Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Read All About It

A writer in the Churchman's Family Magazine, in the Year of Our Lord 1863, decried the eagerness with which the newspapers reveled in recounting the misconduct of miscreant clergymen. "A really good clerical scandal, well spiced and judiciously prolonged ... is worth fifty pounds a week to The Times. Travelers by railway eagerly buy it when they expect a racy article of this nature. It is talked over with avidity by the gentlemen after dinner, when the partridges have been exhausted, and it serves admirably to amuse the ladies." The 1860's saw an explosive growth in newspapers. The newsboys hawking the Times no longer had a monopoly. The new profession of "journalism" seemed to delight in annoying the establishment and, of course, that would include the Church of England. "The development of journalism is fraught with danger to all our institutions; and in a pre-eminent degree the Church of England is exposed to insidious attacks. So it behooves her friends to watch." In the meantime, would the clergy please behave because, fair or not, they must keep in mind "the somewhat familiar axiom that when clergymen break the laws of morality, we almost always do hear of it, and that when laymen break them we do not." 

Clerical Errors - A Victorian Series, Volume 1 is a collection, as described, of five "well spiced," even "racy," clerical scandals. The book is available for Kindle, or a Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet. To contact the author:


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