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The University of Southampton

'Robert Elsmere': The Church in Danger? Event

Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research
26 November 2014
Building 46/2003 (LTB) University of Southampton Highfield Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Professor Barry Sloan at .

Event details

All are welcome

Norman Vance's publications include 'Bible and Novel: Narrative Authority and the Death of God' (2013); 'The Sinews of the Spirit: the Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and Religious Thought' (2010); 'Irish Literature since 1800' (2002); 'The Victorians and Ancient Rome' (1997).

'Robert Elsmere' by Mrs Humphry Ward was a runaway bestseller when it was first published in 1888. Centred around the title character, an Anglican clergyman who undergoes a crisis of faith and resigns his ministry in a rural parish to promote a secular social gospel among the working class in London, the book spoke to the doubts and uncertainties of its generation, and aroused the concern of many traditional believers - Gladstone, for example, famously responded to it in a lengthy review article. Although long since out of fashion, the phenomenon of 'Robert Elsmere' has much to tell us about Victorian society of the day. Professor Vance's profound knowledge and understanding of nineteenth-century literature and religion ensure that this will be an expert exploration of the novel in its context.

Speaker information

Professor Norman Vance,University of Sussex,Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History

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