Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation proposes a Catholic history of the eighteenth-century English novel. Situating realist fiction as a form deeply imbricated in a metaphysical conflict over the truth of human creations, I draw upon the iconic to describe the ways in which texts such as Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Jane Barker’s patchwork fictions, Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, and Elizabeth Inchbald’s A Simple Story position themselves as fictions and as art. Rather than identifying a specifically Catholic literary form, I argue that Catholicism – both its doctrines and the discourses surrounding it – set the terms through which fiction writers conceptualized their formal innovations in the eighteenth century.
Chair and Committee
Geremy Carnes, Joseph Loewenstein, William McKelvy, Abram Van Engen,
Tucker, Margaret Louise, "Iconic Works: How Catholicism Shaped Eighteenth-Century English Fiction" (2018). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1594.
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