British Romanticism and the Catholic Question: Religion, History, and National Identity 1778-1829



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Please join us in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library on Monday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. for a [email protected] talk featuring Michael Tomko, PhD, Associate Professor of Literature in the department of Humanities. He will discuss his book, British Romanticism and the Catholic Question: Religion, History, and National Identity, 1778-1829. Dr. Tomko’s work examines one of the Romantic Period’s most controversial issues, Catholic Emancipation, and describes how this period in history not only caused political and cultural conflicts but also provoked some of the most exceptional writings of the time.

you good afternoon my name is Jeff Hosmer and I'm programming an outreach graduate assistant here at fountain Memorial Library on behalf of Joe Lucia on library director and the entire staff here at Valley welcome to the final lecture in our spring 2012 scholarship at Villanova series however as we finish up this last weekend programs in this spring semester we also look forward to our family scholars award this Friday morning where we'll honor five serious students for their research and get to hear their presentations of course we invite everyone to that event as well and more information on this week's file events for the semester can be found on our library's website for today's lecture we welcome dr. Michael Todd Carr associate professor of literature in the Department of humanities dr. Tonko held a PhD in English literature from the University of Notre Dame a master's in philosophy in British romantic studies from Oxford University and a BA from Swarthmore College his research focuses on British Romanticism and English Catholic culture and history here on campus he teaches courses such as the late romantics English Catholic literature religion and the literary experience and others today he joins us to discuss his book British Romanticism and the Catholic question religion history and national identity 1778 to 1829 dr. Tonka's work examines one of the Romantic period two most controversial issues Catholic emancipation and ascribed to this period in history not only caused political and cultural conflicts but also provoked some of the most exceptional reigns the time please help me welcome dr. taco hi thank you thank you very much and I'd like to thank everyone from the library for for hosting this event I like to thank Jeff for the introduction and Regina for getting things together and Alexandre I don't know she's here today for writing up the piece about it I have stolen a title from the from the article previewing this talk that was on the web site high historical drama and then the title of the book British Romanticism and the Catholic question and I was reading her piece and I thought high historical drama that really that really nails it and then I had to say who said that and I looked in the article and it was me right the parrot to paraphrase Winnie the Pooh that is me so I in the way I think it captures what I'm doing in the book you know and I and this is very much going to be an informal presentation of the material the arguments in the book I figure if you want the dry formal variety you can buy the book at the at the bottom you know the the basement price the super sale price at which its offered and get the full version but so this is going to be an informal outline of some of the main ideas and then at the end as well as I'll share with you in a second I'll be focusing in on a specific piece from the Wordsworth chapter so we'll go we'll go we'll zoom out to take the whole thing in and then zoom in on Wordsworth at the end so thank you all for being here it's good to see students former students colleagues here and I appreciate your time and I hope to use it well so hi historical drama why is that an appropriate title and I think it's because one of the chief things that this book does and that I aim to do in this book is to combine the literary or the artistic ie drama with those things that we normally consider the realm of history politics historical change and bring them two together in a way that I think is true to the period the events of the period and to the literature of the Romantic period and accounts of British Romanticism have often striven to separate the two and my work falls within a kind of branch of criticism that's looking to unite the two and hopefully fruitful and insightful ways that will improve our understanding of both areas both the historical and the literary okay and I thought I would also start with so that's one main combination that's going on I'm gonna be talking about paradoxes and contradictions a little bit later let's talk about integrations now and and history and drama that's one integration the other is this illustration which I took from within the book these are the ruins of Barry st. Edmund's Abbey in in in England which is where one of the authors I was from Elizabeth inch walled who was an English Catholic herself and a novelist and these are the ruins that were in her backyard more or less interestingly though for the purposes of illustration the writers of this book it's a local history had two excerpt the ruins so this doesn't actually what it look like these ruins aren't actually what it looked like the town of Barrie st. Edmund's got built into the ruins so we have here the ruins of a medieval Catholic past in England right and this change from being a full Cathedral a full Abbey excuse me an Abbey happened at the Reformation but they didn't go away and they didn't just belong to the Past but rather this past was built into English society and culture