Anglican Women Novelists—Chaired Panel Discussion followed by Q&A

Catherine WilcoxSeminar Room 3

What do the novelists Charlotte Brontë, Charlotte M. Yonge, Rose Macaulay, Dorothy L. Sayers, Barbara Pym, Iris Murdoch and P.D. James all have in common?

These women, and others, were inspired to write fiction through their relationship with the Church of England. But till now no-one has looked at them together, or investigated the ironies and opportunities of their unusual vantage point, intimately involved yet never (till the ordination of women) allowed to be part of the church’s public face.

A new collection of essays in Bloomsbury’s Anglican Women Novelists identifies and addresses this gap.

The discussion will be followed by an opportunity for questions.


  • To celebrate the creative contribution made to the English language by this newly identified group of Anglican women writers
  • To bring their work to an audience of creative writers and English academics
  • To engage new audiences outside the academy, and promote it via church and other faith networks across the region
  • To discuss recent fictional portrayals of Anglicanism.
  • To explore future possibilities for the novel form as it engages with Anglicanism/other faith traditions


Rev Canon Dr Judith Maltby is co-editor of the book and author of the chapter in it about Rose Macaulay. She is also a historian of Anglican culture, and chaplain of Corpus Christi College in Oxford.

Prof Alison Shell is the other editor, and author of the chapter on P D James. She is Professor of English Literature at University College London.

Rev Canon Dr Jessica Martin is the author of the Dorothy Sayers chapter. A former academic at Cambridge, she is now a Canon of Ely Cathedral and a noted preacher.

Dr Catherine Wilcox will chair the discussion. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Academic Director of the Manchester Writing School.  Writing as Catherine Fox, she is herself an Anglican novelist.

Fri 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm