chapter  3
54 Pages

“Broken Niche and Defaced Statue”: Creativity in the Cathedral

Cathedrals and their environs provide a crucial opportunity for Victorian novelists to meditate on the role of artistic labor in a religious atmosphere, especially, as we have seen, on the place of the musician within the cathedral hierarchy. While labor and aesthetic issues may seem to be at a remove from the question of religious doctrine, especially given the Romantic stereotype of the artist’s rejection of traditional dogma, the middle nineteenth century juxtaposed the two concerns in the Gothic Revival. This chapter addresses the relevance of this revival to expressions of the visual arts, and particularly of those related to cathedral architecture, in fictional representations of cathedral towns.