Gerard Manley Hopkins: Background information when reading Transcendent Kingdom

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Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi X
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
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  • Published:
    Sep 2020, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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About this Book

Gerard Manley Hopkins

This article relates to Transcendent Kingdom

Black and white photograph of Gerard Manley HopkinsIn Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom, Gifty, a PhD student of neuroscience, recalls a college course she took to fulfill a humanities requirement that focused on the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. While Gifty didn't care for Hopkins' poetry, she felt a "strange sense of kinship" with the man himself when she reflected on the struggles he had in squaring his religious devotion with his sexual desires. Hopkins, a now-famous Victorian-era poet who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a priest, failed to achieve recognition during his lifetime, partly due to his unusual poetic style. Today, some writers and scholars consider his poetry to be informed by a repressed homosexuality that was at odds with his religious life.

Hopkins was born on July 28, 1844 in Essex, England, where he grew up in a well-to-do family with artistic inclinations and was raised in the Anglican Church. He took an early interest in visual art and poetry, and went on to study classics at Balliol College, ...

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