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Romanticism on the Net

Numéro 36-37, novembre 2004, février 2005

Queer Romanticism

Sous la direction de Michael O'Rourke et David Collings

Direction : Michael Eberle-Sinatra (directeur)

Éditeur : Université de Montréal

ISSN : 1467-1255 (numérique)

DOI : 10.7202/011133ar

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Article

The Horrors of Catholicism: Religion and Sexuality in Gothic Fiction

George Haggerty

University of California, Riverside

Abstract

In classic gothic fiction (between 1764 and 1820) a Mediterranean setting invites the expansion of Roman Catholic motifs, and indeed Catholicism itself becomes a standard and flexible trope in gothic fiction. The monastery, the convent, religious life, confessions and confessionals, nuns, monks, and friars are familiar features in gothic novels. “The Horrors of Catholicism” discusses the ways in which gothic writers use these materials to motivate their tales and what doing so means in the context of anti-Catholic eighteenth-century England. I explain how Catholic motifs can be understood in relation to other central gothic obsessions, such as sexual transgression and dysfunctional family life, and I demonstrate how these features aid novelists in exploring what would later be understood as personal sexual identity. In that way, these writers contribute to what we understand as the history of sexuality.

Auteur : George Haggerty
Titre : The Horrors of Catholicism: Religion and Sexuality in Gothic Fiction
Revue : Romanticism on the Net, Numéro 36-37, novembre 2004, février 2005
URI : http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/011133ar
DOI : 10.7202/011133ar

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