Lord of the World

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Robert Hugh Benson
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  • Lord of the World: A Novel
  • Recommended by Pope Francis
  • Gripping, fascinating novel
  • Perfect addition to your personal library

Lord of the World has been praised by Pope Francis (November 2013) as depicting “the spirit of the world which leads to apostasy” and mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in critiquing President George H.W. Bush’s “New World Order.”

In an airplane news conference on his return from the Philippines in January 2015, Pope Francis mentioned Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World and said, “I advise you to read it.” It wasn’t the first time the Holy Father had praised the book since becoming pope. This 1907 futuristic narrative has been hailed as the finest work of this unsung, but influential author and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury whose conversion to Catholicism rocked the Church of England in 1903. The compelling book includes a new introduction, a biography of Benson, and a theological reflection.

Popular young adult books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, as well as literary classics such as Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, have created a growing interest in dystopian novels. In one of the first such novels of the twentieth century, Robert Hugh Benson imagines a world where belief in God has been replaced by secular humanism. Lord of the World describes a world where Catholics are falling away and priests and bishops are defecting. Only a small remnant of the faithful remains. Julian Felsenburgh, a mysterious and compelling figure arises, promising peace in exchange for blind obedience. Those who resist are subjected to torture and execution. Soon the masses are in Felsenburgh’s thrall and he becomes leader of the world. Into this melee steps the novel’s protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin. Dauntless and clear-sighted, Franklin is a bastion of stability as the Catholic Church in England disintegrates around him. Benson’s harrowing plot soon brings these two charismatic men into a final apocalyptic conflict.

With an imagination to rival H. G. Wells and theological insight akin to G. K. Chesterton, Benson’s astute novel has captured the attention of many today, including Popes Benedict and Francis. This new edition makes it easily available and features an insightful introduction by Rev. Mark Bosco, S.J., a brief biography of Benson by Martyn Sampson, and a theological reflection by Rev. Michael Murphy, S.J.

  • 6 x 9

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Reviews (5)

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  • 5 Dec 17th 2018
    Lord of the World

    Pope Francis was correct in advising all to read this book. Even though this book was written as a novel, the reality of an Anti-Christ is written in truth. The world is stepping further away from God every day as we perceive more and more sin as an acceptable way of life. Reading this book will help to open our eye to the stark reality of what will come unless we turn back to God.


  • 4 Oct 14th 2017
    Lord of the World

    This book was purchased as a birthday gift for a recently retired priest mainly because it was recommended by Pope Francis and Pope Benedict.

    Mary Jane

  • 5 Oct 18th 2016
    Lord of the World

    A very gripping story! It is also very timely with a keen awareness of the philosophical and theological trends that would occur in the writer's future and are occurring in our present.

    Ray Lepesqueur

  • 5 Oct 13th 2016
    Lord of the World

    It was an excellent book--hard to believe it was written in 1907! It was very well-written, interesting, exciting, and, in light of what is going on in the world today, very very relevant. The author really knows his end-time bible prophecy, and this book, which documents the rise of the Anti-Christ, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The things he wrote about in 1907 are happening now...well do I understand why two Popes have recommended that we read it!

    Helen Spalding

  • 5 Sep 29th 2016
    Starting my Christmas Shopping

    I did not order this book for myself, but for the pastor of my church. All of the products I have ordered in the past from Catholic Company have been so wonderful that I decided to shop there for Christmas gifts! And it's so much easier than trying to find something at the mall!

    Virginia Taylor

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