Date of Award
Master of Arts
Because there were only four recognized professions which a nineteenth century respectable English gentleman could enter and still maintain his family reputation--the army, the navy, and church, and the bar-- it is natural that clergymen should appear frequently in the novels of the period. Through the eyes of numerous novelists one can come to understand better the roles and the personalities of the men of cloth during the 1800's.
By way of limiting myself to a reasonable amount of material, I have chosen to concentrate on those novels in which a clerical scene provides the major characters and action. In some cases the titles and authors are likely to be unfamiliar, and some of the minor but memorable clergymen created by such major "secular" novelists as Jane Austen, Scott, Dickens, and Thackeray have been ommitted. If the reader fails to find the caricatures that he had expected to meet here, I hope he will forgive me and will be inspired to seek them out again for himself.
Richardson, Doralee Forsythe, "Clerical portraits in the nineteenth century British novel" (1962). Master's Theses. 1031.