Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature Catholicism In Literature - Essay

Catholicism In Literature

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

Jenny Franchot

SOURCE: "The Inquisitional Enclosures of Poe and Melville," in Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism, University of California Press, 1994, pp. 162-81.

[In this excerpt, Franchot examines Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" to demonstrate how elements of popular anti-Catholic tales of convent captivity became transformed in more literary tales of inquisitional and shipboard imprisonment.]

The closely imagined relationship between popery and captivity initially established in the Indian captivity narrative developed, in nineteenth-century convent...

(The entire section is 8574 words.)