Virgin Mary
Engelhardt, Carol Marie. “Victorian Masculinity and the Virgin Mary,” in Andrew Bradstock, Sean Gill, Anne Hogan, and Sue Morgan (eds.) Masculinity and Spirituality in Victorian Culture (Basingstoke, U.K.: Macmillan, 2000): 44-57.
In this article Engelhardt considers how the understanding of the Virgin Mary of three Victorian clergymen, Kingsley, Edward Pusey and Frederick Faber, was related to their view of contemporary masculine identity and, in particular, how each used the Virgin Mary to define his own masculinity.  Kingsley's dislike of Mary was, as Engelhardy points out, understandable for one who hated Catholicism. However, she also relates his antipathy to the power that Catholics ascribe to Mary.  Kingsley shared the common Victorian view of the domesticity of women and that it was the role of females to inspire men but that they themselves should not aspire to power.  Engelhardt also contends that Kingsley's hostile attitude to Mary was related to fears about his own masculinity.  Early in his life Kingsley himself  had felt a pull towards Catholicism, a religion he later came to view as female-oriented and therefore unmanly. "It was no wonder, then, that Kingsley felt compelled to reject vociferously the most feminine part of this allegedly effeminate religion.  Kingsley was not just denouncing Mary; he was repudiating what he considered to be his own weakness and error in desiring Rome" (47).

Virgin Mary; Manliness; Catholicism; Yeast.

Schiefelbein, Michael.  “'Blighted' by a 'Upas-Shadow': Catholicism’s Function for Kingsley in Westward Ho!,” Victorian Newsletter Vol. 94 (Fall 1998): 10-17.
Schiefelbein examines Kingsley's severe characterizations of Catholics in Westward Ho!, especially two of his keenest bete noires, Catholics' worship of the Virgin Mary and Catholicism's embrace of asceticism and condemnation of the flesh.  Kingsley, advocate of muscular Christianity and espouser of manliness, detested what he considered to be effeminate "Mariolatry" which was responsible for weakness and womanishness in society.  He also condemned the asceticism of the Jesuits Parsons and Campion which he held to be an unnatural rejection of God-given impulses.  They were "spiritual grotesques" (15).  However, Schiefelbein also argues that Kingsley reveals his own ascetic impulses and his attraction to monkish ways in Westward Ho! and reconciles the opposite pulls of asceticism and carnal and sexual nature.  Schiefelbein concludes that while "one may certainly object to the role Kingsley assigns to Catholicism . . . it becomes an effective foil for enlightening his readers - and, very likely, for reminding himself - of the dangers of Manicheanism" (16).

Westward Ho!; Religion; Catholicism; Virgin Mary; Muscular Christianity; Sexuality; Manliness.


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