as it developed as you can see in the illustration of what it actually looked like right the town walls are taken from the abbey so the houses the walls the the identity of the city is inner woven with this medieval Catholic past something that seemed to be lost to history but was still influencing shaping and defining the present into the 18th century and into today it looks it looks largely like this if you go if you go to Tang ok so high historical drama British Romanticism and the Catholic question so what I hope to do today just to outline the talk is to hit on three main elements three three main points the first is just to outline the elements of the argument and that will consist of simply defining for those who don't think about Blake at night and and I do and it's frightening what British romanticism is basically and some of you probably are more familiar with that than the other term in the book what the Catholic question is so I want to define both of those and then talk about what happens when they run into each other right and that instead of the integration that we saw a minute ago will produce the contradictions and this book is about the contradictions when those two elements meet okay so I'm going to talk about the elements of the argument I'll give you a very brief overview of the contents of the book and then like I said I want to put it into action by looking at a piece from Wordsworth so what is British Romanticism first we have a picture from Caspar David Friedrich who's not British but this is a picture that's often used as an icon I've talked about it before as as as an indication that indicates and captures the spirit of British Romanticism and there's a sense that the Romantic era was a unified moment in which a kind of spiritual energy produced a Awakening across different realms of society okay so there's the sense of there being a special spirit of the age or a special spirit belonging to the age some of the characteristics of that spirit is a Elif is an elevation of the individuals imagination right so we have here that in this picture no one else right we have one man raised above the rest there's not even any elements or pictures of society there and we can't help but think of what is that man thinking right we're drawn to what is going on inside that gentleman's head as he looks out into nature so there's this emphasis on the individual's imagination on the other hand the flip side of this is it's not simply an encounter with the subjective but it has an exploration of the objective of nature so it's interested in what nature is and when it approaches nature the phrase that's often used to describe that approach is that it approaches nature supernaturally or takes part in what's often called natural supernaturalism so it has this mystical view of nature not necessarily a religious view but a mystical view towards nature and again it's suggested by the by the very mists the kind of mysterious mists in this picture by Friedrich if you want to talk about what is at the heart of the spirit of the age and if you're taking a multiple-choice test and the French Revolution is one of the options you should mark the French Revolution as your answer right the French Revolution defined and influenced British Romanticism this moment of global crisis and hope and crisis right in which it seemed like a new democratic era was dawning but then a few years later that revolution a democratic revolution was caught up in chaos and violence so the highs and lows of the French Revolution shape British Romanticism now even as it's shaping British Romanticism it's often seen British Romanticism is often seen as transcending or trying to get away from that chaos right we have somebody here who has stepped out of society stepped above society stepped away from society so in some ways we're drawn to think sometimes perhaps that what is going on in his mind is bigger is better than is not involved with those political machinations that happen at the French Revolution or in any other political event okay so if Paradise Lost isn't one of the answers on the multiple choice question or if French Revolution isn't one of the answers on the Paradise excuse me on the multiple no no that is if the if the French Revolution isn't an answer on the multiple choice question but Paradise Lost is then you mark Paradise Lost right Paradise Lost is a key text for the romantics and they do a lot with it so much of the Romantic imagination is mediated through Milton now if Milton if Paradise Lost and the French Revolution are both on the parrot on the multiple-choice question I cannot help you right you'll have to do your best now how how does Paradise Lost which is a retelling of the book of Genesis show up in British Romanticism it's complicated but it's often taken and it's often been argued that it takes what Milton gave us the grandeur the devotion the energy even the revolution that Milton gave us takes that Protestantism and converts it into something that's secular or pseudo secular it still kind of got a sense of mystery about it but it is taking the next step in the development of since ism and there's a narrative there's a historical narrative of religion that you first had Catholicism then there was an advance forward to Protestantism which was more rational and more respectful of the individual and that romanticism and the Enlightenment were then taking the next step okay so this sense of the spirit of age being a march of progress in religious terms as well okay so that's a there's there's we I can talk for ages about nuances within each of those but that's a that's a very basic bullet point sketch of the first element within the book's title who is British romanticism on the one hand British romanticism has traditionally been associated with six big poets six great poets that's a picture of Coleridge there William Wordsworth who we'll be talking about Blake who's on the nice poster that the library drew up this is Percy Bysshe Shelley in memoriam and then Byron and Keats and all these figures were in some ways involved with the catholic question involved in the in catholic emancipation and figure in the book on the other hand recent years have expanded the scope of what counts as british romanticism and we have people who are not writing poetry but writing novels writing drama and we also have figures women people from what is often called the celtic fringe from scotland and ireland who are writing as well and those figures feature importantly in the book as well and these are some of the ones that find a place in the book walter scott sidney owen s'en or who's pictured there who's an Irish writer Felicia Hemings who's an English poet Robert Southey who's a friend with the big six and Elizabeth Finch bald who's an English Catholic novelist so that's the who what happens when those two elements meet the Catholic question well to talk about that we have to first have an understanding of what the Catholic question is and in the book and today I'll be invariably using the Catholic question which refers to a broad set of issues almost interchangeably with Catholic emancipation which refers to a specific bill involved in the Catholic question that was meant to address some of the problems but here's an outline of the problem and this again is a thumbnail sketch so after the Reformation in England the argument goes that in order to make sense of Britain make sense of what it meant to be British first English and then British you had to construct a national identity there was a kind of period of chaos following the Reformation and England was defining itself as something new as it broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and changed its ties to continental Europe so what would this new England look like and the argument was this is a several historians have made this argument is that one of the ways that Britain came to understand itself was in opposition to a catholic other right this was a Protestant nation and what that meant was all the things that Catholicism wasn't okay so Catholicism was seen as tyrannical and in perdu productive of groupthink it was seen as backwards as primitive and superstitious okay so particularly in France right which you know there's some other ell issues going on there but France and Spain and as England grew to compete in the world market with France and Spain there was this narrative of this is how we do things that is how they do things to understand ourselves we have to kind of think against them now this us versus them mentality however becomes more complicated because there were Catholics within England right there were some of us who are religiously affiliated with them in England this was less so the presence of Catholicism dwindled to a minority and it was largely cause of what were called the penal laws these were a series of laws meant to make the practice of Kassala Catholicism impracticable double taxation laws against inheriting property death penalty or expert exportation for priests who are in the English soil right there's a series of these and there is a series of martyrs that grew out of these penal laws and they were largely effective in England there was a remnant of Catholics in the Lancaster area there were pockets of them in London and there were pockets of them spread throughout the country around and under the protection of the English Catholic gentry however the story of Catholicism in England is a story of defeat and great English Catholics from later on tokine I was just talking about talking in my previous class puja they had a sense of of oneness when they look to their own history now in Ireland and this is a this is a two-fold story although I concentrate mainly on England in Ireland it produced the opposite effect instead of a dwindling minority it presented it produced a angry minority like a resolute persecuted minority who through the abuses associated with the penal laws grew to hate the the political arrangement with England more and more and more okay so this is what we're left with and around 1780 when this debate about getting rid of the penal laws emancipating Catholics from the penal laws really begins okay and this will lead us to the first of our paradoxes Catholic emancipation or relief we're getting rid of the penal laws that that enforce the minority status of English Catholics seems like a no-brainer on the one hand you had Irish Catholics who were really angry about it and there were lots of them and they were feared and instead of having the Irish Catholics against you it would have made much and this is how the argument went it would have made much more sense to have them on our side hey if we emancipate them they could fight in our own armies against the French in the Spanish right we could be sending them to the Americas that'd be we'd be better off right instead of having them fighting us they could fight for us so it makes sense to get rid of the penal laws and there wouldn't seem to be a downside English Catholics were no longer a threat Bonnie Prince Charlie that it all happened that had gone right and the Catholic bishop of London summarized the state of English Catholicism in this way when he talks about the old religion he's talking about Catholicism the things of this world all seemed to stand against the old religion in this nation the general prejudice of the people the penal laws the authority of the magistrate the interest of the clergy the eloquence of the pulpit the learning of the universities the favor of men in power the