Grace Kennedy’s anti-Catholic novel Father Clement: A Roman Catholic Story (1823) stands almost alone in the nineteenth century when it comes to evidence not only for its reception, but also its use and success, or lack thereof, as a proselytization and devotional tool. The novel’s form and polemical strategies exerted a powerful influence on both Catholic and Protestant writers, popularizing the controversial novel across denominations. In particular, Father Clement’s celebration of prooftexting rooted in sola scriptura as the best method of religious disputation helped end the earlier nineteenth-century “polite” novel’s emphasis on non-confrontational, genteel sociability. But as its Protestant and Catholic reception histories suggest, the novel’s ambivalent treatment of its title character, along with its overt didacticism, led to appropriations that Kennedy could not have predicted. Father Clement catalyzed resistance amongst Catholic readers and novelists, some of whom were inspired by the title character to creatively reinterpret the novel as a brief for Catholicism, others of whom turned to Biblical quotation as a means of undoing sola scriptura altogether. Thus, if the novel predictably generated Protestant imitations, it also led Catholics to new experiments in controversial rhetoric and fiction.