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In this essay I argue for the centrality of anti-Catholic discourse to Martha Finley’s literary project. I first examine her overlooked anti-Catholic novel Casella: or the Children of the Valleys (1868) in the context of popular convent tales. I then investigate the striking similarities between Casella and Elsie Dinsmore (1867) and Holidays at Roselands (1868), reading these novels in the context of the rhetoric that emerged from the Protestant and Catholic tensions during the rise of the Common School movement. I argue that such a move clarifies Finley’s contribution to the consolidation of a Protestant identity that constructs itself oppositionally to Catholicism.