influence of education in a word all temporal considerations of Honor profit and pleasure are visibly on the Protestant side English Catholics were no longer a threat Irish Catholics were why not reform the penal laws emancipate Catholics in order to kind of solidify the British nation what seemed like a no-brainer however in the 1770s took about fifty years to finish and the reason it took so long is that this issue of Catholicism's place in English identity and English history was so troubled it elicited so many paradoxes and ended up being a live wire in a time when it seemd or it was thought that this type of religious division within England had been had been surpassed okay what the book does is argue that there are as a result these paradoxes contradictions and tensions that are inherent to the sense of English understanding of its own national identity and its religious past and that these reverberate within the literature of the Romantic period and if you have a sense of what those paradoxes are you will see them coming up in the literature and you can also understand that the ways that the literature was trying to intervene in culture to either resolve them or push on one side of the contradiction or the other okay so the paradoxes and I'm pulling up a number of political cartoons from the pilot period by James gillray so I'll run the paradox on one side and we can see a picture that more or less embodies the paradox on the other okay and this is the one we've been talking about the Catholic question really comes to a head around the French Revolution because the Irish Catholics were always somewhat dangerous give them revolutionary ideas such as those that went violent in France and they it becomes really quite scary okay so to stop Ireland going revolutionary the thinking would be give Catholics full rights emancipate Catholics get rid of the penal laws however this was the counter argument if Catholics are given full rights you lose the Protestant national character and that Protestant national character is what protects Britain against such revolutionary influence in the first place okay so you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't paradox one involving Ireland and this is this this is the cover of the book and it's called the end of the farce of Irish emancipate and it's showing these Catholic these rowdy Catholic and Irish you know ragamuffins being blown away blown away from the steps of heaven and off the globe by these forces of the English establishment in 1805 ok that's paradox number one the other paradox paradox number two involves the Enlightenment and that sense of history marching forward history progressing that I talked about before if Britain wants to claim moral superiority over France and Spain and consider itself the most enlightened and progressive nation among contending nations and thus giving themselves a kind of moral right to Empire they need to stop pressing persecuting Catholics on religious grounds and give them full rights ie it's not enlightened to persecute on the basis of religion right it's enlightened to be tolerant however if Catholics are admitted into parliament and civil society which is part of Catholic emancipation the backwardness of Catholics will cause the nation to regress right so it's enlightening enlightened to let Catholics in alright but if you let Catholics in because they're primitive and backward they'll undermine that enlightenment right paradox number two and here we see those supporters there's political supporters of Catholic emancipation being driven out of England those are the cliffs of Dover and driven into the English Channel towards France back to France with you and it's represented as John Bull taking the place of Christ driving the pigs the possessed pigs into in a wave into the river okay so again it's this this need to get rid of the primitive the chaotic that's associated with Catholicism paradox number three and this again this is a slightly different paradox because it it it summons up what was more conservative tendency that revolved around a certain nostalgia of what Catholicism could possibly represent but that Catholicism became a corruption of okay and it in deals with not enlightenment or the Irish but an encounter with modernity so if the British national culture in the nineteenth century is in counting industrialism individualism and revolutionary democracy and that these threatened to undermine national character many felt there was a need to kind of return to Britain's deep past and that deep past in which there was a Catholic sense of community and sacramentality right so this need to for a return to Catholicism however if you go back and try to get those positive elements community and sacramentality you run the risk of letting actual Catholics return and everyone knows that actual Catholics are superstitious and backwards in tyrannical right so you want this to improve your national character but if you do that you might let this in too so in all these elements the relationship with Ireland the relationship with Enlightenment ideals the encounter with modernity there are these two forces pull pulling and pushing in different ways and that British romanticism and Catholic question ends up not being that integration that we saw in the opening slide but this struggle Alysa by these paradoxes so the results the first claim of the book is that if we understand the role of the Catholic question and Catholic emancipation as it played out within the Romantic period we can see this tension of unresolved back and forth and this tension of these ideological issues causes ambivalence and fracturing in the progressive spirit of the age and we can see this we can find it in the literature but I don't want to paint the