Winnifrith, The Brontës and their Background, Romance and Reality (Basingstoke Hants: Macmillan Press, 1988), pp. 49–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 22.
    Irene Taylor, Holy Ghosts the Male Muses of Emily and Charlotte Brontë (New York and Oxford: Columbia University Press, 1990), pp. 246–7.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    Patricia Duncker, Writing on the Wall (London: Pandora Press, 2002), p. 34.Google Scholar
  18. 25.
    Lyndall Gordon, Charlotte Brontë. A Passionate Life (London: Chatto and Windus, 1994), p. 226.Google Scholar
  19. 27.
    Helene Moglen, Charlotte Brontë, the Self Conceived (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1976), p. 218.Google Scholar
  20. 28.
    For fuller comment on the love between Lucy Snowe and Paul Emmanuel, see Robert Colby, ‘Villette and the Life of the Mind’, in Fiction With a Purpose (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1960), p. 417.Google Scholar
  21. 29.
    Annette Schreiber, ‘The Myth in Charlotte Brontë’ [sic] Literature and Psychology xvii (1968): p. 66.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Diana Peschier 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Peschier

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations