Benson, Robert Hugh. Collected Works of Robert Hugh Benson (Kindle Locations 62316-62318). Minerva Classics. Kindle Edition.
Not everything must be read with calculation. After three other powerfully positive experiences with historical novels by Robert Hugh Benson, I gave this one a chance, more or less on a lark. The book is great! Not only does it keep ones attention all the way through, but here too Benson shows himself the master at character description and story line development. The book is un-apologetically Catholic but in the best of senses, by understating and reveling in what it means to have found the pearl of great price.
In our day, à la Spiderman, we tend to expect the sort of anti-hero to win the day; otherwise we tend to retreat into worlds far away and almost if not mythical characters to confront evil. In that sense, it is good to encounter again the equivalent of a real life/real world example of an almost Tolkienesque heroin in the person of Maggie Deronnais. Maggie is by far the realest person in the whole book and the most integrally Catholic.
Even so, perhaps the book gains in merit for having a century under its belt. Necromancy, spiritualism, the odd seance for seeking contact with some dead person beyond the veil through the medium of today's equivalent of King Saul's witch of Endor, I guess I don't know how it would be portrayed. Maybe stuffy old England, with dressing for dinner, retainers, fireplaces in every room of the house, candles to light the way at night, smoking rooms! and so on makes it all more fun. At any rate, the book discusses a serious topic no less dangerous for the less credence which our dull and informal times would lend to it.
The battle cry of "courage and love", with a truly prayerful heart, should needs confront many a dull spirit among the youth of our day, and win them back for Christ!
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI