Skip to main content

The Body, Materiality, and Damnation in Charles Maturin

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
The Palgrave Handbook of Gothic Origins

Abstract

What is the relationship between the body, materiality, and theology? This chapter explores Charles Robert Maturin’s thought on the dangers of the material, arguing that his work is pervaded by theological anxieties related to the potential of materiality to lead human beings to damnation. From Melmoth’s unnaturally long lifespan following his Faustian pact, to the doubling of the ocean as hell, materiality, including landscape, and the human body, is construed as problematic, indeed potentially satanic at times, allowing Maturin to articulate his theological vision. Through gothic metaphor, he often externalises inner struggles, using powerful images of materiality to frame evil.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 189.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Bibliography

  • ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ in Saturday Review. March 19, 1892.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barnett, S.J. ‘Where Was Your Church Before Luther? Claims for the Antiquity of Protestantism Examined’. Church History, vol. 68, no. 1, 1999. 14–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Das Faustbuch des Christlich Meynenden. Stuttgart: G.J. Göschen’sche, 1891.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eire, Carlos. War Against the Idols. Cambridge: CUP, 1986.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Faxneld, Per. Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture. Oxford: OUP, 2017.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Girard, René. The Scapegoat, trans. Yvonne Freccero. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 1989.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1992.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hennelly, Mark M. ‘Melmoth the Wanderer and Gothic Existentialism’. Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900, vol. 21, no. 4, 1981. 665–79.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kramer, Dale. Charles Robert Maturin. New York: Twayne, 1973.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lacan, Jacques. ‘The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function’. Ecrits, trans. Bruce Fink. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. 93–101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lew, Joseph. ‘Unprepared for Sudden Transformations: Identity and Politics in Melmoth the Wanderer’. Studies in the Novel, vol. 26, no. 1/2, 1994. 173–95.

    Google Scholar 

  • Luther, Martin. ‘Sermon for the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany, January 29, 1525’. Weimarer Ausgabe, 17.1.2:88.

    Google Scholar 

  • Luther, Martin. Luther’s Works, Vol. 25, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan, Helmut T. Lehmann. St. Louis: Concordia, 1955–86.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marshall, Ashley. ‘Melmoth Affirmed: Maturin’s Defense of Sacred History’. Studies in Romanticism, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer, 2008. 121–45.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maturin, Charles. Five Sermons, on the Errors of the Roman Catholic Church, Preached in St. Peter’s Church, Dublin, 2nd edition. Dublin: William Curry, Jr., 1826.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maturin, Charles. Melmoth the Wanderer. Oxford: OUP, 2008.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Maturin, Charles. Sermons. London: Archibald Constable, 1819.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maturin, Charles. The Fatal Revenge, Vol. 1. London: Longman, 1807.

    Google Scholar 

  • Milbank, Alison. ‘Sacrificial Exchange and the Gothic Double in Melmoth the Wanderer and The Picture of Dorian Gray’. Shaping Belief: Culture, Politics and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Writing, eds. Victoria Morgan, Clare Williams. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2008. 113–28.

    Google Scholar 

  • Milbank, Alison. God and the Gothic. Oxford: OUP, 2018.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • O’Malley, Patrick. Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture. Cambridge: CUP, 2006.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Roper, Lyndal. Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality, and Religion in Early Modern Europe. New York: Routledge, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  • The Correspondence of Sir Walter Scott and Charles Robert Maturin, eds. Fannie E. Ratchford and W.H. McCarthy, Jr. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1937.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknolwedgement

Research supported by EHU19 at Edge Hill University

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Madeline Potter .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Potter, M. (2021). The Body, Materiality, and Damnation in Charles Maturin. In: Bloom, C. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Gothic Origins. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84562-9_29

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics