I must say that today's body count was remarkably low.
- Rev. R. F. Wilson, Charles Harvey's Difficulties; Or, Conversations on the Athanasian Creed (J. T. Hayes, 1873). Anglo-Catholic "novella"--well, actually, it's an explication of the Athanasian Creed in fictional dress. Working-class Charles Harvey has, as you may gather, difficulties--that Athanasian Creed sounds kind of intolerant, among other things. Fortunately, the nice choir-master is there to help him out. (What makes the frame rather bizarre is that this book is intended for mothers to help teach their children.) BODY COUNT: Zero.
- X.Q., Our New Vicar: A Tale of the Times (Seeley, 1841). Tract-length story about what happens when a nice evangelical clergyman gets replaced by an icky Anglo-Catholic one. There are altars, and confessions, and totally unintelligible sermons. Also, women run after him. Fortunately, the nice evangelical comes back at the end. BODY COUNT: Zero.
- Mother Francis Raphael [Augustua Theodosia Drane], The New Utopia (Catholic Truth Society, 1898). Reprint of an earlier novel. A mysterious man named Grant returns from Australia, where he has somehow acquired an accent that our narrator confuses with one of the American variety. Anyway, Grant turns out to be not only Catholic (!), but also the long-lost heir to the Oakham Park estate (!!). Needless to say, Grant uses his newfound wealth to establish a monastery and develop a Christian colony (the titular utopia); plus, there's a dramatic backstory in which he vows to sacrifice all his wealth and position to save one soul (it works). The novel recommends burning or hammering immodest art, and also prescribes Catholicism as a cure for that nasty feminist stuff. At the end, Grant dies very suddenly because he decides to rescue a bunch of miners who will be trapped otherwise. Still, that's good, because lots of people convert. BODY COUNT: One.
- C. M. Home, Redminton School (Art and Book Company, 1894). Catholic twist on the classic English public school story. Hugh Franklin (Catholic) is sent to Redminton School (Protestant) by his father, a military man. Fortunately, he is soon taken under the protection of Robert Huntley (undecided). Various public school story-type things happen, include academic competitions, cricket (which even the novelist seems to think is rather dull), holiday travel, and bullying. (However, nobody is at risk of drowning.) By the end, Huntley converts, thanks to lengthy exposure to Catholic services, and the temporarily-bankrupted Hugh winds up with lots of extra money. Both set off to be farmers. BODY COUNT: One.
- C. M. Home, Ashstead: A Sequel to "Redminton School" (Art and Book Company, 1901). Same characters, less school, more Catholics. By this time, just about everyone in sight has converted to Catholicism. The primary tension derives from the local Broad Church clergyman, Allen, whose daughter Laura has secretly married (gasp) an agnostic "humanitarian" type (shock) named Ellis Compton. Also, Joe Briggs, a convert from the previous novel, was in love with a Protestant (yikes) but properly redirects his attention to a Catholic (yay). At the end, Laura reappears and is promptly run over by an omnibus, which is exactly the sort of thing you should expect to happen if you run off with an agnostic. She dies, but converts on her deathbed, so that's OK. There's also a miracle at Lourdes. BODY COUNT: Three.
- The "Penny Man" and His Friends (Church Missionary Society, n.d.). Late-Victorian object narrative. Various toys (the penny man), clothes, and medical supplies tell the story of their adventures abroad in Egypt, China, Afghanistan, and India, when they aren't sniping at each other or being snooty. The point of this exercise is to advertise medical missions. BODY COUNT: Three.