Saturday, June 03, 2006

Anglo-Catholics and Decadence

I suppose this topic is not medieval, but it is about medievalism.

1. the homosexual/aesthete connection in the Anglo-Catholic movement and
liturgy has *always* been fairly well know, although I suppose Geoffrey
Faber's Oxford Apostles: A Character Study of the Oxford Movement. 2nd ed..
[1936], really made it very clear. A more recent article is David Hilliard,
"Unenglish and Unmanly: Anglo-Catholicism and Homosexuality." Victorian
25:2 (Winter 1982), 181-210.

2. For a contemporary linking, see John Francis Bloxam: Story: The Priest
and the Acolyte
, 1894 [From The Chameleon, December 1894

3. For the Roman Catholic side, see Ellis Hanson and Aubrey Beardsley,
Decadence and Catholicism (Harvard UP, 1998).

4. You can also read up on individual and group biography - for instance on
Aelred Carlyle and the Anglican monks of Caldey Island.

5. Some of what is quite well known, does not seem to have been printed -
for instance, the centrally important Anglo-Catholic church near High
Holborn that seems never to have had heterosexual clergy since its 19th
century foundation. Even today its annual feast-day mass is one of the
bigger unadvertised events in London.

6. The spirit of much anglo-catholicism, both its intrinsic aestheticism and
its sheer camp, did not really pass over into English (Roman) Catholicism,
which was much more plebian. Indeed, Cardinal Newman once made fun of those
who suggested that anyone with aesthetic feelings would convert to Roman
Catholicism for the beauty of liturgy. On the other hand, specific places
and groups within English Roman Catholicism did provide a respite from the
ferocious Irishness of English Catholic life. Specifically, the Oratorians
(especially at the high camp and aristocratic Brompton Oratory), the Order
of Preachers (Dominicans), and the Benedictines, were among the few places
Anglican converts could maintain what they liked in Anglo-Catholicism. [The
more butch joined the Jesuits, who never really seem to have understood

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