Dedicated to classics and hits.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hadrian the Seventh (1904) by Frederick Rolfe

That Pope is Smoking: Hadrian the Seventh

Book Review
Hadrian the Seventh (1904)
by Frederick Rolfe

  Hadrian the Seventh was a tough get, actually had to buy a paper copy, and the version that showed up was an English market Penguin's Classics edition from 1969.  This book is a good example of the Englishness of the 1001 Books Project (it was assembled and initially published in England, and most of the contributors are British.)  Hadrian the Seventh is about an eccentric Englishman, who finally become a Catholic priest after 20 years of trying, only to be immediately elevated to the Papacy in the clearest example of wish-fulfillment by literature that one could hope to see.

  You see, Frederick Rolfe has the same back story as George Rose (Hadrian the Seventh.)  By all accounts he was also a huge dick, so go figure. That is just about all I have to say about Hadrian the Seventh.  Can't imagine a soul in the world who would care to read this book in 2014, and it would a prime candidate for excision from revised versions of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that D.H. Lawence among many others would not agree with your assessment of Hadrian.
It still has a following at this late date and is not without merit.

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