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date: 24 June 2017

The Oxford Movement

Summary and Keywords

In 1833 a reforming government seemed to threaten the disestablishment of the Church of England. This provoked a small number of clergy associated with Oxford University to address Tracts for the Times (1833–1841) to fellow Anglican clerics. Reminding them that they derived their spiritual authority not from the state, but by virtue of ordination into a church which traced its direct descent from the body instituted by Christ and his apostles, the tracts ranged from scholarly argument to templates for the renewal of spiritual life. The tract writers included John Henry Newman, John Keble, Richard Hurrell Froude, Isaac Williams, and Edward Bouverie Pusey. Determined to reinterpret the Church of England to itself as the true Catholic church in England, they sought to counteract the perceived Protestant bias of the Book of Common Prayer by appealing to the early Fathers of the undivided church of antiquity, and by emphasizing the via media (middle way) favored by many 17th-century theologians.

The series that gave the movement its alternative name, Tractarianism, came to an abrupt end when in Tract XC (1841), Newman, the influential vicar of the University church, argued that the Prayer Book’s Thirty-Nine Articles, to which all ordained clergy and all Oxford students were then obliged to subscribe, could be interpreted as compatible with Roman Catholic theology. For many, Newman’s founding of a semi-monastic community to which he retreated in 1843, and his reception into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845, where he was followed by a number of other Tractarians, marked the end of the movement. This impression was lent continued currency both by Newman’s own account, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), and by subsequent 19th-century historians. However, the movement’s influence continued to be felt throughout the wider Anglican communion in renewed attention to sacramental worship, in church building, and in the founding of Anglican communities. The movement’s appeal to pre-Reformation theology led to its being associated with the revival of Gothic architecture, while Tractarian sacramental fervor later translated into obsessive observance of Prayer Book rubrics by the so-called Ritualists.

Admiration for the Lake Poets fed into a Tractarian aesthetic which saw poetic language as religion’s natural mode of expression, half revealing, half concealing heavenly truths, and poetic rhythm and structure as devices for controlling thoughts and emotions. As its title indicates, Keble’s The Christian Year (1827) was designed to accompany the liturgy: immensely popular, it carried the movement’s principles well beyond Anglo-Catholic circles. It was supplemented by further collections of Tractarian poetry. Institutionally male in origin, the movement nevertheless legitimated women’s work through sisterhoods, in education and as writers. Charlotte Yonge and Christina Rossetti are the two most notable exemplars of this impulse.

The movement provoked polemical fiction both from its ardent disciples and from disenchanted followers. In the popular press, Anglo-Catholicism quickly translated into Roman Catholicism, thus presenting a potential threat to English values. The revival of confession, sisterhoods, and the notion of celibacy seemed to undermine the Victorian domestic order, while priestly attention to liturgical vestments was attacked as unmanly. If Anglo-Catholicism’s long-term legacy was spiritual, its short-term effect was to politicize Victorian religion.

Keywords: Anglican sisterhoods, John Keble, J. H. Newman, Oxford Movement, Edward Pusey, Christina Rossetti, sacramentalism, Tractarians, Isaac Williams, Charlotte Yonge

A Brief History

Origins

A series of British parliamentary acts designed to redress the civic disabilities under which Dissenters (Test Act, 1828) and Roman Catholics (Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829) had formerly labored seemed to threaten the privileged position the Church of England enjoyed as an established church. The process of responding to the prospect of disestablishment led to discussion of the theological foundations upon which the Anglican Church had been built, deepened rifts between the various wings of the established church, disrupted the cooperative spirit that had sometimes existed between evangelicals within the Anglican and Dissenting communities, and would ultimately split families and part friends.

The trigger, though scarcely the fundamental cause, for the formation of the Oxford Movement was a parliamentary bill of 1833, the Irish Church Bill. This proposed various placatory measures to reflect the fact that, despite the vast majority of the population of Ireland being Roman Catholics, they and the Presbyterians were nevertheless required to pay tithes to support the minority established church in Ireland. Of the measures proposed, it was the suppression of almost half of the Irish bishoprics that most concerned those who believed the church to be something more than an institution of political convenience, or alternatively a doctrinally diverse amalgamation of all true believers in a “Church Invisible.” Such legislation implied the state’s superior right to impose its will on the “Church Visible” (a doctrine known as “Erastianism”). A small meeting of Anglican clergy concerned to defend the Anglican Church’s constitutional position and ecclesiastical formularies (a position then described as “High Church”) met in Suffolk in July 1833. Two of the six present were fellows of Oxford colleges; on their return to Oxford, they discussed the matter with the Rev. John Henry Newman (vicar of St. Mary’s, the University church), and with the Rev. John Keble, Oxford University’s Professor of Poetry. Keble (1792–1866) and Newman (1801–1890), together with Richard Hurrell Froude (1803–1836), who had attended the Suffolk meeting, were less concerned to conserve the Anglican status quo than with the question, raised by the prospect of disestablishment, of where Anglican ministers would derive their spiritual authority if placed in competition with a plethora of conflicting Dissenting voices. Anxious to arm like-minded clerics with a sense that, rather than being dependent for their ministry upon human approbation, they were rooted at ordination in a church that could trace its direct descent from the body instituted by Christ and his apostles, Newman composed three tracts, dated September 9, 1833.

Teachings of the Oxford Movement

Between 1833 and 1841, ninety tracts appeared in a series which was to recruit other authors, including Froude and Keble, Newman’s former curate Isaac Williams (1802–1865), and Oxford’s Regius Professor of Hebrew, Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800–1882), the first to contribute a signed tract (No. XVIII). Raised in various traditions within the Anglican church, these men gave rather different emphases to contributions which ranged from mounting scholarly evidence for arguing the Anglican Church’s continuity with the teaching of the undivided Catholic Church of antiquity, to offering a template for the spiritual life and its devotional practices. Since they believed that the Anglican Church of the 1830s was in danger of losing its way, their polemical pronouncements inevitably provoked hostility, not least among the evangelicals who had given the tenor to spiritual revival since the mid-18th century.

Where Evangelicalism had focused upon the individual soul, stressing the significance of private judgment, informed by the inner workings of the spirit, together with the all-sufficiency of faith in Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, the Oxford Movement spoke of the communal life of the church, of the significance of the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist as channels for God’s grace, and of renewing the habit of saying the daily office in church. Evangelicalism’s concentration upon achieving the conviction of personal salvation was replaced by the Oxford Movement’s preaching of sanctification (the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in making the believer holy through means such as worship, prayer, confession, fasting, self-denial, and the practice of obedience). Wary of the multiple and conflicting interpretations of God’s teaching that Evangelicalism’s reliance upon the Bible as God’s sole means of revelation seemed to permit, the Oxford Movement looked additionally to the teaching of the ancient church.

Steering a Middle Course

This appeal to a continuous Catholic tradition necessarily forced Anglicans to examine the doctrines and rites of their church as enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer, originally composed in the 16th century in the Protestant spirit of the Reformation. Determined to reinterpret the Anglican Church to itself as the true Catholic church in England, the tracts and sermons of the Oxford Movement sought to counteract this perceived Protestant bias produced by the peculiar circumstances of the Reformation, by advocating a via media (middle way). Newman’s forensic reading of the doctrines enunciated in the Prayer Book’s Thirty-Nine Articles offerede a controversial demonstration that they were not hostile to the fundamentals of Catholic teaching, and brought the tract series to an abrupt end with Tract No. XC (1841). Since every ordained member of the Church of England, and every Oxford student, was at this time required to subscribe to these articles, Newman’s interpretation was seen as opening the way to undermining all that the established church in Protestant England stood for. A year later Newman retreated from Oxford to become part of a small community living by semi-monastic rules. In 1843 he resigned the living of the University church, and in 1845, unable any longer to reconcile Anglicanism with Catholic dogma and practice, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. He left Oxford on February 23, 1846, and was not to return for thirty-two years.

Duration and Influence of the Oxford Movement

When he came to write his account of the movement in Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), Newman claimed that the clarion cry had been sounded by his fellow clergyman, John Keble, in a sermon entitled “National Apostasy,” preached in Oxford to the assize judges on July 14, 1833, and rushed into print three weeks later.1 “I have ever considered and kept the day, as the start of the religious movement of 1833,” wrote Newman.2 Written to defend the part he had himself played, Newman’s narrative ends with his departure from Oxford. In composing his version, Newman checked many of the details with Richard William Church, another one-time fellow of Oriel, so that it is perhaps unsurprising that when Church came to write The Oxford Movement: Twelve Years, 1833–1845 (1891), he represented Oxford as the movement’s essential crucible and Newman as the central figure whose secession precipitated the movement’s ending. Church’s unfinished and posthumously published history, which remains the most respected 19th-century overview of the movement, was written to controvert the gossipy record of Newman’s brother-in-law.3 The following year saw the publication of a further posthumous memoir, this one by Newman’s former curate at St. Mary’s, Isaac Williams, who had continued a staunch advocate of Keble’s example of quiet parochial ministry until ill health forced his early retirement.4

For a time, the developing creed of the Oxford Movement, followed by the secession of Newman and others to Roman Catholicism, dominated the political life of the University of Oxford, and old friends among its clerical alumni fell out, sometimes irretrievably. Dr. Thomas Arnold of Rugby, for instance, had invited his former Oriel colleague, John Keble, to be his son Matthew’s godparent, but Arnold’s championing of a more broadly composed national church inevitably placed the two men on opposite sides. Arnold’s subsequent publication of an inflammatory article about a proposed Oxford appointment in which he denounced the Tractarians as “the Oxford malignants” did nothing to heal this breach.5

Keble, Williams, and Pusey, however, in their different ways continued the movement’s work within the Anglican Church. (Froude had died young in 1836, and the publication in 1838 by Newman and Keble of Remains, a collection of this fellow Tractarian’s letters and journals in which he expressed intense antipathy to the Protestant Reformation and detailed his penitential practices, had provoked skepticism as to the truth of the Movement’s avowed policy of pursuing a via media.6) The poet-priests Keble and Williams exercised an influence beyond their parish boundaries through their published sermons, hymns, and verse; while Pusey tirelessly pursued the Movement’s cause within the university as a preacher and sought-after spiritual adviser, and beyond the university through ambitious publishing projects and his active encouragement of Anglican sisterhoods.

The Movement’s influence continued to be disseminated in parishes up and down the country, through church building, newly established Anglican nunneries, and, as recent scholarship has traced, in work throughout the wider Anglican communion in Europe, the colonies, and North America. The evolution abroad of a movement whose founders had been preoccupied by the interests of the established church in England encountered very different political and social conditions, resulting in the timbre of its adherents’ preaching and practice responding accordingly.

Sacramentalism in Practice

Where the founders of the Oxford Movement spoke of the beauty of holiness, wished to return the sacraments of the Eucharist and baptism to a central place in worship, and employed the symbolic significance of church design in their writings,7 others focused more singlemindedly on the visible aspects of architecture and liturgy. The style in which the restoration and building of churches was effected became emblematic of party affiliation. The Camden Society, an undergraduate society founded in Cambridge in 1839, and its organ, The Ecclesiologist, favored the Gothic mode as best suited to the practices of a Catholic church. This insistence on a pre-Reformation interpretation of Anglican worship led keenly Protestant members of the Church of England to assume unity of purpose between Tractarians and Gothicizers, although the former were more concerned with aligning their theology with the early church or with the Caroline divines (theologians of Charles I’s and Charles II’s reigns), and the latter were more involved in an aesthetics of ecclesiastical architecture modeled on the medieval period. Art historians continue to debate the ways in which particular paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood manifest a Tractarian influence.

Some among that second generation who had stayed within the Anglican fold became involved in fresh disputes over the state’s power to intervene in such matters as regulating liturgical practice. Claiming to derive the importance they attached to ceremony and vestments from the Tractarians’ desire for alignment with the universal Catholic church and their emphasis upon material phenomena as symbols through which God might be glimpsed, the Ritualists were prepared to face not just riots but legal proceedings in defense of practices which their opponents saw as dangerously imitative of Roman Catholicism and thus un-English. Anglo-Catholicism’s continuity with Tractarianism was perhaps as much to be found in the protest it raised against prevailing mores as in its strict adherence to Prayer Book rubrics. Observances ranging from the use of private confession and absolution before communion to matters of clerical dress became the hallmarks by which Ritualists, and by association later generations of the Oxford Movement, became identified in the popular imagination.

Literary Origins of the Oxford Movement

The various nicknames given by contemporaries to the Oxford Movement’s adherents—“Tractarians,” “Newmanites,” “Puseyites”—suggest that its origins were as much literary as political, formed by a group of authors several of whom had been nurtured in the particular ethos8 of Oriel College, Oxford.9 In tracing the evolution of the religious opinions that had led him to join the movement, Newman did so in terms of the books that had influenced his progress. The theological reading list recommended to him at Oxford involved what one of his most perceptive readers has described as the imposition of an Oxford Aristotelian education, with its concentration on logic and rhetoric, on a “naturally Platonic mind.”10

Recalling one of the combative articles he had written while still a member of the Movement,11 Newman also paid tribute to reading matter enjoyed well beyond the universities of his day. It was Walter Scott, he had written, “who turned men’s minds to the Middle Ages” and offered them visions of “nobler ideas, which might afterwards be appealed to as first principles.”12 (Keble too was keen to claim Scott for the movement.)13 Though deploring Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “liberty of speculation, which no Christian can tolerate,” Newman acknowledged that his philosophical writings had raised the intellectual level of 19th-century theological debate. Southey’s and Wordsworth’s poetry had similarly addressed “high principles and feelings, and carried forward their readers in the same direction.”14 The nature of Romanticism’s influence upon the Oxford Movement and its individual leaders, and whether, given that such reading was the staple fare of many middle-class families, this group experienced its effects disproportionately strongly, continues to be hotly debated. Whether, theologically speaking, the Romantic stream fed straight and clear into the waters of the Oxford Movement is less relevant to literary scholars than the fact that at least two of the Movement’s founding members were anxious to channel the widespread popularity of the Lake Poets into being a distinctive feature of their inheritance. As Hilary Fraser has argued, Newman’s eventual debt to the Lake Poets was to prove different from Keble’s,15 but the eclectic nature of their individual borrowings also confirms the capacious mixture of values and aesthetics “Romanticism” came to represent. It was, for one thing, the Lake Poets, rather than Byron, Keats, or Shelley, who tended to feature in the Oxford Movement’s Romantic pantheon.

Newman was always to prove adept at identifying and extracting precisely what he needed for his own philosophical development from books or colleagues alike. Walter Scott’s fondness for the Middle Ages had been useful as a bulwark against 18th-century rationalism and its relegation of the medieval period to the “Dark Ages.” Furthermore, this attention to the Middle Ages neatly bypassed Protestant history’s concentration on the Reformation in favor of a Catholic world order. Coleridge’s writings—although not named by Newman, these almost certainly included Aids to Reflection (1825) and On the Constitution of the Church and State (1830)—were valued for encouraging the “inquiring mind” to turn its attention to religion.

Wordsworth’s influence upon the Oxford Movement can be most easily understood in terms of two tributes. The first is Newman’s to one of the century’s most widely read poetry collections, Keble’s The Christian Year (1827), from which Newman said that he absorbed both “a new music” and “the sacramental system; that is, the doctrine that material phenomena are both the types and the instruments of real things unseen” and “the mysteries of the faith.” The second is Keble’s dedication of his Lectures on Poetry 1832-41 (1844) to Wordsworth as “true philosopher and inspired poet who by the special gift and calling of almighty god whether he sang of man or of nature failed not to lift up men’s hearts to holy things nor ever ceased to champion the cause of the poor and simple and so in perilous times was raised up to be a chief minister not only of sweetest poetry but also of high and sacred truth.”16 (Keble was of course referring to the Wordsworth of the Lyrical Ballads, rather than of The Prelude, which was not published until 1850.) Read together, Newman’s and Keble’s acknowledgments include the primary tenets of an Oxford Movement aesthetic in which poetry was religion’s natural mode of expression.

If the “new music” of The Christian Year scarcely aspired to the revolutionary literary agenda of the Lyrical Ballads (1798), its subtitle Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays Throughout the Year demonstrated that the collection was only to be thoroughly understood when read as a devotional meditation accompanying the church’s liturgy. Language, the Bible and nature itself were all to be understood as forms through which God might be glimpsed. The first two verses of Keble’s “Septuagesima Sunday” express the idea thus:

  • There is a book, who runs may read,
  •       Which heavenly truth imparts,
  • And all the lore its scholars need,
  •       Pure eyes and Christian hearts.
  • The works of God above, below,
  •       Within us and around,
  • Are pages in that book, to show
  •       How God Himself is found.

In that these truths were “mysteries,” the first verse suggests, they could only be apprehended through the eyes of faith, and were not to be deduced by relying upon human logic as the rationalist teachings of Natural Theology had supposed. If the notion of God’s revelation as implicit within his creation placed the obligation of attentive reading upon believers, it also required the faithful to place their spiritual instruction under the authority of the church and its appointed ministers. This education, in turn, required penitence and purification, and its effectiveness would be seen in “the fruits of the spirit”:17

  • The dew of Heaven is like Thy grace,
  •       It steals in silence down;
  • But where it lights, the favour’d place
  •       By richest fruits is known.18

(“Septuagesima Sunday,” stanza 8)

Understood in this way, revelation was a gradual process. As Isaac Williams spelled out for his fellow clergy, in Tracts 80 and 87: On Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge, the doctrine of reserve had implications for their role as educators and should encourage them to expound the faith cautiously, paying attention to ensuring that the successive doctrines they taught were appropriate to the particular stage they judged their hearers to have reached.

Publications

The Tractarians’ appreciation of audience is important to an understanding of their projects. Many of their literary ventures, such as the Tracts for the Times (1833–1841), The Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church: Anterior to the Division of the East and West (1838–1885), or The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology (1841–1863), were specifically directed at the theological education of the clergy.19 The scholarly format of much of this work, together with the way in which the Oxford Movement’s concept of sacramentalism permitted heathens a limited apprehension of God’s objective presence in his universe, and thus granted a value to pagan literature, has unduly stressed the Oxford Movement’s appeal to the literate upper and middle classes.

However, other projects such as Lives of the English Saints (1844–1845), Plain Sermons by the Contributors to the Tracts for the Times (1839–1848), and Lyra Apostolica (1836), also had the duty of the parish priest to educate his congregation very much in mind.20 The work done in village schools, in slum areas, in the mission field, and in the desire of Keble and those who founded an Oxford college in his name, to provide education for poorer students, speaks to the breadth of the Tractarian educational enterprise.21

Some of the movement’s members were also quick to realize the importance of having a voice in the press of the day. From 1838 to 1843, Oxford Movement contributors determined the religious tendency of the British Critic, a quarterly journal for laymen. In the wake of this periodical’s increasingly pro-Roman Catholic tone, drastic fall in circulation, and closure, the more moderate Anglican wing of the movement launched the weekly Guardian in 1846. The poems in Lyra Apostolica were culled from the poetry placed in the British Magazine (1832–1849), another periodical favored by the Movement. Newman also used the Times letter page to further his attack on rationalism.22 Under the provocative pseudonym “Catholicus,” he argued against the “liberal” belief in secular education as a universal panacea, seeing it as a process which ultimately led men to admire their own powers. The notion of self-improvement, he maintained, lacked the guarantee of moral improvement, which could only be ensured by prioritizing faith and the teachings of the universal Christian church.

However, it was the poetry written by members of the Oxford Movement that became the most pervasive of their writings, reaching far beyond the homes of committed adherents. This was not accidental, since poetry and its vital kinship with religion lay at the very heart of their enterprise.23 Poetry, still revered in the early 19th century as the highest form of literary composition, was seen by the Movement’s poets as an essential component of “the pages in that book, to show/How God Himself is found.” Since it served to reveal, praise, and teach Christian truth, the poet’s role was like that of the priest’s, not to be undertaken without a sense of being called by God to use the gift for him. (Both Frederick William Faber and Gerard Manley Hopkins, two poets who had spent formative years under the influence of Tractarianism, were to suppress their poetic impulse for considerable periods when they doubted it formed part of God’s purpose for them.) Following Keble’s poetic credo, poet and reader alike were taught to see religious verse as a part of a private devotional habit, in which poetic form served, much in the way liturgical worship did, to channel and focus thoughts and feelings.24 The calming effects of form and rhythm were perceived as a countervailing force to the unbridled individual religious emotion, or “enthusiasm,” that Evangelicalism was felt to have encouraged. In retrospect, it is also easy to see the poetic philosophy Keble articulated in his Lectures as a response to the powerful religious emotions which the movement had generated among the intense young men who had joined its cause.

The Movement’s poets were also to leave their mark on Anglican hymnody, formerly thought to be very much a mode of expression for evangelical fervor. Although Froude was fearful that The Christian Year might lead Keble to be taken for a Methodist25 (hymn singing at their meetings had been seen as a novel attraction of Methodism, a breakaway sect from Anglicanism), the later hymns of those who were to secede, such as Newman and Faber, together with those of extreme Anglo-Catholics such as John Mason Neale, would eventually enter mainstream Anglican hymnals. Neale, who had been a founder member of the Camden Society, was particularly noted for the hymns he derived from ancient and medieval sources.26 Among the Victorian women poets influenced by Tractarian pastoral work, Cecil Frances Alexander and Christina Rossetti have entered the popular lexicon through hymnody (e.g., Alexander, “All things bright and beautiful”; and Rossetti, “In the bleak midwinter”).

