Mary Augusta Ward | Critical Essay by William S. Peterson (essay Date 1976)

This literature criticism consists of approximately 25 pages of analysis & critique of Mary Augusta Ward.
This section contains 7,494 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William S. Peterson (essay Date 1976)

[Peterson is an American educator and critic who has written extensively about the poet Robert Browning. In the following excerpt, Peterson offers a detailed, volume-by-volume analysis of Ward's Robert Elsmere.]

Archibald Tait once observed, 'The great evil is—that the liberals are deficient in religion and the religious are deficient in liberality.' This was the profound religious dilemma of the Victorian age to which Mrs Ward addressed herself in Robert Elsmere. How could a young man like Elsmere be both religious and liberal (i. e., intellectually enlightened)? The solution which she offered to her contemporaries was based upon the familiar Amoldian dialectic: the destruction of orthodoxy by modern rationalism must be followed by a new synthesis which would offer a reasonable religion for nineteenth-century men and women. The three stages of the dialectic are suggested in several ways. First, Robert...

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This section contains 7,494 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William S. Peterson (essay Date 1976)
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by William S. Peterson (essay Date 1976) from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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