Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication Date: 2012-09-26
Evelyn Waugh presented his biography of St. Edmund Campion, the Elizabethan poet, scholar and gentleman who became the haunted, trapped and murdered priest as "a simple, perfectly true story of heroism and holiness."
But it is written with a novelist's eye for the telling incident and with all the elegance and feeling of a master of English prose. From the years of success as an Oxford scholar, to entry into the newly founded Society of Jesus and a professorship in Prague, Campion's life was an inexorable progress towards the doomed mission to England. There followed pursuit, betrayal, a spirited defense of loyalty to the Queen, and a horrifying martyr's death at Tyburn.
Evelyn Waugh was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer of books. Waugh is recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the English language in the 20th century. He was a perceptive writer who used the experiences and the wide range of people he encountered in his works of fiction, generally to humorous effect. Waugh's detachment was such that he fictionalised his own mental breakdown, which occurred in the early 1950s.
I absolutely devoured this book. The author has a lovely way of writing that fits perfectly with the zealous and scholarly Saint whose life he chronicles. Great for perspective on things in our dark times.