Women’s Place in the Oxford Movement

Tractarianism had been conceived in a male institution, and its initial polemic was directed to men of the cloth. Nevertheless, recent scholarship has been inclined to emphasize the part played by Tractarianism in legitimating women’s ventures beyond the strictly private and the domestic in the service of God. The poetic theory Keble expounded in his Lectures on Poetry may have remained beyond many female readers, since Latin rarely featured on their curriculum, but The Christian Year supplied potent models for devotional poetry. For Tractarian poets and versifiers, Keble’s collection offered ways through which the emotions, so often suspected of leading women astray, could be disciplined by imitating his examples of liturgical and metrical forms.27

Women Novelists Associated with the Oxford Movement

Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823–1901), despite her endorsing women’s role of silent self-sacrifice, was to become one of the most prolific and versatile professional authors of her generation. She absorbed Keble’s aesthetic direct from the master, who in his role as parish priest became her catechist, mentor, and occasional editor.28 In preparing her for confirmation, he reminded her that her writing must always be subordinated to its religious function, warning “against the danger of loving these things for the sake merely of their beauty and poetry—aesthetically he would have said, only that he would have thought the word affected.”29 As translator, versifier, and writer of educational and reference works for the upper and lower classes, but above all in her principal métier as novelist, Yonge sought to disseminate the Tractarian values of submission to authority, obedience, and humility. In effect, a novel such as The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) provided a primer for those who had not been as fortunate as she had been in drinking direct from the founder’s fountain. The novel confirms the literary tastes of the Movement’s originators, offers a template for enabling her audience to read with the discrimination provided by “Pure eyes and Christian hearts,” and tactfully presents exemplars of women’s vital influence as Christian educators within the home.30 In her role as founding editor of The Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Younger Members of the English Church (1851–1899), as patron and critic of a circle of younger writers such as Mary Augusta Arnold (later to publish under her married name, Mrs Humphry Ward), and as a novelist whose volumes were available in translation in Europe and found their way to remote areas of the British Empire, Yonge’s work was to have far-reaching influence.

Two other novelists, Elizabeth Missing Sewell (1815–1906) and Felicia Skene (1821–1899), like Yonge, were directly exposed as young women to the preaching of the Movement’s founders. Also like Yonge, they perceived their writing as integrated within a life where caring for relatives was regarded as of equal importance with educating the young, or contributing to the church’s charitable and missionary work.

Though they remained single and demonstrated support for the work of the recently established Anglican sisterhoods, each of these three women resisted the lure of becoming a resident member of an Anglican sisterhood. Sewell’s most famous novels, Amy Herbert (1844) and Margaret Perceval (1847)—the latter written in the wake of Newman’s secession as a warning against the seductions of Rome—were staunch defenders of Tractarian values. Skene’s early novels, such as Use and Abuse (1849), were heavily influenced by the Movement, and in its cause she was to take over the editorship of the Anglo-Catholic Churchman’s Companion (1862–1880) from her parish clergyman, but as she grew older her party fervor waned in favor of broader religious sympathies.31 Nevertheless, by the end of these long-lived women’s lives their work began to seem old-fashioned to a new generation of Anglo-Catholic readers.

Women Poets Associated with the Oxford Movement

As the example of Mary Augusta Arnold suggests, the Tractarians could not guarantee the use to which their subjects and forms might subsequently be put (Arnold’s early work came under Yonge’s eye, but in later life as Mrs Humphry Ward, she went on to publish novels whose treatment of contemporary religious issues showed none of her mentor’s respect for the doctrine of “Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge”). The very popularity of The Christian Year, which surmounted narrow party boundaries, has been shown to have resulted in Keble’s metrics and lyrical patterning sometimes being adopted only to be transformed into critique by women suspicious of the doctrines his work espoused.32

One of the most complicated cases for consideration in estimating the extent and the nature of the influence Tractarianism exerted upon her work is Christina Rossetti (1830–1894). While the evidence as to her Anglo-Catholic habits is clear—attending confession, communicating regularly at a London church renowned for its Oxford Movement affiliations, and supporting the work of Anglican sisterhoods—her attitude to the verse of Keble and Williams is less so. Her brother William claimed she “thought nothing of Keble as a poet,” yet she carefully illustrated her copies of The Christian Year, and its influence is to be felt in the titles and the use of varied verse forms in collections such as “Some Feasts and Fasts” (Verses, 1893). Nevertheless a comparison of the two poets’ work shows her metrics to be more adventurous, and where repressed emotion acting as a healing balm had formed Keble’s ideal for poetry, suppressed passion is more often the note to be found in Rossetti’s verse, which characteristically ends at a moment before desire is achieved or peace granted. Modern criticism emphasizing the Tractarian influence in such matters as her sacramental understanding of the world, or her use of biblical typology, has been helpful in revealing a common thread running through her religious and more secular verse, and in resisting a reading of her poetry as the thinly veiled autobiographical expression of frustrated romance. This critical trend, however, has been met with the counterclaim that invoking traditional models of Tractarian female discipleship risks depriving her of agency and her readers of a sense of her originality. If we are to judge by The Face of the Deep: A Devotional Commentary (1892), Rossetti eventually found her own via media between the doctrine of reserve, with its concomitant reliance upon priestly authority, and a sense of her independent responsibilities as an educated reader:

“Understandest thou what thou readest?” asked Philip the Deacon of the Ethiopian Eunuch. And he said, “How can I, except some man should guide me”? Whereupon flowed forth to him the stream of light, knowledge, and love …. What could he do before that moment? He could study and pray, he could cherish hope, exercise love, feel after Him Whom he could not as yet intelligently find.

So much at least we all can do who read or who hear this Book of Revelations ….

A reader and hearer stand in graduated degrees of knowledge or of ignorance, as the case may be. The reader studying at first hand is in direct contact with God’s Word: hearers seek instruction of God through men.33

Anglican Sisterhoods

In 1850 Rossetti had written Maude: A Story for Girls. This tale, published only posthumously in 1897, addressed the topical controversy surrounding the formation of Anglican sisterhoods. Often read autobiographically as an account of Rossetti’s adolescent spiritual crisis, it reflects that tension between the consciousness of talent and the fear of spiritual pride so often to be found in the Oxford Movement’s gifted female adherents.34 The attraction of a life of self-sacrifice, renouncing worldly temptation, and demanding total devotion to good works held clear appeal for troubled teenagers, although it should be remembered that in reality most women who entered sisterhoods were of mature years: Christina Rossetti’s sister Maria did not become a full member of a sisterhood until 1873, when she was forty-six. Maude and Rossetti’s subsequent poems on the subject of the conventual life as a vocation make it clear that her engagement as an associate sister in the work of Highgate’s St Mary Magdalene Penitentiary had made her very aware of the mundane realities both of the cloistered life and of the sisters’ work among the poor and deprived.

By the end of the century, a proliferating number of Anglican sisterhoods had attracted some ten thousand women as full members.35 Communities that had been the subject of controversy when they first appeared in 1845, accused of being crypto-Roman Catholic institutions undermining a woman’s duty of obedience and service to her own family, came to be perceived by writers who did not necessarily share Anglo-Catholic sympathies as female communities allowing single women the opportunity of fulfilment in meaningful work.36

Male Novelists Associated with the Oxford Movement

It would be wrong to give the impression that the work of spreading the Movement’s ethos among a wider readership was confined to women. A clutch of Anglican parsons, each educated at Oxford, caused a stir in the early 1840s with their polemical Tractarian fiction. The Rev. William Gresley (1801–1876) contributed Charles Lever (1841), a novel warning against the perils of Dissent, and Church Clavering (1843), arguing for church control of education. The Rev. Francis Paget (1806–1884) published in quick succession St. Antholin’s, or Old Churches and New (1841), Milford Malvoisin, or Pews and Pewholders (1842), and The Warden of Berkingholt, or Rich and Poor (1843). Like Paget, the Rev. William Sewell (1804–1874) used his subtitles to advertise his position: Hawkstone: A Tale of and for England (1845) appeared in the year when Newman’s conversion fanned the flames in the minds of those who suspected the Oxford Movement of being a covert arm of the Roman Catholic Church. Although Sewell published this highly sensational novel anonymously, his enthusiasm for fiction as an effective tool led him to give his name to five novels written by his younger sister, Elizabeth Sewell.

In the next generation, Joseph Henry Shorthouse (1834–1903) is often cited as an Anglo-Catholic novelist with reference to his novel John Inglesant, written in 1864 but not published till 1881. He is in many ways the odd man out. The son of a Quaker industrialist, he converted when he joined one of the newly built Gothic Revival mission churches in Birmingham. Primarily a historical novelist, he believed that the theological disputes of the 17th century, with which this novel deals, most closely reflected those of his own era.

Nineteenth-Century Criticisms of the Oxford Movement

By Former Followers

The poet Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861) became an Oxford undergraduate in 1837 in the early, heady days of the Oxford Movement and briefly fell under its spell. Although his later poem “Easter Day. Naples, 1849” was an expression of a far more wide-reaching skepticism about Christian doctrine, two of its lines aptly suggest the disillusionment of those who became disenchanted with Tractarianism: “We are most hopeless, who had once most hope/And most beliefless, that had most believed.” It is difficult to exaggerate the sense of betrayal felt when Newman, whom they had accepted as the Movement’s most commanding figure, deserted them.

Clough’s friend and Oxford contemporary James Anthony Froude (1818–1894) had grown up in the shadow of his older brother, Richard Hurrell Froude, whose intemperate Remains caused such perturbation, so that when the younger brother was admitted to Oriel College, Oxford in late 1835, it was assumed he would join the Tractarian cause.37 Although he was to retain a personal admiration for Newman, and signed up as late as 1843 as a contributor to Newman’s series Lives of the English Saints, by that date he had already become increasingly skeptical about the absolute priority Newman accorded to faith and age-old Catholic doctrine over reason and recent theological scholarship. Froude’s decision to turn into a novel, The Nemesis of Faith (1849), his moral qualms over the effects of Tractarian teaching and his own regrets over taking Holy Orders caused a scandal in Oxford, which was to culminate in fellow novelist William Sewell, a senior fellow at Exeter College, where Froude also held a post, confiscating an undergraduate’s copy of his colleague’s noxious book and casting it into the fire in the college hall. Froude resigned his fellowship the same day, and with it his livelihood. Though it is simplistic to see the vacillating personality of the novel’s protagonist, Markham Sutherland, and the melodramatic plot in which he becomes involved as thinly disguised autobiography, the novel’s verdict on a movement which seemed to keep its followers in a state of spiritual immaturity, overdependent upon a leader who had himself been unable to sustain a via media, is in keeping with Froude’s overall judgment on Tractarianism.38

Another Oxford undergraduate for whom admiration for Newman outlasted undergraduate days was Mark Pattison (1813–1884). It led him too to make academic contributions to Tractarian projects and even to spend time in retreat at Littlemore, the semi-monastic community Newman established outside Oxford. However, a spell in Germany in the mid-1850s persuaded him that Newman’s rhetorical skills and poetic charisma had served to mask a theology that was little more than a throwback to the days of King Charles I, and lacked credibility in the light of 19th-century German scholarship. His embittered Memoirs (1885), written in old age, record both phases.

In the febrile atmosphere following news of Newman’s reception into the Roman Catholic Church, a novel appeared entitled From Oxford to Rome: And How It Fared with Some Who Lately Made the Journey, by a Companion Traveller (1847). Its anonymous author, Elizabeth Harris, penned a monitory tale describing the fate of a family who were to be riven apart by the fatal influence of Newman’s charismatic charm. The novel starts in Oxford, where the young hero, Eustace, receives his tutor’s blessing before embarking on the life of an exemplary Tractarian parish priest. However, during the years 1843–1844 he becomes unsettled by the turn events are taking in Oxford: first comes the news of Pusey’s two-year suspension from preaching in the university on the grounds of his allegedly heretical sermon, “The Holy Eyucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent”;39 and then Eustace is concerned by the tone of some of the Lives of the English Saints. Advised by his venerated Oxford tutor to recoup his failing spirits in foreign travel, Eustace sets out for the Continent; in Paris he attends daily worship in Roman Catholic churches. On reaching Rome, and on the verge of baptism into the Roman Catholic Church, he feels obliged to return to Oxford to participate in a vote as to whether to condemn Tract XC, and to deprive another arch-Tractarian, Wilfred Ward (1812–1882) of his degrees and position for his recent publication Ideal of a Christian Church (1844). Disgusted by Oxford’s hotbed of ecclesio-political intrigue, he and his elder sister decide to enter religious communities in Italy. The remainder of the novel charts the appalling disintegration of Eustace’s family consequent upon conversion to Rome. Eustace’s clergyman brother-in-law abandons his wife and young son and daughter for life in an Italian monastery. The wife eventually takes refuge, with her young daughter, in an Italian convent where her elder sister takes the veil, while the “orphaned” and neglected son meets an early death. Eustace and the clergyman’s “widow” both die before taking their final vows, thoroughly disenchanted with monastic and conventual life, while the elder sister dies far from home in a strict Spanish order. This latter portion of the novel, devoted to describing the ways in which Roman Catholic religious communities initially welcome English converts before crushing their will, and on occasion meting out savage punishments for any hint of dissent, concludes that the converts’ pursuit of an ideal church was unattainable on earth. Better by far to rest in the Catholic Anglican church where rituals and places are hallowed by long association. For the uprooting of such sensitive plants, and their inability to survive on foreign soil, Newman’s preaching and recent secession is held firmly to blame.

Newman was undertaking his training for the novitiate in Rome when he received a copy of Harris’s novel. Unwilling to accord her “preposterously fanciful” picture of the convert’s path the honor of “formal criticism or grave notice,” he decided to combat fiction with fiction.40 In order to deter his novel Loss and Gain (1848) from being interpreted as a straight roman à clef, Newman’s made his hero, Charles Reding, a clergyman’s son, enter Oxford not as a fellow of an Oxford college but as an impressionable young student who is swiftly exposed both to the delights of undergraduate life and all the doctrinal debates and religious fads raging in the city. Bigoted Anglo-Catholics are depicted as equally responsible with their evangelical counterparts for the reprehensible party spirit characterizing every conversation and gathering. Meanwhile, Harris’s narratorial tirades are replaced by the cut and thrust of exchanges in Platonic dialogue form. By the time he leaves Oxford, Charles has decided upon joining the Roman Catholic Church, but agrees to wait for two years before being formally received, thus avoiding the charge of reckless speed or the love of highly visible self-sacrifice Harris had laid at her converts’ door. The divisive impact on Charles’s family is acknowledged as he takes his leave of his mother and sister, but melodramatic consequences do not ensue. As with Newman in the Apologia, Charles’s theological agonizing ceases when he has taken his decision, and so the third part of the novel is devoted to a satirical romp picturing Oxford gossip over his conversion, and picturing the alternatives available to those determined on leaving the Anglican Church. The Oxford scenes include one in which Charles feels physically sick at the sight of a newly married Anglo-Catholic vicar and his feather-brained spouse, while a series of visitors to his London lodgings express Newman’s contempt for the theological vagaries entertained by those who secede to various types of Dissent rather than resting in the bosom of the true church.