literary efforts as merely registering or reflecting something that's going on in the broader culture but rather to see them as intervening and involved with the broader culture so it's just not passive but they're players too and in some ways because we're talking about cultural issues the politics is inflected with culture they're important players and what I often find a lot of the romantic writers doing is not pushing a trajectory out of Protestantism taking Protestantism the next step but re articulating a form of Anglicanism and an Anglican sense of culture and that Anglican sense of culture is attempting to balance between revolutionary enthusiasm so the individualism of a Blake right the energy of a Blake and Catholic superstition right that community and sacramentality and trying to find an acceptable balance or middle way what it was often called in theological and ecclesiastical that wasn't always successful and one that was baffling or it seemed to be baffling by those within the time period this is my man Lee hunt some of you may know him he commented in 1808 in absolute bewilderment that they couldn't get this legislation passed that they couldn't get the the penal laws off the books against Catholics and they couldn't pass Catholic emancipation and he writes if posterity were to judge the present time by their general character they would be somewhat amazed at our late rejection of the Catholic petition the age is more generally refined than any preceding era in modern history ie were enlightened knowledge is everywhere diffused continental superstition right there's that superstition word again is daily decreasing and men are more inclined to judge of each other not by what they think but but why that but by what they do ie the spirit of the age would seem to say pass Catholic emancipation it's taken so long to do it and this is in 1808 and Catholic emancipation doesn't pass for another two decades 1829 right so those are the results and I try to trace those out through the following chapters the first is in Elizabeth inch Bald's novel a simple story which I argue is is a form of a national tale which was often written there which is a type of novel that tries to understand the relationship between England and Ireland England and Scotland in terms of a marriage plot so it translates what's going on at the political level into the personal level an inch ball is herself Catholic and she favors Catholic emancipation so I tried to pick representative works that represent the spirit in the inclination and the in the understanding of the various positions so that's inch balled Percy Bysshe Shelley and we could put Lee hunt in this camp to was liberal in terms of his political and religious views not one who liked catholicism per se and and would often as hunt did earlier use the term of superstition to describe catholicism but was nevertheless in favor of catholic emancipation and he would again be pushing that enlightenment argue argument for toleration and that plays out in gut-wrenching ways in Percy Bysshe Shelley's tragic drama the Chen XI which I argue is in some ways illustrating and dramatizing the the the effects of the Irish struggles in the Irish pain in English culture moving on from there and this will be the area of focus as we as we as we wrap up and it'll be the third section is to look at Wordsworth Wordsworth by the end of his life had adopted conservative political opinions and inclusive of that was a stark opposition to Catholic emancipation and we'll talk more about why that occurs and look at an example from the excursion the book also looks at his poems the ecclesiastical sonnets which are just as exciting as they sound and if you think that's you know if you say wow that's exciting the other thing I look at is essays on epitaphs so epitaphs are grave gravestone writings so it's all it's all fun and laughter in that chapter and so I'm giving you the happiest bit of that chapter when we look at the excursion and then the next chapter is looking at Walter Scott and Robin Hood so his historical novel about medieval England called Ivanhoe Scott represents a really important position he was a conservative and initially opposed Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation would have never passed had not certain conservatives switch sides and supported it so he's important as a as a hinge as a pivot figure and I think the grounds that allow him to make that movement articulated in Ivanhoe and that's what that chapter is arguing and then finally the conclusion is called England in 1829 which is the year that Catholic emancipation finally passes and I look at writings of that period and we'll look at a painting of that period to close out today in which these paradoxes these contradictions persist right and they persist and not only trouble England's relationship with religious history but also end end up troubling and providing difficult models for any time when there seems to be an encounter between an Englishman and somebody who is viewed as superstitious or primitive so it ends up being a model that can apply not just to religion but to issues such as race ethnicity other religions and my argument there is that this sets an unfortunate precedent for how Britain forms not only its national identity but its imperial identity okay okay Wordsworth Wordsworth and the school of superstition is what we can title this Wordsworth States 1750 as 1780 1850 he was the one of the few romantics who didn't die young and that's unfortunate everyone loves young Wordsworth he was a French revolutionary he was enthusiastic he got so excited about the French Revolution when he was in college he kind of left college and and went over to France and hung out with the revolutionaries had a mistress among the Revolutionary Party and and even fathered a child with one so he was really into it right however because he was so close to it he was also struck when it went violent and when it turned tyrannical and he drew back and he drew back far right and the later romantics Shelley Lee hunt Byron Keats they had trouble forgiving him for it and looked upon this as a as an apostasy as a treachery to the cause to the revolutionary cause so even though they shared an aesthetic understanding there was this major division over politics between the early romantics Wordsworth and the late romantics Shelley and company so by 1814 this is what words were saying politically I very much prefer the course of their policy this is the this is the the Conservative government to that of the opposition the Reformers whom the Whigs whom Shelley and company supported especially on two points most near my heart resistance of Bonaparte by force of arms right the French Revolution had had kind of handed the baton to Bonaparte who at this point is acting with Imperial sway and Wordsworth calling for Britain to kind of continue military action against him and their adherence to the principles of the British constitution in withholding political power from the Roman Catholics so Wordsworth seeing something inherently English going into the British constitution in denying political power to Roman Catholics into supporting the penal laws right so he's very much opposed to it and he's pointing that out as one of the two major things in the age right his his his turning away from the French Revolution going hand in hand with his opposition to Catholic emancipation as I said the French Revolution if it's if it's a if it's an answer on a multiple-choice question take that box right and Wordsworth's own encounter with the French Revolution really dogged him his most popular at the time and most important public poem that he wrote was an epic poem called the excursion no one reads this now right no one reads the excursion now but it was what people knew at the time it was published in 1814 Wordsworth Prelude which is about his own childhood and his own process his own autobiographical process of becoming a poem poet wasn't published until 1850 so in his lifetime nobody had access to it except a small circle so I'm looking today at his most important public poem in which he's trying to make a public statement about British culture and this is worried Wordsworth right he's even he's got a headache he's trying to figure out what are we doing in the wake of the French Revolution and what he's concerned about in the excursion is what happens to those whose hopes for Humanity were puffed up were raised by the French Revolution but then underwent a devastating disappointment afterwards and this is a reflection of his own experience such that they had no hope in going forward for Humanity or Society I worried Wordsworth the excursion tells this tale and there are several figures in it and they're all inflections of Wordsworth's own personality and the one who undergoes this big disappointment is called the solitary and the condition of the solitary is sped to be despondency a lack of hope after the French Revolution and anything good coming up coming about now the turning point which is what I focus on in the book where despondency is corrected ie the solitary is cured the effects of the French Revolution are cured happen in book 4 and it seems to be in what Wordsworth talks about here in these lines if unreligious this figure called the wanderer this kind of profit profit vagabond who again is like Wordsworth if unreligious let him be at once among 10,000 innocence enrolled a pupil in the many chambered school where superstition weaves her Airy dreams right so there is something positive about superstition that Wordsworth is recommending to this figure who has undergone this despondency and despair in his encounter with modernity let him go back there's something superstition a simpler life has to teach us what could that be what could the school of superstition be and is it Catholic superstition that we're going back to ok so I've given you a handout here and I there's a lot of text on on this on this screen so I gave you the handout so that it would be easier to follow along and I'm gonna telescope quite a bit here but the but the key moment seems to be when a superstitious a kind of more primitive encounter with nature is enabled for the solitary when the wanderer this this kind of prophet this vagabond prophet is able to kind of redirect his gaze towards nature so that he sees nature again in a sacramental way okay I'll go ahead and read this as the ample moon and the deep stillness of a summer even rising behind a thick and lofty grove burns like a nun consuming fire of light in the green trees and kindling on all sides their leafy umbrage turns the dusky veil into a substance glorious as her own yay with her own incorporated by power capacious and serene like power abides in man's celestial spirit virtue thus sets forth and magnifies herself thus feeds a calm beautiful and silent fire from the encumbrances of mortal life from error disappointment nay from guilt and sometimes so relenting justice wills from palpable oppressions of despair palpable oppressions of despair that's where the solitaire started that's where the failed French revolutionary was left but Wordsworth arguing that this moment is somehow enough to get one out of that despair to save right to save from error and disappointment relenting softening justice wills mercy wills a way out of this despair and it comes in this moment but it's this encounter with nature and it's this is the thing with Wordsworth there's it often seems like the language is so plain but there's something there's