Lord of the World

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By Robert Hugh Benson

Perhaps the dystopian novel par excellence, Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World projects a terrifying future of a culture of death, a new world order of exclusive secular humanism in which man truly is the solitary measure of all things. As the dawn of the twenty-first century looms, so too does the threat of a new world war. Julian Felsenburgh, a young, mysterious American politician, is crossing the globe on a diplomatic mission. Inverting the words of Christ, he promises to the world: Follow me and you will know—not a sword—but peace. Yet this peace must come at the price of Christianity’s demise, so the nations in concert move to purge the Church’s deadly poison from the corpus of human society.

Pater Sancte, sic transit gloria mundi! (Ceremony of Papal Coronation)

As the “consummation of history” increases the mass defections from and rampant apostasy in the Church, the last bastion of religion, those who remain must endure persecution, torture, and death. Through this apocalyptic maelstrom moves the English Catholic priest Percy Franklin, resolute and artful, to confront and chastise this demonic power in the ultimate conflict at Armageddon.

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Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914), the son of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, was a convert to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in 1904. A dynamic preacher and author, Benson wrote dozens of novels as well as numerous short stories, plays, essays, and spiritual texts.

 

Praise for Lord of the World

“The three great apocalyptic pieces of literature dealing with the advent of the satanic are Benson’s Lord of the World, Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamozov, and Soloviev’s Three Conversations on War.” (Fulton J. Sheen)
“Benson’s vision in the Lord of the World [is] of the universal Church reduced to a fugitive pope bearing solitary witness to the truth which all mankind else had abandoned.” (Evelyn Waugh)
“This novel and C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength are the most frightening books that I have ever read. Now…when I ask myself why this fright, it is because both books make the this-worldly triumph of evil so plausible, so intellectual, so logical.” (James V. Schall, S.J.)
“Beautiful, delicately balanced, deeply inspired, intelligently executed.” (Putnam’s)

 

Hardcover: 312pp.

ISBN: 978-1685950279