Religion and Victorian Popular Literature and Culture: Twitter Taster Day

Due to current circumstances, the VPFA Religion Study Day that was to have been held in Sheffield on 9 May 2020 has been postponed until spring 2021 (details TBC closer to the time).

In the meantime, we are running a Twitter taster linked to the study day on Saturday 30 May between 11:00 and 17:00 BST. Over the course of the day, participants will present snapshot threads on various facets of religion in the long nineteenth century and then participate in a Q&A – see below for the programme. The threads will be archived on the VPFA website. We encourage interested BAVS members to participate on the day by following #VPFAReligion and getting involved in the discussion.

Naomi Hetherington and Clare Stainthorp,


11:00     Anne-Marie Beller (@amb1860) and Kerry Featherstone (@KerryOrange)

“No greater spiritual beauty than fanaticism”: Women Travellers’ Encounters with Islam in the Nineteenth Century

11:20     Helena Goodwyn (@HelenaGoodwyn)

Sex Religion Sells! The Preacher, the Journalist and the Novel

11:40     Mary Going (@MazGoing)

“Tarry thou, till I come”: Salathiel, Supersessionism, and George Croly’s Wandering Jew

12:00     John Morton (@Drjmorton)

Encountering Catholicism and Catholic Europe in Popular Fiction and Periodicals of 1850

12:20     Flore Janssen (@FemLitCake)

‘Life’s a Misery, and I’m Such a Big Sinner!’: Reforming People and Society through the Salvation Army Press

12:40     Jen Baker (@Jendeavour)

Revisiting limbus infantium and inflicting Purgatorial Punishments: Navigating the Sacro-Secular Afterlife of the Victorian Child

13:00     Betty Hagglund (@BettyHagglund)

Innocent children as instruments of religious conversion in Silas Hocking’s waif novels

13:20     Monika Mazurke (@MonikaMaz1)

Roman Catholicism in the Tractarian and Anti-Tractarian Victorian Popular Novel

13:40     Break, with announcements from our funders VPFA & BAVS

14:00     Cath H. Kennedy (@carefulkaty)

Where are the Bible Heroines?: Women and Narrative in an example of the Child Temperance Press

14:20     Jessica Albrecht (@flumminism)

Eugenics and esotericism in Victorian feminist writing (Florence Farr and Frances Swiney)

14:40     Naomi Hetherington (@DrNHetherington)

Biblical interpretation and the popular women’s movement: the Bible Readings column of the Women’s Penny Paper

15:00     Clare Stainthorp (@ClareGS87)

Chatterton’s Commune; the Atheistic Communistic Scorcher and the expression of radical freethought

15:20     Scott Thompson (@scottcthompson_)

Braddon’s critique of religion, psychology, and determinism and freewill in Joshua Haggard’s Daughter

15:40     Matthew Crofts (@MattRCrofts)

‘God will aid us up to the end’: Religious Protection in Victorian Vampire Fiction

16:00     Alicia Barnes (@aliciarbarnes)

God of Steam: The Railway as a Religious Icon

16:20     Aren Roukema (@aren_b_r)

Early Science Fiction and the Occult Future

16:40     Closing remarks