Critical Emphases in the Wider Victorian Culture

As a generation of young clergy introduced to the movement at Oxford augmented those in far-flung livings who had been roused by the initial message of the Tracts for the Times, so the Movement’s fame spread beyond its local origins to the daily routines of congregations, who were variously summoned to take the sacrament more frequently, to observe with full rigor the liturgy of the Prayer Book, to devote attention to the fabric of their churches, and to benefit from auricular confession. If the revival of Catholic practices in Anglican churches caused consternation in parishes where little had changed for many years, a movement that had its ostensible origins in the response to perceived threats to the state church was likely to linger in the political consciousness of a nation much exercised by the expediency of reform to its various institutions.

A widely read article entitled “Church Parties,” in the Edinburgh Review of 1853, conceived of the Church of England as a highly politicized body engaged in prolonged internal warfare. Although its author, the Rev. William John Conybeare, took seriously the theological differences among its various wings, it was somewhat dismissive of the Tractarian party as composed of a handful of earnest waverers, constantly taunted by their former leader, Newman, to have the courage to follow him to Rome, and augmented by silly young poseurs obsessed by ritual and ecclesiastical frippery.41 Favoring the more liberally constituted national church proposed by Thomas Arnold, Conybeare was to develop his critique of the damaging effects of party extremes in his three-decker novel Perversion: or the Causes and Consequences of Infidelity, a Tale for the Times (1856).

The second of Anthony Trollope’s fictional series the Chronicles of Barchester was predicated upon this notion of the Church of England as a church at war with itself. Begun in 1855 though not published until 1857, Barchester Towers quickly establishes a mock-heroic trope to suggest the unseemliness of the power struggles taking place in many an English diocese and parish, a point further underlined by the ploy of treating the priesthood as a profession rather than a spiritual calling. The cleric chosen by Trollope to represent Tractarianism comes from the former of Conybeare’s categories: Mr Francis Arabin, fellow of an Oxford college and the university’s Professor of Poetry, had sat at Newman’s feet and shared his gift for forensic wit in debate. Like his fictional predecessors, Eustace and Charles Reding, in the wake of his mentor’s secession, Arabin withdraws from Oxford to consider whether to follow him and become a Roman Catholic, but unlike Eustace and Charles he opts to stay an Anglican. This religious pedigree leads him to be considered by the various church parties within Barchester as the obvious antidote to the new bishop’s evangelical faction. Trollope’s own dislike for militant Evangelicalism inclined him to present Arabin in favorable terms. However, there remains a particular aspect of Tractarianism that Trollope was anxious to refashion. In 1857 Arabin’s Oxford fellowship would still have been dependent upon his remaining unmarried, but he also has a personal commitment to celibacy which is greater than either Anglicanism or his livelihood demands. In the course of the novel’s romantic intrigues, it is demonstrated that Arabin is not by nature immune to female charm, and by the conclusion he has been safely netted into married life.

In that celibacy was mandatory for the Roman Catholic priesthood, it was a clear differentiating marker between Anglo-Catholic clergy and their Roman counterparts, and indeed the first Anglican community for men was not established until 1866, some twenty years later than the first Anglican sisterhood. Yet some of their writings make it evident that there were ordained Tractarians who were personally drawn to celibacy.42 If entering a nunnery seemed a perverse choice in a society where marriage was deemed a woman’s highest goal, and seemed to withdraw a father’s authority over an unmarried daughter, celibacy seemed to strike at the heart of the Victorian domestic ideal.

In the popular imagination, finely drawn theological debates cashed out into suspicion that a movement describing itself as Anglo-Catholic was all too closely allied to the Roman Catholic and thus presented a potential threat to English values. Punch magazine’s cartoon offensive reached its apogee in volumes 19 and 20 for 1850–1851, when the papal decision to revive the pre-Reformation titles of Catholic bishops in Britain brought popular anti-Catholicism to a head. “Puseyism,” as Punch now labeled the Movement, was depicted as either naively unwitting or a wholly knowing collaborator with the foreign invader. If the figure of John Bull summed up British patriotism, Puseyite clergy therefore came to be represented as all that was un-English. At worst they were pictured as crypto-Jesuits, flying under false colors to worm their way into the confidence of honest English families. The practice of confession, sanctioned by the Prayer Book but long in abeyance until restored by 19th-century Anglo-Catholics, was perceived as particularly likely to encourage women to transfer their obedience, and even, it was hinted, their affections, from husbands or fathers to their confessors. If Anglo-Catholic confessors were seen as potential sexual predators, Puseyite priests were conversely seen as unmanly in the attention they were deemed to pay to clerical vestments.

Charles Kingsley, a proponent of “muscular Christianity” but also a champion of the liberal mindset so distrusted by Tractarianism, contrived to incorporate many of these popular prejudices into his novels. The hostile reactions to Yeast (1848), a novel devoted to contemporary social problems, in which he pilloried Tractarian theology and its secular consequences, led him to mount his next attack in the form of the historical novel, Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face (1853). Its 5th-century setting enabled him to depict the church of antiquity, so beloved by the Oxford Movement, as arrogant, corrupt, and fanatical.

Perhaps the most sustained representation of the slow undermining of manly Protestantism by those who adopt lives of solitary asceticism to pursue ever-receding visionary ideals is to be found in Tennyson’s retelling of the Arthurian cycle, Idylls of the King (1859–1885), in which the pursuit of the Holy Grail by knights better fitted for an active life of social endeavor finally brings down King Arthur’s marriage and his kingdom.

The picture of a generation of the nation’s natural governing class variously led astray into self-absorbed preoccupation with austere penances and credulous beliefs in legendary tales of saints, or masking self-will under the notion of having received a higher calling than family life, remained current long after Newman’s secession. Gradually, however, the Anglo-Catholic clergyman influenced by the Movement became more recognizable in fiction by his distinctive clerical garb or enthusiasm for ritual than by his proclivity for Romanizing. Later 19th-century tales of religious conflict were more likely to involve the battle between religious faith and thoroughgoing skepticism. Yet perhaps Mary Augusta Ward showed the true nature of her debt to Charlotte Yonge’s mentoring in her enormously popular novels Robert Elsmere (1888) and Helbeck of Bannisdale (1898), in which, although the battleground has changed, the drama of finely strung consciences under strain takes us back to the intensity with which the Oxford Movement’s first writers had expressed their desire for a firmer basis than individual commitment or the British constitution on which to rest their faith.

Discussion of the Literature

The Oxford Movement mounted a challenge to the dominant political and religious culture and its literary output was designed to persuade, so it is not surprising that from the first it was embroiled in controversy or that subsequent scholarship has often been written from a partisan stance. The most moving account of the way in which the Movement and its aftermath caused insuperable rifts in personal relationships remains David Newsome’s The Parting of Friends: A Study of the Wilberforces and Henry Manning.43

How the Oxford Movement and the evangelicals increasingly defined themselves against one another is explored in The Evangelical and the Oxford Movements, edited by Elisabeth Jay, and in Peter Toon’s Evangelical Theology, 1833–1856: A Response to Tractarianism.44

Accounts of the movement’s continuing vitality after Newman’s secession are provided by George Herring, The Oxford Movement in Practice: The Tractarian Parochial World from the 1830s to the 1870s, and by Geoffrey Rowell, The Vision Glorious: Themes and Personalities of the Catholic Revival in Anglicanism. The Movement’s wider influence is explored in The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830–1930, edited by Stewart J. Brown and Peter B. Nockles.45

As the Movement evolved, so it became associated with cognate cultural trends. The relation between the Movement and the neo-Gothic architecture favored by the Camdenians is explored by Christopher Webster and John Elliott in “A Church as It Should Be”: The Cambridge Camden Society and its Influence, by James F. White’s The Cambridge Movement: The Ecclesiologists and the Gothic Revival, and by Kirstie Blair’s “Church Architecture, Tractarian Poetry and the Forms of Faith”.46 Detailed information about Ritualism can be found in James Bentley’s Ritualism and Politics in Victorian Britain: The Attempt to Legislate for Belief, Horton Davies’s Worship and Theology in England, and Nigel Yates’s Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain.47

The Movement’s literary debts and influences have been much debated. Stephen Prickett, in Romanticism and Religion: The Tradition of Coleridge and Wordsworth in the Victorian Church, lays out the Movement’s debts to Romanticism, while others contend that these have been overrated. Further writers on this topic are Michael S. Bright, “English Literary Romanticism and the Oxford Movement,” in the Journal of the History of Ideas; Gregory Goodwin, “Keble and Newman: Victorian Tractarian Aesthetics and the Romantic Tradition,” in Victorian Studies; and Robert Pattison, The Great Dissent: John Henry Newman and the Liberal Heresy.48

The extent of Keble’s literary influence is discussed in the third section of a collection of essays entitled Keble in Context, edited by Kirstie Blair: Daniel Kline’s essay argues a strong case for detecting Keble’s influence at work in the juvenilia of Matthew Arnold and Arthur Hugh Clough.49

A special issue of Victorian Poetry, entitled Tractarian Poets, contains two useful articles reviewing the critical literature linking Christina Rossetti and Gerard Manley Hopkins with the Tractarians, together with an evaluation of the poetry of Faber’s Tractarian phase.50 While many critics detect the influence of Tractarian poetry in Hopkins’s early verse, Margaret Johnson’s Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry argues for its continuing influence in his later work.51

An annotated online bibliography by Elisabeth Jay is “The Oxford Movement”.

Primary Sources

Raymond Chapman’s Firmly I Believe: An Oxford Movement Reader presents extracts from a wide range of Movement supporters.52 The lengthier extracts in Elisabeth Jay’s The Evangelical and the Oxford Movements are designed to exhibit the thoughts and literary style of individual movement leaders.53 With a similar aim, Gavin Budge’s Aesthetics and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Britain also provides a generous selection of Tractarian sources.54

The Victorian Web.” Under the subheading “The Nineteenth-Century High Church: Tractarianism, the Oxford Movement, and Ritualism,” this website offers an extensive series of brief articles, sometimes including liberal quotation from original sources. It also gives the full text of Keble’s “National Apostasy” sermon.

Many of the source texts, including 19th-century histories of the movement, and the fiction and poetry mentioned, are available in full text form via Internet Archive.

Newman Reader” offers many texts by John Henry Newman.

The Charlotte Mary Yonge Fellowship” website offers a Charlotte Mary Yonge bibliography containing links to online editions of her work.

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823–1901),” edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske, is an online edition of Charlotte Mary Yonge’s early letters.

Further Reading

Baker, Joseph Ellis. The Novel and the Oxford Movement. Princeton Studies in English 8. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1932.Find this resource:

Blair, Kirstie. “Keble and The Christian Year.” In The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology. Edited by Andrew Hass, David Jasper and Elisabeth Jay, 607–623. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.Find this resource:

Blair, Kirstie and Emma Mason, eds. Tractarian Poets. Special issue of Victorian Poetry 44 (2006).Find this resource:

Chadwick, Owen. The Spirit of the Oxford Movement: Tractarian Essays. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1990.Find this resource:

Chapman, Raymond. Faith and Revolt: Studies in the Literary Influence of the Oxford Movement. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970.Find this resource:

Johnson, Margaret. Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry. London: Ashgate, 1997.Find this resource:

Ker, Ian. John Henry Newman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.Find this resource:

King, Joshua. Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Rowell, Geoffrey. The Vision Glorious: Themes and Personalities of the Catholic Revival in Anglicanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.Find this resource:

Skinner, Simon. Tractarians and the “Condition of England.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.Find this resource:

Tennyson, Georg Bernhard. Victorian Devotional Poetry: The Tractarian Mode. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.Find this resource:

Notes:

(1.) John Keble, National Apostasy Considered in a Sermon Preached in St. Mary’s Oxford before His Majesty’s Judges of Assize on Sunday July 14, 1833 (London and Oxford: A. R. Mowbray, 1931).

(2.) John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua: Being a History of his Religious Opinions, edited by Martin J. Svaglic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), 43.

(3.) Thomas Mozley, Reminiscences of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement (2 vols; London: Longmans, Green, 1882).

(4.) Isaac Williams, The Autobiography of Isaac Williams, as throwing further light on the history of the Oxford Movement, ed. George Prevost (London and New York: Longmans, Green, 1892).

(5.) Thomas Arnold, “The Oxford Malignants and Dr. Hampden,” Edinburgh Review 63 (1836): 225–239.

(6.) Remains of the Late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude, eds. John Henry Newman and John Keble (4 vols; London and Derby: J. G. & F. Rivington, 1838–1839).

(7.) See, for instance, Isaac Williams’s collection of poems, The Cathedral, or the Catholic and Apostolic Church in England (1838).

(8.) James Pereiro, “Ethos” and the Oxford Movement: At the Heart of Tractarianism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

(9.) P. B. Nockles, “The Oxford Movement in an Oxford College: Oriel as the Cradle of Tractarianism,” in The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830–1930, eds. Stewart J. Brown and P. B. Nockles (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 11–33.

(10.) David Newsome, Two Classes of Men: Platonism and English Romantic Thought (London: John Murray, 1974), 8.

(11.) “The State of Religious Parties,” British Critic, April 1839, revised and reprinted as “Prospects of the Anglican Church,” in Essays and Sketches Volume I, ed. Charles Frederick Harrold (New York and London: Longmans, Green, 1948), 331–373.

(12.) Newman, Apologia, ed. Svaglic, 93.

(13.) See Keble’s review, “Life of Sir Walter Scott,” in Occasional Papers and Reviews, ed. E. B. Pusey (Oxford: James Parker, 1877), 1–80.

(14.) Newman, Apologia, 94.

(15.) Hilary Fraser, “Theology: Keble, Newman, and the Oxford Movement,” in Beauty and Belief: Aesthetics and Religion in Victorian Literature, ed. Hilary Fraser (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 7–66.

(16.) Keble’s Lectures on Poetry 1832–1841, trans. Edward Kershaw Francis (2 vols; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912).

(17.) See Galatians 5:22–23.

(18.) John Keble, “Septuagesima Sunday,” in The Christian Year, Lyra Innocentium and other Poems (London: Humphrey Milford and Oxford University Press, 1914), 42–43.

(19.) The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, eds. W. J. Copeland, W. J. Audland, C. L. Cornish, and J. Barrow (88 vols; Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841–1863).

(20.) See Jeremy Morris, “Preaching the Oxford Movement,” in The Oxford Handbook of the British Sermon 1689–1901, ed. Keith A. Francis et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 407–426.

