Evelyn Waugh presented his biography of St. Edmund Campion, the Elizabethan poet, scholar and gentleman who became the haunted, trapped and murdered ...Show synopsisEvelyn 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.Hide synopsis
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I read this book as a companion to Joseph Pearce's The Quest for Shakespeare. Evelyn Waugh illuminates the Elizabethan era with this biography of Edmond Campion. What happens to a country when the intellectual institutions are not just closed, but destroyed; when books are burned; when art is defaced; when religious institutions are banned? Aside from delving into the cultural issues of the day, Waugh's writing style is engaging. This is a must read for anyone interested in the reign of Elizabeth I. I came away from this book wondering if "Good Queen Bess" was meant as an ironic joke? She was brutal, bloody, barbaric Bess.
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