The Marriage of Faith: Christianity in Jane Austen and William Wordsworth
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Near its heart, English Romanticism—across many writers—acknowledges and celebrates a community that is not just secular but that derives meaning from a religious association and, in fact, a particularly defined religion, that is, Anglican Christianity. William Wordsworth and Jane Austen, premier English Romantic poet and novelist, were baptized, confirmed, and buried (and for Wordsworth, married) in conformity with the Church of England. Of course, Wordsworth’s commitment flagged in his twenties, but with marriage and responsibility came respectability and parishioner status. However, most twentieth-century critics interpret these writers’ works outside the Christian realities with which their lives were much imbued, except for late Wordsworthian poems from his purported decline into conservative politics and religion and evident poetic senility. More Details