Archive for July 25th, 2013

25/07/2013

Be careful what you pray for

You may have all forgotten this detail by now, but the reason I reviewed Lady Patty: A Sketch was that it was my last selection for Reading Roulette. If you had forgotten, it’s probably because I drew it out of the hat towards the end of last year, but didn’t get around to reading, let alone reviewing, it until June this year.

Sigh.

However, with my post on Lady Patty all of my outstanding blogging has finally been caught up – whoo! – and that in turn means that I can finally allow myself to move forward in the Chronobibliography, and to play another round of Reading Roulette.

I was particularly excited about the latter…at least until I saw where the random number generator had landed me:

Steepleton; or, High Church And Low Church: Being The Present Tendencies Of Parties In The Church, Exhibited In The History Of Frank Faithful. By A Clergyman.

Is it just me, or does everything about that scream DEEP HURTING?

Some time back, I reviewed The Novel And The Oxford Movement by Joseph Ellis Baker, which examined the role of popular literature in the inter-factional church brawling of the 19th century. The point was made that although initially both the High and Low Church parties were reluctant to use a despised form of writing like the novel to help shore up their cause, in time they accepted that the novel could be a very powerful weapon in the propaganda arsenal. The earliest efforts of both sides, however, resembled tracts far more than they resembled stories…and I very much fear that Steepleton will turn out to be an example of everything that was wrong with this particular school of writing.