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Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Poetry of Religious Experience


Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107180451

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • This nuanced yet accessible study is the first to examine the range of religious experience imagined in Hopkins's writing. By exploring the shifting way in which Hopkins imagines religious belief in individual history, Martin Dubois contests established views of his poetry as a unified project. Combining detailed close readings with extensive historical research, Dubois argues that the spiritual awareness manifest in Hopkins's poetry is varied and fluctuating, and that this is less a failure of his intellectual system than a sign of the experiential character of much of his poetry's thought. Individual chapters focus on biblical language and prayer, as well as on the spiritual ideal seen in the figures of the soldier and the martyr, and on Hopkins's ideas of death, judgement, heaven and hell. Offering fresh interpretations of the major poems, this volume reveals a more diverse and exploratory poet than has been recognised.

    • The first study to examine the range of religious experience imagined in Hopkins' writing
    • Reveals a more diverse and exploratory poet than has been recognised in the past
    • Offers fresh interpretations of major poems, including 'The Wreck of the Deutschland' and 'The Windhover'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Diverse, Generous, Flexible, Contingent. After reading this book, I believe these words best express both the version of Hopkins it offers and the nature of its author's unique critical approach … Along with his excellent argumentation and thorough grounding in biographical research and religious history, Dubois displays an intimate knowledge of the poems and a fine ear for their idiosyncrasies.' Summer J. Star, Review 19

    'Dubois's study is a rigorous and scholarly investigation which highlights the close dependence of Hopkins's work on elements of contemporary Catholic religious practice.' Joseph Phelan, The Times Literary Supplement

    'Martin Dubois' brilliantly simple project in Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Poetry of Religious Experience is to restore this recognition of the essential variety or 'mixed insight' of Hopkins' thought to our understanding of his theological and spiritual awareness … Dubois demonstrates how these various contexts of religious experience were further variegated by a number of persistent cross-pressures in Hopkins' theological thinking, charting them along a number of axes … [A] compelling account of the varieties of religious experience in Hopkins' verse …' A. J. Nickerson, The Cambridge Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107180451
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Forms of Devotion:
    1. Bibles
    2. Prayer
    Part II. Models of Faith:
    3. The soldier
    4. The martyr
    Part III. Last Things:
    5. Death and judgement
    6. Heaven and hell.

  • Author

    Martin Dubois, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Martin Dubois is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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