On Giants' Shoulders

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Forgotten Author

I mentioned RH Benson in my last post. I have been so enjoying some of his books on Kindle. This morning I stayed in bed about 20 minutes extra so that I could finish The King's Achievement. It's a wonderful story about the period of time in England when Henry VIII is dissolving the religious houses, and insisting that the English Church answers to him. The family at the center of the story has two daughters and two sons. One son becomes a trusted aid to Cromwell, and the other becomes a monk and then a priest. One daughter becomes a nun, the other marries another faithful Catholic (albeit a fairly hot headed one). The father remains faithful to the Pope, his wife is inclined to be faithful only to the king. Tension thus arises not only in the country, but in the family as well. It's a beautifully told story, and really highlights the difficulty faced by those people who found themselves suddenly seen as traitors for merely living the faith in the way it had been lived for centuries. If you want to see English history of that period through the eyes of characters who are living in it, this is an excellent read. You'll find well crafted characters, and get some good historical perspective at the same time.

Benson is better known for his novel The Lord of the World. This is actually one of the first of the dystopia novels of the 20th century. I actually did this one with a group of homeschoolers a few years back and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. Benson sort of contrasted his end of the world scenario in this one in his book The Dawn of All, but The Lord of the World seems to be the better known book.

I don't remember which of the Benson books were free and which ones cost a pittance. I just know that they are helping to make this Advent season an enjoyable one.


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