Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Charles Dickens and the Victorian “Mormon Moment”

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Religion and the Arts

AbstractThe growth of Mormonism in England in the middle of the nineteenth century presented a number of challenges relating to the cultural status of the new religion and its followers. Charles Dickens’s “uncommercial traveller” sketch describing a group of 800 Mormon converts preparing to emigrate to the United States, “Bound for the Great Salt Lake,” represents the challenge effectively. While Mormons were quickly identified by their heresies and by those qualities that characterized cultural and religious otherness, they were also observed to possess traits of Englishness, reflecting the image of a healthy working class. This article considers the tensions among these contradictory qualities and traces them to a middle-class “secular gospel” that Dickens articulates in his novels. Dickens utilizes this “gospel”—an ethic that valorizes work and domestic order as bearing religious significance—to perceive the followers of the new religion.

Affiliations: 1: Southern Virginia University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Arnold Matthew Dover Wilson J. Culture and Anarchy 1990 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
2. Burton Sir Richard F. Brodie Fawn M. The City of the Saints and Across the Rocky Mountains to California 1963 New York Knopf
3. Bushman Richard Lymon Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling 2005 New York Knopf
4. Colbert Stephen "“Yahweh or No Way: Mormons and God’s Poll Numbers”" The Colbert Reporton Comedy Central 2011 Aug. 10 The Colbert Nation. 5 Oct. 2012. Web.
5. Carlyle Thomas Goldberg Michael K. , et al On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History 1993 Strouse Edition Berkeley CA University of California Press
6. Carlyle Thomas , Carlyle Jane Welsh Sanders Charles Richard , et al Collected Letters 1970 Duke-Edinburgh Edition Durham NC Duke University Press 35 Vols.
7. Dickens Charles American Notes and Pictures from Italy 1957 Oxford Oxford University Press
8. Dickens Charles Bleak House 1948 Oxford Oxford University Press
9. Dickens Charles "“Bound for the Great Salt Lake”" The Uncommercial Traveller and Reprinted Pieces 1958 Oxford Oxford University Press 220 232
10. Dickens Charles Christmas Books 1954 Oxford Oxford University Press
11. Dickens Charles David Copperfield 1948 Oxford Oxford University Press
12. Dickens Charles The Life of Our Lord 1934 New York Simon and Schuster
13. Embry Jessie L. "“Polygamy”" Utah History Encyclopedia 1996–1998 Web. 30 April 2013.
14. Givens Terryl L. The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy 1997 New York Oxford University Press
15. Hannay James "“In the Name of the Prophet—Smith!”" Household Words 1851 July 19 Vol 3 385 389
16. "“History and Ideas of the Mormons”" Westminster Review 1853 Vol 59 196 230
17. Lively Robert L. Jr. Jensen Richard L. , Thorp Malcolm R. "“Some Sociological Reflections on the Nineteenth-Century British Mission”" Mormons in Early Victorian Britain 1989 Salt Lake City UT University of Utah Press 16 30
18. Mayhew Henry The Mormons, or, Latter-day Saints: A Contemporary History 1852 London
19. Mill John Stuart Gray John On Liberty and Other Essays 1991 Oxford Oxford University Press
20. Morgan Victoria , Williams Clare Morgan Victoria , Williams Clare "“Introduction: Re-visioning Belief in Nineteenth-Century Writing”" Shaping Belief: Culture, Politics and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Writing 2008 Liverpool, England Liverpool University Press xv xxx
21. Thorp Malcolm R. Jensen Richard L. , Thorp Malcolm R. "“Early Mormon Confrontations with Sectarianism, 1837–40”" Mormons in Early Victorian Britain 1989 Salt Lake City UT University of Utah Press 49 69
22. Underwood Grant Jensen Richard L. , Thorpe Malcolm R. "“The Religious Milieu of English Mormonism”" Mormons in Early Victorian Britain 1989 Salt Lake City UT University of Utah Press 31 48
23. Walder Dennis Dickens and Religion 1981 London George Allen & Unwin

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Religion and the Arts — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation