Introduction by Ralph McInerny, Catholic Writers Series, 312 pages, 6” x 9”, prologue
Lord of the World
Benson, Robert Hugh
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.
Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914) was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose conversion to Catholicism caused a stir. He became a great apologist for the faith, in spiritual works as well as in works of the imagination. Lord of the World is first of all a tremendous “read,” but it is also spiritual food for thought.
“Mr. Benson sees the world, four or five generations hence [this review was written in 1906], free at last from all minor quarrels, and ranged against itself in two camps, Humanitarianism for those who believe in no divinity but that of man, Catholicism for those who believe in no divinity but that of God.” – LondonTimes
“Interesting it must be to all to whom the deepest convictions of a man’s heart are of moment. And in the artistic balance and taste of Father Benson’s literary power every reader will find delight.” – New York Times
“The book as art is beautiful, delicately balanced, deeply inspired, intelligently executed.” – Putnam’s