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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Neither Anglicans nor Catholics ever seemed to grasp how inseparable literature and theology were for Newman. His prose fiction, like his poetry, involved complex images and symbols in a network of interconnected references, some obtrusive, some slight and allusive. Though declaring the Catholic Church essentially ‘poetic’ inverted his earlier idealized vision of Anglicanism, this remained a Catholicism with a peculiarly Anglican aesthetic. But if, for those whose interest in Newman is primarily theological, the idea of him as an essentially literary figure seems strange, for those whose knowledge of him is through choral concert performances of ‘The Dream of Gerontius’, the reality is equally strange. Writers are by nature solitary, but Newman was peculiarly solitary. Though he constantly sought community—in Oxford, and later among his fellow Catholics—whether in poetry or prose, his themes concern loneliness.

Keywords: Callista, Culture and Anarchy, Dream of Gerontius, Francis Newman, John Keble, Lead Kindly Light, Loss and Gain

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