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Hopkins and Tractarianism

Hopkins and Tractarianism PETER GROVES he life and work of Gerard Manley Hopkins resist easy classification. In terms of biography, the "Tractarian Hopkins" was a wilful undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford who drank at the well of ritualism on his way to converting to Roman Catholicism. While the young Hopkins did describe himself as a "Tractarian,"1 historical hindsight might prefer "ritualist," or "early AngloCatholic," and contemporary opponents would have chosen "Romanist" or "Puseyite." Readers of Victorian literature, however, can observe in his poetry and his theory stylistic and intellectual traits which belong in the tradition of Keble and of Newman. Close examination of those traits comes up against the awkward chronology of Hopkins short life--he was born very shortly before what R. W. Church was to identify as the end of the Oxford Movement, and spent a few ardent if immature years as an Oxford high churchman before being received into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of twenty-two. The ritualistic Hopkins flourished in an Oxford which had changed by the 1860s, but critics have found aspects of his entire life and output which suggest the influence of people and ideas undoubtedly Tractarian. In contrast with much of the century http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

Hopkins and Tractarianism

Victorian Poetry , Volume 44 (1) – May 4, 2006

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
Publisher site
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Abstract

PETER GROVES he life and work of Gerard Manley Hopkins resist easy classification. In terms of biography, the "Tractarian Hopkins" was a wilful undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford who drank at the well of ritualism on his way to converting to Roman Catholicism. While the young Hopkins did describe himself as a "Tractarian,"1 historical hindsight might prefer "ritualist," or "early AngloCatholic," and contemporary opponents would have chosen "Romanist" or "Puseyite." Readers of Victorian literature, however, can observe in his poetry and his theory stylistic and intellectual traits which belong in the tradition of Keble and of Newman. Close examination of those traits comes up against the awkward chronology of Hopkins short life--he was born very shortly before what R. W. Church was to identify as the end of the Oxford Movement, and spent a few ardent if immature years as an Oxford high churchman before being received into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of twenty-two. The ritualistic Hopkins flourished in an Oxford which had changed by the 1860s, but critics have found aspects of his entire life and output which suggest the influence of people and ideas undoubtedly Tractarian. In contrast with much of the century

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: May 4, 2006

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