Victor Houliston

Victor Houliston
University of the Witwatersrand | wits · Department of English

Professor

About

58
Publications
1,201
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
89
Citations
Introduction
Currently beginning work on the third volume of Robert Persons's Correspondence.

Publications

Publications (58)
Chapter
In the years prior to his ordination, John Donne was envisioning a State Church that he later sought to preach into being from the pulpit of St Paul’s. This chapter examines specific rhetorical deployments of language used by Donne in his sermons and earlier polemic Ignatius His Conclave (1611), as well as by the English Jesuits in Elizabethan and...
Chapter
Here I argue that the discipline (especially the philological discipline) of engaging with pre-modern texts enables a respect for the other that challenges racial prejudice
Book
This is a critical edition of Robert Persons's popular book calling people to consideration and a resolved life in the service of God. The text presented here is of the first edition of 1582, with an apparatus showing the changes made by Edmund Bunny in his Protestant version of the text. I'm sorry that there is no electronic version available, but...
Chapter
Robert Persons (1546–1610) is a radically ambivalent figure in English Reformation history. In the Jesuit tradition, he is honoured as superior of the first English mission, in which he succoured and defended the English Catholic community both by his publications and by his pastoral oversight. But he was virulently attacked in his own day by the E...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book offers a collection of South African university students’ written responses to the Commedia and scholars’ commentary on them. The students’ collection includes writings of all genres and subjects: prose, poetry, personal reflection, dialogue, non-fiction based on the first two cantiche of the Commedia. Some are autobiographical and others...
Chapter
Almost 200 Roman Catholic adherents were executed by the regime of Queen Elizabeth I of England (r. 1558–1603), most of them for treason, although they claimed that they were martyrs who died for their faith. This chapter shows how Pope Pius V's bull excommunicating the Queen in 1570 affected both her government's policy and her Catholic subjects,...
Article
Full-text available
The early English Jesuit leader Robert Persons (1546–1610) was sent to Spain in 1588 by the superior general of the Society, Claudio Acquaviva. His commission was to negotiate with King Philip II over the authority structures of the Jesuits in Spain. Besides conducting these negotiations, Persons founded English seminaries in Valladolid (1589) and...
Article
Francesco Benci's Quinque martyres. Introduction, translation and commentary. By Paul Gwynne. (Jesuit Studies, 12; Jesuit Neo-Latin Library, 1.) Pp. xiv + 739 incl. frontispiece and 11 colour ills and 1 map. Leiden–Boston: Brill, 2018. €148. 978 90 04 35660 3; 2214 3289 - Volume 70 Issue 3 - Victor Houliston
Article
Robert Persons’s revision of his popular First Booke of the Christian Exercise, appertayning to Resolution (1582) entailed a reconsideration of the crucial term consideration. In the first edition, consideration was presented as a motive for amendment of life, the driving force for making one’s resolution to serve God in earnest. Much of the inspir...
Article
Thomas M. McCoog, The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1598–1606: “Lest Our Lamp be Entirely Extinguished”, Catholic Christendom 1300–1700/Biblioteca Instituti Historici Societatis Iesu 78, Leiden and Boston: Brill/Rome: Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, 2017, pp.xiv + 612, €139, ISBN: 9789004330443 - Volume 34 Issue 2 - Vic...
Article
- James Kelly and Susan Royal, eds. Early Modern English Catholicism: Identity, Memory and Counter Reformation, Leiden: Brill, 2016, pp. iii +260, €125, ISBN 978-9-00432-566-1 - Volume 33 Issue 4 - Victor Houliston
Article
English Catholics, both at home and abroad, were faced with difficult choices as the question of the succession became increasingly acute in the last decade of Elizabeth's reign. In an attempt to analyse the complexity of Catholic expectations and manoeuvres, this article examines the actions and writings of three prominent figures: the courtier-po...
Article
Full-text available
The Jesuit mission to England during the reign of Elizabeth depended a great deal on written correspondence with Rome and other missionaries “in the field.” As the superior of the mission, Robert Persons wrote frequently and sometimes voluminously to his colleagues and associates, as well as to interested lay people and political figures. This arti...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Terms such as ‘conversation’, ‘dialogue’, ‘counterpoint’, ‘polyphony’ and ‘improvisation’ have been proposed for the relationship between canonical and contemporary texts in a postcolonial English curriculum. Drawing on the experience of teaching Dante's Inferno to undergraduates, this article explores the ritual dimension of teaching suggested by...
Article
This article attempts to re-integrate rhetorical and grammatical analysis into the study of Donne's preaching, in the light of recent scholarship's focus on ecclesiastical politics. I trace the significance of the term "ordinance" in his sermons preached at Whitehall in the first years of Charles's reign, showing how he uses its ambiguity to assert...
Article
Julian Curry (ed). Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles. London: Nick Hern Books, 2010.
Article
Full-text available
This article retraces the history of the composition, adaptation and proliferation of the foremost contemporary Catholic history of the English Reformation, De schismate Anglicano, in order to raise questions about the hermeneutics of ‘counterfactual history’. Originally written by Nicholas Sander in the 1570s, the work was extensively revised by t...
Article
Edward Hayes's account of Sir Humphrey Gilbert's last, fatal voyage to North America (1583) has been read as a celebration of Gilbert, but it is actually a defense of English exploration and colonization in the New World as willed by God. According to Hayes, Gilbert's defeat was also God's will. Hayes suggests Gilbert's character, his avaricious in...
Article
Doleman's Conference about the Next Succession to the Crowne of England, commonly attributed to the Jesuit leader Robert Persons, has evoked conflicting responses ever since its first publication in 1595. Contemporaries expressed doubts about its true intentions and its strategic value as Roman Catholic polemic; modern commentators are divided over...
Article
This article interprets John Donne's Pseudo-Martyr in the context of the polemical strategies of the controversy over the new Oath of Allegiance following the Gunpowder plot, drawing on recent findings on his professional career as lawyer and preacher. In view of his private views on the Oath (as expressed in a letter to Sir Henry Goodyer) and his...
Article
The Catholic Historical Review 90.3 (2004) 439-455 In Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book VI (published in 1596), Sir Calidore, the patron knight of courtesy, is commissioned to baffle the Blatant Beast of slander and repair the damage he has caused. In an ecclesiastical context, it appears that Spenser primarily identifies the Blatant Beast with...
Article
In October 1591 an English royal proclamation, probably drafted by Lord Burghley, denounced "seditious" Jesuits and seminary priests in the most intemperate language. This article analyzes the Roman Catholic response, paying special attention to the rhetorical strategies employed by the Jesuit leader-in-exile, Robert Person. His so-called Philopate...
Article
‘Father Persons’ has long been a legendary figure of controversy. We cannot even agree on the spelling of his name. Most of his contemporaries called him Parsons, especially if they were hostile, but his correspondence and other manuscript evidence make it quite clear he preferred Persons. The variant spellings would not affect the pronunciation of...