This is a scholarly reassessment of English Roman Catholic piety at grass-roots level in Victorian England. Dr Heimann's study offers a controversial analysis of the influence of long-established recusant practices and attitudes in the new context of the re-establishment of Roman Cathlicismin England from the mid nineteenth century. By the end of the century, Roman Catholicism was almost as important a challenge to the Church of England as Nonconformism and with a more stable base than the latter. Manifestations of devotion, such as plaster statues of the Virgin Mary, pictures ofthe sacred Heart, bottles of Lourdes water, were invented or popularized in this period, and the piety they represent is often taken as a reflection either of superstition or of Catholic thraldom to papal authority. This is the first full scholarly study of such devotional tastes and practices, andtheir relation to cultural attitudes surrounding Catholicism in Victorian England.