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Marianne Farningham, of College Street Baptist Chapel, Northampton, was a household name in evangelical circles in the later nineteenth century. For over fifty years she produced comment, poetry, biography, and fiction for the popular Christian press. This investigation uses her writings to explore the beliefs and behavior of evangelical Nonconformists, including Baptists, during these years.
Marianne Farningham has been called one of the most influential female members of the nineteenth-century Baptist community, yet her name, a familiar one in evangelical households during the later nineteenth century, is virtually unknown to us today. Marianne, who wrote for the Christian press over a period of fifty years, both reflected and shaped aspects of popular Nonconformity, through her poetry, prose and biographies. She covered topics as varied as the theology of hell and votes for women.This investigation explores major aspects of Marianne's many-faceted life and thought, and discusses her views of women's roles, her educational work, her public life, for example as a popular lecturer, and her spirituality. Informed by Marianne's life and writings, it challenges a number of stereotypes of Victorian evangelicalism, including assumptions about evangelical women and the relationship between Evangelicalism and feminism. It is a significant contribution to the history of Victorian Nonconformity.
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