The first comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of Catholic Emancipation, one of the romantic period's most contentious issues
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'The meticulous research and probing readings in Michael Tomko's book show how unsettling the issue of Catholic Emancipation was for the major writers of the Romantic periods. It is a stunning contribution to our larger sense of the complexity surrounding issues of toleration and secularization; still more, it makes the most convincing case yet for Catholicism's centrality in Romantic politics and literary production.' - Professor Mark Canuel, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
'This is a rich and rewarding study...The reader comes away with a refreshed, more complicated picture of nineteenth-century romanticism, a thorough understanding of the "Catholic Question" and its controversial nature, and much encouragement to consider the role of religious identity in the formation of nation-states.' - Maria Lamonaca, New Books on Literature 19
'...thoughtful study...' - True Principles
'Though not the final word on the subject, Tomko's book has the clear merit of persuading readers of its importance. It will also provide them with a strong encyclopaedic basis and with possible reading strategies on which to base their own investigations into an unduly neglected aspect of British Romantic culture.' - Raphaël Ingelbien, University of Leuven
British Romanticism and the Catholic Question offers the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary study of Catholic Emancipation, one of the romantic period's most contentious issues. The debate over extending full civil rights to British and Irish Catholics elicited a prolonged political and cultural conflict about the nation's religious and historical identity. It engaged the period's most prominent writers, including S.T. Coleridge, Elizabeth Inchbald, Walter Scott, P.B. Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Beginning with the 1778 Catholic Relief Act, the book follows debates over the Catholic Question across parliamentary speeches, periodical writing, and political cartoons and through the genres of the national tale, epic poetry, the historical novel, and romantic drama. British Romanticism and the Catholic Question argues that while the 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act removed the confessional state's legislative apparatus, the regulation of religious difference passed into culture and reshaped the nineteenth century's approach to religious minorities and toleration in the British nation and empire.
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