chapter  1
NEWMAN, HOPKINS, AND “HEAVEN-HAVEN” A Literary Conversion
Pages 19

In the autumn of 1866, when his twenty-two-year-old son, Gerard, a brilliant Oxford undergraduate known as the “star of Balliol,” was on the verge of converting to Roman Catholicism, Manley Hopkins wrote an anguished letter to Henry Parry Liddon-an Anglican of ultra-High Church sympathies and Gerard’s confessor-begging him to use his influence to save the young man from entering the “cold limbo” of Catholic life in mid-Victorian England.1 Manley Hopkins employs theological language to express the very secular fear that by deserting the established Church his gifted son will exile himself to the margins of English society.