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The Book of Mormon in the English Literary Context of 1837

TitleThe Book of Mormon in the English Literary Context of 1837
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsThomas, Gordon K.
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsEngland; Wordsworth, William

The literary giants of early nineteenth-century England did not foster nor usher in the restoration of the gospel. Indeed, as we have seen, the only one of these giants who knew about Mormonism was Wordsworth, and his sole recorded response, on earth, was hostility. My aim, then, instead, is to explore what happened to prevent the kind of spiritual marriage between the gospel message and English poetry which would seem almost expectable and which Shelley even seems to have envisioned. I will suggest, and suggest only, for proof in matters of mental and artistic and social influences seems impossible, one key ingredient in the literary context of the day which seems likely to have poisoned the atmosphere which in so many other ways seemed so likely to be receptive. The element of the literary context on which I shall focus is the discovery of a variety of treasures of ancient writings, all of which are bound to remind us in one way or another of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.