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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Bemused scholarly observation of the day »

November 29, 2008



The novel is an attack on Protestant bigotry and self-righteousness much more than it's a defense of Catholic rights. The preface argues against generalizing about a minority group, yes, but CD wrote the preface after the novel was finished. Though he disapproved of such prejudice, I doubt CD wrote BR because he was moved by the anti-Catholic agitation of his day. His primary interest in the Gordon Riots was their loss of control, a subject much on his mind that year. Also, since other types of repressiveness and rebellion run through the novel, including the American Revolution, it seems likely he was primarily concerned with these twin issues.

Miriam Elizabeth Burstein

Yes, Paz makes it clear that the book is anti-anti-Catholic agitators, not pro-Catholic. Dickens was hardly a fan of the RCC.


I just discovered your blog and really enjoyed this review. As a grad student trying to complete my dissertation, I find this blog both inspiring and intimidating. But intimidating a good way. I'm a Victorianist and I've got to take a look at Paz's book now.

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