Stephen Prickett is Regius Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow and honorary Professor of English at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He has also taught at Baylor University, where he was Margarett Root Brown Professor and Director of the Armstrong Browning Library.
He has published two novels, nine monographs, ten edited volumes, and over a hundred articles on Romanticism, Victorian Studies and literature and theology. His fourteen-language Reader in European Romanticism (2010) won the Jean-Pierre Barricelli Prize for the best work in Romantic Studies that year. His most recent publication is The Edinburgh Companion to the Bible and the Arts (2014).
Prickett’s paper, “Memories, Dreams, and Selections: Airbrushing Nineteenth-Century Religion,” examines the extraordinary revival of religious thought and imagination among writers in England and across the European continent during the nineteenth century, a religious energy, he argues, that has been airbrushed from conventional academic accounts of the century.
Viscount de Chateaubriand. The Genius of Christianity; or, The Spirit and Beauty of the Christian Religion. Trans. By Charles I. White. Baltimore: John Murphy & Co., 1857. Third revised edition.
Originally published in French in 1802, Chateaubriand’s classic nineteenth-century work passed through seven editions within its first two years before being translated into English in 1815. According to Charles I. White, who translated and wrote the preface to the book’s third revised edition (English), Chateaubriand aimed to combat post-Revolutionary French impiety by offering an apology for religion’s ennobling influence upon literature and the arts.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Statesman's Manual; or, The Bible the Best Guide to Political Skill and Foresight: A Lay Sermon, Addressed to the Higher Classes of Society, with an Appendix, Containing Comments and Essays Connected with the Study of the Inspired Writings. London: Printed for Gale and Fenner, 1816.
In this first edition of one of his most famous works, Coleridge exhorts the influential men of his day to attend to “those important truths declared in the inspired writings” of the Bible when making decisions about the best course of action for contemporary England. This particular volume is one of ninety-four volumes by or presented to, or from the libraries of, various members of the Coleridge family, purchased at auction by the ABL in 2008.
John Henry Newman. The Second Spring: A Sermon Preached in the Synod of Oscott, on Tuesday, July 13th, 1852. London: Thomas Richardson and Son, 1852.
In this sermon, Newman observes that a revival in Catholic religious fervor and sentiment has taken hold in nineteenth-century England following the religious turmoil of the three previous centuries. As he memorably expresses it, “The English Church was, and the English Church was not, and the English Church is once again . . . . It is the coming of a Second Spring; it is a restoration in the moral world, such as that which yearly takes place in the physical.”
Schleiermacher's Introductions to the Dialogues of Plato. Translated from the German by William Dobson. Cambridge: J. & J.J. Deighton; London: John William Parker, 1836.
This volume, part of the Brownings’ Library, is inscribed by Robert Browning with both his and his wife's initials.
Thomas De Quincey. Essays on Philosophical Writers and Other Men of Letters. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1854, c1853.
This volume by De Quincy contains essays about Sir William Hamilton, Sir James Mackintosh, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried von Herder, John Paul Frederick Richter, and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
François-René Vicomte de Chateaubriand. Atala. René. Les Aventures du Dernier Abencerage. Par M. Le Vicomte de Chateaubriand. Paris: Lefèvre, Ladvocat, 1830.
- Exhibition Text by DeAnn Stuart