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Grant number like: FT-52525-04

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Maria LaMonaca Wisdom
Columbia College, South Carolina (Columbia, SC 29203-5949)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Catholicism and the Victorian Woman Writer, 1830-70

This study explores how Victorian women writers of all denominations appropriated elements and images of Catholicism to explore tensions inherent in a Victorian domestic idyll fundamentally shaped by Protestantism. In particular, women writers appropriated Catholicism as a medium through which to articulate anxieties about the secularization and materialism of the domestic sphere, a realm which Protestant ideology posited as a sacred, transcendent space. The extent of this preoccupation with both Catholicism and "secular domesticity" is revealed by a range of canonical texts and former bestsellers, including works by Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Charlotte Yonge, Lady Georgiana Fullerton, and Elizabeth Missing Sewell.