This paper examines anti-Catholicism in Victorian England in conjunction with the birth of modern feminism, the changing nature of women’s roles, and the attendant phenomenon of “convent abuse” tales in popular literature. These tales are distinguished from other forms of anti-Catholicism by their focus on gender and sexual perversity. The convent provides a setting for the complete rejection of traditional Protestant gender roles and the stories betray fear of women’s crossover into a male dominated world. Though I acknowledge these tales as anti-Catholic, I reanalyze them as expressions of Protestant unrest over the freedoms women were gaining in the mid-1800s.
Berman, Cassandra N., "Wayward Nuns, Randy Priests, and Women's Autonomy: "Convent Abuse" and the Threat to Protestant Patriarchy in Victorian England" (2006). Honors Projects. Paper 1.
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