Hamble Campbell's Home Page

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A New Pope

It is interesting to observe the very many demonstrations of respect for the last Pope.

Discussion of the election of his successor reminded me how much I had enjoyed A. J. A. Symons' biography of Fred Rolfe, "The Quest for Corvo". I note that in my enthusiasm to tidy I had not taken this book to Oxfam, whereas I did donate "Hadrian the Seventh" - which contains the great line, "He was so tired.". It's a shame its not easier to get a copy of Symons' writing about Emin Pasha, which I remember was fascinating, but at least in 1981 seemed only to be available from the reserve stock at the library.

By all accounts "Baron Corvo" was not a good example to others, aside from being a good writer - eg. "The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole" - surely some pun intended there - and "Stories Toto Told Me". His masterpiece is considered to be Hadrian VII, a story detailing the surprise election of a second English Pope.


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