(21.) Geoffrey Rowell, “‘Training in Simple and Religious Habits’: Keble and its First Warden,” in The History of the University of Oxford, vol. 7, Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 2, eds. Michael Brock and M. C. Curthoys (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), 171–191; and, forthcoming, Stephen Prickett, “Romanticism and the Lake Poets,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, eds. P. B. Nockles and James Pereiro (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

(22.) The Times, February 5, 9, 10, 12, 20, 22, and 27, 1841. Revised and published as a pamphlet entitled The Tamworth Reading Room: Letters on an Address Delivered by Sir Robert Peel, Bart. M, P. on the Establishment of a Reading Room at Tamworth (London: J. Mortimer, 1841).

(23.) A claim which forms the basis of G. B. Tennyson’s groundbreaking Victorian Devotional Poetry: The Tractarian Mode (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981).

(24.) Kirstie Blair, “Tractarian Poetry, Poetics, and the Forms of Faith,” in Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion, ed. Kirstie Blair (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 21–50.

(25.) Williams, Autobiography, 22.

(26.) J. R. Watson, “The Oxford Movement, and the Revival of Ancient Hymnody,” in The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study, ed. J. R. Watson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 355–386.

(27.) See Emma Francis, “‘Healing relief … Without detriment to modest reserve …’: Keble, Women’s Poetry and Victorian Cultural Theory,” in John Keble in Context, ed. Kirstie Blair (London: Anthem, 2004), 115–124.

(28.) Ellen Jordan, Charlotte Mitchell, and Helen Schinske, “‘A Handmaid to the Church’: How John Keble Shaped the Life and Work of Charlotte Yonge, the ‘Novelist of the Oxford Movement’,” in John Keble in Context, ed. Kirstie Blair (London: Anthem, 2004), 175–191.

(29.) “Gleanings from Thirty Years’ Intercourse with the Rev. John Keble,” in Musings over the “Christian Year” and “Lyra Innocentium” together with a few Gleanings of Recollections of the Rev. John Keble, Gathered by Several Friends (Oxford and London, 1871), v.

(30.) Elisabeth Jay, “Charlotte Mary Yonge and Tractarian Aesthetics,” Tractarian Poets, special issue of Victorian Poetry 44 (2006): 43–59.

(31.) Suzanne L. G. Rickard, “ On the Shelf: Women Writers, Publishing and Philanthropy in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England” (PhD diss., Australian National University, 1995).

(32.) See F. Elizabeth Gray, “‘Syren Strains’: Victorian Women’s Devotional Poetry and John Keble’s The Christian Year,” Tractarian Poets, special issue of Victorian Poetry 44 (2006): 61–76.

(33.) Christina Rossetti, The Face of the Deep: A Devotional Commentary on the Apocalypse (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1892), 12.

(34.) Diane D’Amico, “‘Rossetti and the convent Question,’” in Christina Rossetti, Faith, Gender and Time, ed. Diane D’Amico (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999), 43–66.

(35.) Susan Mumm, Stolen Daughters, Virgin Mothers: Anglican Sisterhoods in Victorian Britain (London and New York: Leicester University Press, 1998).

(36.) Dinah Mulock Craik, “About Sisterhoods,” Longman’s Magazine, January 1883, 303–313, retitled and reprinted in Rossetti: “Maude” and Dinah Mulock Craik: “On Sisterhoods” and “A Woman’s Thoughts About Women,” ed. Elaine Showalter (London: W. Pickering, 1993).

(37.) Ciaran Brady, James Anthony Froude: An Intellectual Biography of a Victorian Prophet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

(38.) Six letters published by Froude under the title “Reminiscences of the High Church Revival: Six Letters,” Good Words, 22.1–6 (January–July 1880): 18–23, 98–202, 162–167, 306–312, 409–415, reprinted as “The Oxford Counter-Reformation,” in Short Studies on Great Subjects (4 vols; London: Longmans, Green,1894 [1882]), iv, 231–360. See also "John Henry Newman" on the Biographical Information page of The Newman Reader, National Institute for Newman Studies, website.

(39.) Reprinted in The Evangelical and Oxford Movements, ed. Elisabeth Jay (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 186–202.

(40.) J. H. Newman, “Advertisement to Sixth Edition,” Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert (London: Burns, Oates/Basil Montagu Pickering, 1874).

(41.) W. J. Conybeare, “Church Parties,” Edinburgh Review 98 (October 1853): 273–342.

(42.) Duc Dau, “Perfect Chastity: Celibacy and Virgin Marriage in Tractarian Poetry,” Tractarian Poets, special issue of Victorian Poetry 44 (2006): 77–92.

(43.) David Newsome, The Parting of Friends: A Study of the Wilberforces and Henry Manning (London: Murray, 1966).

(44.) Jay, Evangelical and Oxford Movements; and Peter Toon, Evangelical Theology, 1833–1856: A Response to Tractarianism (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1979).

(45.) George Herring, The Oxford Movement in Practice: The Tractarian Parochial World from the 1830s to the 1870s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); Geoffrey Rowell, The Vision Glorious: Themes and Personalities of the Catholic Revival in Anglicanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983); and Stewart J. Brown and Peter B. Nockles, eds., The Oxford Movement: Europe and the Wider World 1830–1930 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

(46.) Christopher Webster and John Elliott, “A Church as It Should Be”: The Cambridge Camden Society and its Influence (Stamford: Shaun Tyas, 2000); James F. White, The Cambridge Movement: the Ecclesiologists and the Gothic Revival (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1962); and Kirstie Blair, “Church Architecture, Tractarian Poetry and the Forms of Faith,” in Shaping Belief: Culture, Politics and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Writing, eds. Victoria Morgan and Clare Williams (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008), 129–145.

(47.) James Bentley, Ritualism and Politics in Victorian Britain: The Attempt to Legislate for Belief (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978); Horton Davies, Worship and Theology in England, vol. 2, From Watts and Wesley to Maurice, 1690–1850, and vol. 3, From Newman to Martineau, 1850–1900 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996); and Nigel Yates, Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

(48.) Stephen Prickett, Romanticism and Religion: The Tradition of Coleridge and Wordsworth in the Victorian Church (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1976); Michael S. Bright, “English Literary Romanticism and the Oxford Movement,” Journal of the History of Ideas 40.3 (1979): 385–404; Gregory Goodwin, “Keble and Newman: Victorian Tractarian Aesthetics and the Romantic Tradition,” Victorian Studies 30.4 (1987): 474–494; and Robert Pattison, The Great Dissent: John Henry Newman and the Liberal Heresy (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991).

(49.) Daniel Kline, “‘For rigorous teachers seized my youth’: Thomas Arnold, John Keble and the Juvenilia of Arthur Hugh Clough and Matthew Arnold,” in John Keble in Context, ed. Kirstie Blair (London: Anthem, 2004), 143–158.

(50.) Peter Groves, “Hopkins and Tractarianism,” 105–112; D’Amico and Kent, “Rossetti and the Tractarians,” 93–103; and Kirstie Blair, “Breaking Loose: Frederick Faber and the Failure of Reserve,” Tractarian Poets, special issue of Victorian Poetry 44 (2006): 25–41.

(51.) Margaret Johnson, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Tractarian Poetry (London: Ashgate, 1997).

(52.) Raymond Chapman, ed., Firmly I Believe: An Oxford Movement Reader (Norwich, U.K.: Canterbury, 2006).

(53.) Jay, Evangelical and Oxford Movements.

(54.) Gavin Budge, ed., Aesthetics and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Britain (6 vols; Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2003).