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Madam BritanniaWomen, Church, and Nation 1712-1812$
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Emma Major

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199699377

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199699377.001.0001

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The Church of England, Methodism, and ‘the province of public virtue’ 1

The Church of England, Methodism, and ‘the province of public virtue’ 1

(p.125) 4 The Church of England, Methodism, and ‘the province of public virtue’1
Madam Britannia

Emma Major

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on debates in the 1760s about Methodism and the Church of England. Although Methodism was still officially part of the Church until 1795, many Anglicans felt unhappy with the religious enthusiasm and physicality associated with Methodist worship. Women became important in helping the Church define itself against Methodism, and appeared extensively in anti-Methodist satire of the period. These debates highlighted ways in which Anglican women were members of a public, established Church, and Anglican women’s duties were described as public in opposition to the privacy and melancholia of Methodist worship. The chapter looks at anti-Methodist prints by Hogarth alongside anti-Methodist plays by Samuel Foote and others; here, drawing on old anti-Roman Catholic satire, Methodist women are caricatured as nuns and prostitutes. The actual female communities established by the Countess of Huntingdon and Sarah Scott are then explored in relation to Scott’s fiction and correspondence.

Keywords:   Methodism, Church of England, Anglican, Hogarth, brothels, convents, Samuel Foote, Countess of Huntingdon, Sarah Scott, Handel

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