A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock by Laurie R. King

By Laurie R. King

It really is 1921 and Mary Russell--Sherlock Holmes's remarkable apprentice, now an Oxford graduate with a level in theology--is at the verge of buying a large inheritance. self sufficient finally, with a keenness for divinity and detective paintings, her such a lot baffling secret could now contain Holmes and the burgeoning of a deeper affection among herself and the retired detective. Russell's attentions flip to the hot Temple of God and its chief, Margery Childe, a charismatic suffragette and a mystic, whose draw at the younger theology pupil is impossible to resist. but if 4 bluestockings from the Temple happen useless presently after altering their wills, may well sins of a capital nature be afoot? Holmes and Russell examine, as their partnership takes a stunning flip.

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This is again well within the eighteenth-century anti-enthusiastic tradition, where the Methodist impulse to preach extemporaneously was sometimes ascribed to the workings of an internal Satanic spirit. Dickens uses this effectively: the preacher suffers a transformation wrought by his own vengeful feeling - he becomes an agent of the realm whose torments he so fervently evokes. But the controlled imagery and implied metamorphosis are ultimately beside the point: the passage conspicuously Jails to identify the nucleus of support behind the sabbatarian agitation, which was very largely Anglican.

It is easy enough to find illustrations of Dickens's antievangelicalism; explaining its basis, however, is often harder. In his own account of the matter, Dickens began with his childhood. ' 5 4 That Dickens left the powerful preacher behind is undoubtedly true; that he had had extensive contact is less certain. Dickens was raised as a nominal Christian in exactly the sense intended by Wilberforce. ' 5 5 The same was certainly true for Dickens himself- a deficiency that apparently brought about the attempted remedy which he found so disagreeable.

P. Plumptre, and which brought forward such extravagant anti-Catholic ranters as the Revs Mortimer O'Sullivan (labelled by Dickens as 'Mr Somebody O'Something, a celebrated Catholic renegade and Protestant bigot'), Hugh M'Neile, Hugh Stowell, and R. J. M'Ghee. Composed largely of Anglican diehards who agitated to repeal the Catholic Emancipation Act of DICKENS AND EVANGELICALISM 25 I 829, this body was not only ultra-Protestant, but also ultraconservative, and joyfully numbered amongst its enemies (in addition to Catholics) political dissenters, socinians, infidels, socialists, Chartists, and their abettors (liberals).

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