Although largely unknown in his lifetime, Gerard Manley Hopkins was, Jill Muller contends, the 'heart in hiding' of Victorian Catholicism. Investigations of Hopkins' spirituality have too often detached his beliefs from their local habitation in a newly industrialized, historically anti-Catholic and increasingly secular England. This book restores the poet to his full intellectual and literary context by exploring his responses to the writings of his Catholic contemporaries, and by situating the preoccupations, dramas and disappointments of his life in the wider setting of Victorian Catholic culture.Drawing on historical and cultural studies of Victorian Catholicism, along with Hopkins' writings, Muller shows how the melancholy trajectory of the Jesuit poet's career mimics the deflation of Catholic hopes during the second half of Victoria's reign, as well as the turn within the Roman Church of England from a triumphalist rhetoric of conversion to a more introverted and insular spirituality.

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