something beneath the surface that is calling up something bigger burns like an unconsumed fire of light on the one hand he's just talking about the sunset this moment of dusk and a kind of bright light emanating over the hills but the way he can he describes it an unconsumed fire of light is harkening back to genesis right this encounter with the burning bush a fire that does not burn unconsumed of light in the green trees right so it's like that it's like seeing in nature the presence of God revealed just as Moses did and what is this what is this happening right it's turning the dusky veil into a substance glorious as her own right it's a it's it's quite literally a transubstantiation a changing of substance we can't recalling even using the the kind of Scholastic terminology subtly but but calling it up that is meant to describe a kind of Catholic sense of sacramentality as it approaches nature and it is cooperative it's both given it's both graced from above and also a function of man's celestial spirit it's good it's it's it's a cooperative act the making of this sacrament so it seems like to get us out of the French Revolution we need to return to something that very much resembles a Catholic understanding of nature and if you think I'm making this up right there's a counter argument in the book in which he says you're starting to sound a lot like a Catholic alright and and the solitary shoots back at the wonder who Scottish the waters wanders Scottish and he says how thank you would they tolerate this scheme of fine propensity in Scotland and borough right where the where the Presbyterian Reformation was more radical than it was in England what would they think about this in den borough attends if aged far as it might be urged to so afresh the weeds of Romish fantasy in vain uprooted would reconsecrate our wells to good st. Fillion and to fair st. Anne and from long banishment recall st. Giles to watch again with tutelary love or stately and bura throned on crags a blessed restoration to behold right and that's that's that's sarcastic a blessed restoration to behold the patron on the shoulders of his priest once more parading through her crowded streets now simply guarded by the sober powers of science and philosophy and sense this is not modern this is not enlightened the direction you're going right it's to try and rebuild those ruins that we saw in the first slide that's what you're proposing here Wordsworth you're returning and you think it's going to be ok but actually what you're doing is letting them back in and turning back the clock now the wanderer has an answer for this it's not a very good answer but it's an answer I think Wordsworth's trying to trying to come up with all his life and RER tick you late all his trying to separate this the calm the beautiful the silent fire that sense of balance that sense of the Via Media not running two extremes a peaceful resolution of these two extremes and trying to protect that return to this Catholic sense from this accusation that it is actually Catholic and thus disruptive primitive simplistic in a way that the solitary answers and he has a hard time doing it and I and I argue in the book that he never actually succeeds in 1829 he's still writing about the troubles in Ireland and the way Irish ballads can take a perfectly beautiful rustic Irish scene and cause it to erupt into violence right and that eruption of violence I think characterizes not only Wordsworth project but the ways in which the Catholic question inflected English culture this is in painting by Turner in 1829 it's it's a little hard to see you know it doesn't have the full up here it doesn't have the full scope of of Turner's painting it's a huge painting but he hurriedly painted this in 1829 in reaction to Catholic emancipation finally passing partially and it is Ulysses this is Ulysses on his boat escaping the Isle of the Cyclops and allegorically the Isle of the cyclops was often associated with Ireland because it seemed like this I this call it this Island where you didn't know what to expect and my gosh they might just eat you but Ireland was resolved and feared as a kind of cyclopean monster so Ulysses here escaping the island right and it seems like a big celebration of that moment right sun's rising this kind of symbol of enlightenment the ships heading away out of the frame sailing off you know to build an empire if we put this back into an English context the celebration of the ships that made the British Empire great but and there's a but here right and if you know the story right Ulysses there he is turns around and mocks the Cyclops and whether it's in Ireland or whether it's in the the epic by Homer this doesn't end well for Ulysses right the Cyclops gets a big rock and he Chuck's it and he checks it at the boat right so this moment of triumph of enlightenment of sailing away from the chaos from progressing past the primitive because of the ridicule because of the cultural mockery ends up precipitating further violence and further violence that causes Ulysses own ship to shatter and the argument of the book is that this is an important element this is important episode in English history but it's also important because it's going to form the mentality of those who set out on their ships and some of these assumptions about religion and how to handle religion are still with us today so I thank you for your time for your patience as I said before if you want to read more discover more and get some of the nuances you can and we have a copy in the library if your if your budget doesn't allow for the purchase so thank you once again and I'm happy to take any questions if you if you did want to ask any question did we have time for questions and answers Jeff is that all right okay I