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Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, and Catholicism: 1928-1939

Reeve-Tucker, Alice Glen (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the development of Evelyn Waugh's and Graham Greene’s Catholicism between 1928 and 1939. Focusing predominantly on Waugh’s and Greene’s novels, it investigates how their writings express Catholic ideas, as well how their faith informs their views of human nature, their political sympathies, and their criticisms of modern secular civilization. While it recognizes the important differences between Waugh’s and Greene’s thinking in this period (such as their diverging political sympathies and their uses of different forms and genres of writing), it also establishes some significant affiliations between their Catholic points of view. Both authors associate the increasingly secular condition of English society with themes of decay and disintegration, acknowledge the reality of Original Sin, and believe in a supernatural reality distinct from its earthly counterpart. The Introduction provides an overview of Greene and Waugh scholarship, noting that there is currently no critical study devoted to the topic of early affiliations between these authors’ Catholic principles. The first two chapters propose that the beginnings of Waugh’s and Greene’s Catholic perspectives can be detected in their early fiction. Chapter Three examines in relation to each other Waugh’s and Greene’s novels between 1930 and 1935. Chapter Four charts the development of their respective vantage-points in the period 1936-1938. The final chapter looks at the year 1939 and assesses the nature of these authors' Catholic views prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gasiorek, Andrzej
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English
Subjects:BX Christian Denominations
D204 Modern History
PN0441 Literary History
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3469
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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