The King's Achievement
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By Robert Hugh Benson | Foreword by Francis X. Connolly
Tudor England has become a house divided against itself. As King Henry VIII, the self-anointed “Supreme Head of the Church of England,” wreaks destruction and despoilment upon the monasteries and convents of his country, he also unwittingly brings to fulfillment the prophecy in the Gospel of Luke: “Father shall be divided against the son, and the son against his father…” (12:53). At the center of The King’s Achievement are Sir James and Lady Torridon, their sons, Ralph and Christopher, and their daughters, Mary and Margaret. With their loyalties divided between God and Caesar, the Torridons follow divergent paths; yet the nature of the national and ecclesial crisis is such that all paths must converge at the juncture of salvation or damnation.
No man can serve two masters. (The Gospel of Matthew)
Substantively and stylistically superb, The King’s Achievement—as Francis X. Connolly describes in his Foreword—“does what good historical fiction should do: it renders a complex historical situation justly and it brings characters to life in a story that is interesting for its own sake,” and achieves a dramatic balance of scholarly composure and ardent lyricism.
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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 numerous novels, short stories, plays, and spiritual texts. A number of his works are now available from Cluny, including Come Rack, Come Rope, The Dawn of All, and Lord of the World.