don't wanna did we know what numbers are with Catholics during this period I mean do they stay fairly constant and then I think what happens in 1829 well thank you they I mean the I are they in they are in Ireland the situation is there's an overwhelming majority of Catholics in Ireland there is a remnant in England and I have the numbers in the book you know I'm not a numbers guy so they don't they're not ready to hand but there's there's not much population at the beginning of say the 18th century it gradually increases and then with the coming of the Industrial Revolution drastically increases and a lot of those are is a result of Irish immigration so the the the English Catholic community is expanding not exponentially but it's expanding there's a large influx especially in the northern cities the industrial cities Manchester the Durham area around the around the coal fields where you get an influx of Irish Catholics and and one of the results or one of the one of the things that happens is industrial unrest gets caught up with a Catholic question – so the radical movement and the Catholic emancipation movement merge and and the issues there's I mean it's been argued that there's like a three-fold concern there's reform and there's repeal and emancipation reform of Parliament which is the radical movement repeal of the test incorporation acts which affected non Anglican Protestants and then emancipation so Catholic emancipation so but those which I suppose you call those sociological factors are all increasing and then what happens after 1829 and into the Victorian era is that you have an increase in the number of conversions from Anglicanism to Catholicism which which reaches ahead in the 1840s 1850s and what's often called second spring Catholicism and associated with John Henry Newman so this awoke all those anxieties about the past and then immigration and conversion put them to the forefront in Victorian Victorian England and as a result there ends up being a fair amount of consideration of the role of Catholicism in Victorian England in the latter half of the century but not many people and you know have looked at that earlier period which i think is really quite important and quite formative for not only that it's being thought about but how its establishing the parameters of how it's going to be conceived later later in the Victorian period yeah yeah it's a it's a it's a great it's a great it's a great question I didn't want to get into it because it's it's quite a nuanced question and I actually just came out with another book called firmly I believe in truly which is available from Oxford press Oxford University Press if I can do another plug for myself in the spirit of Pugh I suppose it which kind of goes into tracing this nuance more so one of the things I try to do is is look at some of the insights that post-colonial theory has given us into how a marginalized community reacts to oppression and in English Catholicism it's it's it's not a happy time to be an English Catholic because the community is pulling itself in two different directions on the one hand you of what were called in the period sis alpine catholics and are now often referred to as part of the english Catholic enlightenment and they did everything to align themselves for political reasons but also kind of for heartfelt intellectual reasons with enlightened maneuvers and enlightened movements of thought that actually often had quite a negative view of Catholicism so you'll hear a lot of English Catholics articulating this very negative view of Catholicism and part of it is to hope to allay the mainstream's fears about who Catholics were and on the other hand you had a camp associated and led by the the most forceful bishop at the time John Milner who is arguing the opposite that if we want to establish our place in society we have to not dissolve into society but assert our rights and and maintain our identity and Milner became associated with the Irish and actually represented the Irish bishops in negotiations with the British government so you have these two camps and they hated each other as much as they hated the English if not more so so that some of these contradictions are even felt within but it's a quite nuanced story it shows up a little bit in inch bald but it's but it's among figures that we that aren't kind of part of the mainstream of British Romanticism yeah well they certainly get caught up in it and and much of Anglicanism is I mean they don't my argument is that is that some of the tensions that we find in British Romanticism are literary versions of the tensions that we find within the Anglican Church and there are movements within Anglicanism to again go back right against what we're seeing as secularizing forces to go back and reclaim liturgy reclaim past history reclaim saints from a medieval period and root and ground ourselves in that but at the same time distinguishing from what would be called papacy right so it's an attempt you you have within the Anglican Church one branch of the Anglican Church attempt to craft a Catholic Church that is not a papist Church and that's usually the way the distinction is parsed and you know going alongside that you have the Blake's the the radical Protestantism Protestants who also could could identify with the Anglican Church although the relationship was tense on on that end of the ideological spectrum as well so yeah it's it's very much inter woven with Anglican history and and that becomes more pronounced and more prominent especially that anglo-catholic move later in the 19th century after after 1829 actually great well I appreciate all your attention I thank you for the good questions and the conversation and and thank you for the for the opportunity thank you very much you