Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Richard Harp

Number of Pages



Robert Hugh Benson was a popular religious author in Edwardian England; however, he has been all but forgotten by posterity. This study re-examines Benson's contribution to the Catholic Literary Revival, a movement rooted in Romanticism. Benson utilized a "ministerial approach" to spread his message of renewal. Whereas other Revivalists wrote official histories, Benson wrote historical novels to advance the claim that the sixteenth century was responsible for British social disintegration. By presenting history as art, Benson presented his Christian worldview in a palatable form. Benson also had a complex relationship with 1890's Aestheticism. Though he wrote a novel denouncing its tenets, Benson seemed attracted by it. While many of his own views on art contradicted Aestheticism, he recognized the aesthetes' quest for beauty as valuable when consecrated to God. Finally, Benson authored a work of apocalyptic fiction which, though it prefigures many later twentieth-century works, also differs from them in some significant ways, especially in its purpose. Benson was a creative and original artist who deserves fresh attention by contemporary scholars.


Benson; Catholic; Edwardian; England; Hugh; Literary; Revival; Robert

Controlled Subject

British literature; English literature--Irish authors; Irish literature; Clergy; Literature, Modern; Biography

File Format


File Size

4782.08 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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