Savrola is Winston Churchill’s first major literary effort and his only full-length work of fiction. Published in 1900, the novel’s subtitle, A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania, reflects the story’s modern political focus. Laurania, a long-established republic, is subjected to the autocratic rule of President Antonio Molara, a former general who has become known as the Dictator. Savrola, the man of the multitude, leads the democratic effort to restore the political liberties of the people. When the register of eligible electors is mutilated and the popular franchise compromised, a riot breaks out and the stage is set for a fight to the death between Molara and Savrola over who will rule Laurania. General Molara enlists the assistance of his beautiful wife, Lucille, to undermine Savrola’s influence with the people. But Lucille falls in love with Savrola, who is equally moved by the beauty and charm of the First Lady. As is indicated by the last chapter’s title, “Life’s Compensations,” all ends well in Laurania. After the violent troubles of the revolution, Molara is dead, Lucille and Savrola are united, and the Mediterranean republic returns to peace and prosperity.
- Lord of the World
In this profound and prescient novel, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson gives us an imaginative foretelling of the end of the world. All stories, Aristotle said, have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but most ends are relative, the terminus of this chain of acts or that. But what of the end that terminates all human action as we know it, the end of time itself, the Second Coming? Since this novel appeared in 1906, many others have been devoted to nuclear disaster, destructive comets, and other hair-raising possibilities. What sets Benson’s story apart and makes it as readable today as when it was written is the Catholic and biblical context that provides the ultimate meaning.
- Persian Letters
“Jokes in a serious work are acceptable on the condition that they hide a profound sense beneath a trivial form. It is in this way that Montesquieu, in his novel, Persian Letters, has written one of the most philosophical books of the eighteenth century.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
- An Ocean Full of Angels
[In the author’s words:] I have written almost sixty books, but this one is very different from all the others. For one thing, it took 20 years. I had to wait patiently for it to grow, like a tree. I was not in control of it; it kept changing, as I watched at it and let it do what it did, like an animal out of its cage.
- Good Knights
These stories represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of the Knight brothers in Ralph McInerny’s fiction. In The Noonday Devil, Phil, in his capacity as private detective, was fairly close to the action, but by no means the major character. Roger, his blimpsized brother, entered obliquely into the story but ended by starring in the finale.