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Victorian ReformationThe Fight Over Idolatry in the Church of England, 1840-1860$
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Dominic Janes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195378511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378511.001.0001

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Gothic Novelties

Gothic Novelties

(p.135) 5 Gothic Novelties
Victorian Reformation

Dominic Janes (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the notion of dirt and abjection in more detail before exploring the ways in which these phenomena were accommodated within Victorian society. The key mechanism is understood to be that underpinning Gothic literature in which transgression is harnessed as entertainment. By exploring a case study of critique of the Anglo-Catholic confessional, the chapter explains how pleasure was generated via the invention of a sexualised and scandalous Catholicism in the minds of Protestant viewers. It is then explained how this is associated with a boom in the production of the sale of Gothic narratives in the form not only of fiction, but also of tracts and journalism. In this way the anomalous position of ritualism was rendered into financially profitable form for wider elements in society.

Keywords:   dirt, confessional, Protestant, Gothic, fiction, journalism, profitable, transgression

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