Gald6s's Gloria (1877) has traditionally been interpreted as a thesis novel about religious intolerance. Jose Montesinos, Gustavo Correa, Eamonn Rodgers, William Shoemaker and Walter Pattison have convincingly

illustrated the centrality of the religious aspect. 1 More recently, there has been some questioning of the traditional approach. Brian Dendle argues that Gloria should not be seen as a 'thesis' novel at all. 2 Thomas Lewis reminds us that it was received by the Spanish reading public as a liberal manifesto rather than simply as an affirmation of the need for religious freedom. Both he and Benito Varela Jacome point to the political theme contained in the novel's dramatization of the conflict between two rival religions. 3

The present study of Gloria is offered as a further and more radical'revision', an attempt to see the novel through the prism of gender and to ask different questions of it than have been asked hitherto. 4 Particularly interesting is what Nancy Miller terms 'the heroine's text', that is to say the ideology of gender informing the characterization and the trajectory of the heroine.5 From a feminist critical perspective, Gloria offers a striking example of the way that nineteenth-century ambivalence about gender roles became inscribed in the fiction of the period. Gloria's eponymous protagonist is indeed the site of religious conflict, but she is also the site of conflicting ideologies of gender in the text. In order to comprehend the significance of the recurring patterns of imagery used to represent her, it is necessary to read the novel in terms of the historical and literary context in which it was written, particulary the powerful late nineteenth-century stereotype of the Angel in the House (angel del hogar in Spanish), around which the characterization of the heroine revolves, although in a contradictory way.