The manuscript presentation volume of Jane Barker and her imaginative Catholic faith
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The manuscript presentation volume of Jane Barker is a book largely unstudied by critics. Barker prepared A Collection of Poems Refering to the times (1700) as a gift to James Francis Stuart, the Prince of Wales, during their exile at St-Germain-en-Laye. The manuscript verse circulated at the Stuart and Bourbon courts, and most likely, within the Jacobite community residing in France. Its narrative is a verse-chronicle of Stuart history and Catholic conversion, featuring the exile and conversion experience of Fidelia, Barker's "faithful" consciousness. Of central importance to the writing, making, and circulation of the volume is Jane Barker's new Catholic faith. Few have identified Barker's Catholic conversion narrative as an expression of religious devotion. This thesis examines the impact of faith in Barker's life and writing as an effectual category. It treats private devotion as an impetus for imaginative consequences, which can be seen in Barker's work. By exploring aspects of the material volume, its contexts, and its poetic, contemporary references, I argue that Barker's presentation book was an object of circulating, devotional culture at St-Germain, a reproduction of a convert's belief in transubstantiation, and an interpretative method for viewing the divine substance of temporal figures and circumstances in the world. The volume includes ways in which an author's faith becomes imagined in his or her literary work. It also determines the importance of Catholic belief to Jane Barker's creative life.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.