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The Mixed Vocations of (Fr) Gerald O’Donovan, radical priest and novelist, with Chrissie Van Mierlo

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Bookshop*
14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2DH

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Gerald O’Donovan, radical priest and novelist, (1871–1942) was ordained into the priesthood at Maynooth in the spring of 1895. He was a practical and political priest, who lobbied for various reforms on behalf of the poor of his parish. Less than a decade later, however, the zealous young man had thrown up his clerical duties, travelling to Dublin and then to London in order to forge a literary career. He went on to pen six novels, many of which take an aggressively anti-clerical approach.
This talk reflects upon O’Donovan’s fictional depictions of vocations of various kinds, be these religious, political or artistic. The books covered range from his 1913 autobiographical novel Father Ralph, a succès de scandale in pre-War London, to the 1921 novel Vocations, a searing indictment of treating young women like commodities, in the marriage market or the market in nuns.

Dr Chrissie Van Mierlo has taught at the Universities of Nottingham and Loughborough. She is the author of James Joyce and Catholicism: The Apostate’s Wake (Bloomsbury 2017). She works at Erewash Museum.

One of three events in a series by Nottingham Irish Studies Group

Admission: £3 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on events@fiveleaves.co.uk