The Philosophical Mysticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Philosophical Mysticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins

1st Edition

By Aakanksha Virkar Yates


180 pages

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Hardback: 9781138093904
pub: 2018-04-18
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Through the lens of Hopkins's 'masterwork', The Philosophical Mysticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins readdresses Hopkins's frequently overlooked mysticism as an interior narrative within his corpus. Drawing on a range of religious, literary and visual traditions from Augustine's Confessions to the seventeenth-century spiritual emblem, this book demonstrates the ways in which the Wreck deliberately constructs and conceals a mystical and contemplative narrative. Typology and allegory are some of the important hermeneutic tools used in this re-reading of Hopkins, relating the poet to the discursive tradition surrounding the Old Testament Song of Songs, the philosophical theology of the Greek Fathers, and, perhaps most intriguingly, the meditative and visual tradition of the baroque heart-emblem. On the centenary of the publication of Hopkins’s poems, this book places the writer firmly within a mystical tradition, necessitating a fundamental reconsideration of the legacy of this major Victorian poet.


"Close reading of Hopkins’ never less than challenging verse is pursued in this book with theological rigour and learning in a manner that will ensure that it will become a central resource in scholarship on the finest of late nineteenth English poets… a work of fine scholarship, theologically learned and poetically sensitive, and yet at the same time spiritually acute and attentive to the delicate, complex world of Hopkins and his writings. This is a book to be treasured and pondered upon." -- Professor David Jasper, Literature and Theology

Table of Contents


  1. "Rare-Dear Gerard": Hopkins and the Early Fathers
  2. Divine Labour: Contemplation, Energeia, Stress
  3. Tractarian Mysticism and Indwelling Grace
  4. Baptism and Ascent: Created Corruptible, Raised Incorruptible
  5. Sacramental Typology and Second Nature
  6. Origen and the Song of Songs
  7. The Visible and Invisible in Augustine’s Confessions
  8. Emblems of the Heart
  9. Love, Spirit, Breath, Fire
  10. The Paradise Within
  11. Bibliography

About the Author

Aakanksha Virkar Yates is a Lecturer in English literature at the University of Brighton, specialising in nineteenth century and modern literature. Her research is fundamentally interdisciplinary, placing literary works in dialogue with theology, philosophy, visual culture and music. Working in the growing field of inter-art studies, Dr. Virkar Yates is also the recipient of several awards, from the Nehru Trust for Cambridge University, the J. N. Tata Fund and recently a Rising Stars award from the University of Brighton.

About the Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series

The Nineteenth Century Series aims to develop and promote new approaches and fresh directions in scholarship and criticism on nineteenth-century literature and culture. The series encourages work which erodes the traditional boundary between Romantic and Victorian studies and welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to the literary, religious, scientific and visual cultures of the period. While British literature and culture are the core subject matter of monographs and collections in the series,  the editors encourage proposals which explore the wider, international contexts of nineteenth-century literature – transatlantic, European and global.  Print culture, including studies in the newspaper and periodical press, book history, life writing and gender studies are particular strengths of this established series as are high quality single author studies.  The series also embraces research in the field of digital humanities. The editors invite proposals from both younger and established scholars in all areas of nineteenth-century literary studies. 

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