Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Come Rack! Come Rope!” as Want to Read:
Come Rack! Come Rope!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Come Rack! Come Rope!

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Among the best-known of Benson's works, COME RACK! COME ROPE! tells of the suffering of Catholics under Elizabeth I of England, as shown through the eyes of one Catholic family. Tragedy, divine love, and the doctrine of vocation play important roles in this early novel of faith and spiritual redemption.
Paperback, 364 pages
Published July 25th 2005 by Wildside Press (first published January 1st 1912)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Come Rack! Come Rope!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Come Rack! Come Rope!

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 16, 2016 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has long been on my ‘to-read’ list. I thought it was one of those vegetable books. By that I mean, a book which is good-for-you but more sententious (and sensational?) than interesting. How wrong I was!

It was a romance, yes, but in the best, i.e. genuine, sense of the word, between two people who really love each other. Robin Audrey and Marjorie Manners are young when the story opens but we get to follow the course of their unusual love story over the course of many years. Theirs can’t be
Jeff Miller
Aug 10, 2010 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read two of Robert Hugh Benson's novels I have been looking to read Come Rack! Come Rope! which has been highly recommended. When I was looking over the new Catholic Digital Downloads section at Aquinas & More Catholic Goods I noticed they had this novel available and so bought and downloaded it.

This historical novel takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I of England with a mixture of fictional and historic figures such as St. Edmund Campion. This is the time of the Recusants wher
Naomi Young
Jun 22, 2012 Naomi Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, kindle, catholic
This is a historical novel that takes place during the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics. The two protagonists are Robin and Margaret. As the book begins, they are sweethearts, but Margaret increasingly comes to believe Robin is called to the priesthood -- a destiny he comes to accept. From that point their love is transformed into a deeper, more spiritual love, like that of Saints Francis and Clare. Robin goes abroad to become a priest and returns as a covert outlaw to minister the sacrament ...more
Echelon Camfield
Jan 28, 2013 Echelon Camfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A painful reminder of the current soullessness of the world. Not even in a religious sense, although that is the most obvious parallel but publicly and privately the world today is a pale faded remnant when compared to the days when faith was a reason to die and something to die for. The hysterical shrieking and self righteous claims of modern Christians that they are being "persecuted" seems even more of an insult after thinking too deeply about people who had to pay for the privilege of worshi ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I was not disappointed in Robert Hugh Benson's most well-known story. In the beginning, I was worried that it would simply be a repeat of By What Authority?, but as I progressed I could see the difference more and more. By What Authority? is much more colorful, and to my mind, more emotional. By What Authority? made me cry. Come Rack, Come Rope! just hurt. But it is so, so beautiful. The way things are twined together in a sort of fate has always interested me, and I've seen it many times in my ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Anne-Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There should be no sight more happy than a young man riding to meet his love” says Benson of young Robin Audrey as he travels to meet his beloved Marjorie Manners. Yet, Robin is troubled. He has some heartbreaking news to impart about his father. And more sadness is to follow. Despite their great love for one another, both Marjorie and Robin come to realise that Robin belongs to another … he is to become a priest. This is a heroic decision on both their parts and even more so because this is n ...more
Julie Davis
Two things made this tale of Catholic persecution under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I stand out to me. First was the creeping nature of it, from people all turning a more-or-less blind eye to their Catholic neighbors bringing in priests to celebrate Mass which steadily progressed to active persecution, torture, and martyrdom. Second was the author's skillful accounting of a priest's torture from his own point of view. He didn't sugar coat it but I felt that his representation of the priest's mud ...more
Mar 01, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and heroic story of a young priest's rise to glory in Protestant England. I found this book very enjoyable (yes, I know I took forever to read it) and much better than Benson's other books, such as "The Kings Achievment" and By "What Authority?" which I found to be long and somewhat boring.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I stumbled across this after receiving one of those e-mails that takes text from public domain ebooks to make them seem less like the spammy cruft they are. It was interesting to start with, but then it sort of foundered, and then I realized ... well. Downer ending! (Though really, the title should have been a tip-off.)
Aug 20, 2011 Reordwyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing account of the lives of fictional and historical characters blended in an accurate portrayal of Elizabethan England. This book is a tragedy, but an enlightening one. This novel is also available unabridged and illustrated from Lepanto Press.
Jun 25, 2008 chantal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book alot
Jul 23, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping read. Read this review before I started, and it gave some context:
Young Robin Audrey becomes an enemy of the State when his father forces him to choose between Caesar and Christ. The Audreys are, or were, recusant Catholics; that is, Catholics who refuse to convert to the increasingly Protestantized Church of England. For years a gentle truce held in Derbyshire: its squire, Robin's father, absented himself from church but paid fees for doing so. Thirty years into Elizabeth's reign, however, times are changing. her reign imperiled by rumors of palace revolt and ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished listening to this book on librivox. Much of what I'm feeling right now is righteous anger. It's not an easy read. We were warned that the Faith would turn families against each other. That was certainly evident in Elizabethan England. The recusancy laws for being Catholic forced many to give up their faith and turn on their own families and neighbors. There were many who were steadfast but lived their faith in secret, fearful of horrendous punishment if caught. Priests traveled i ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Ange rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson is one of my favorite authors. He writes with such profound knowledge of the human condition, and also writes so beautifully. His characters struggle and doubt, but ultimately make the right decision. This book is mainly about Robin and Marjorie. There are several secondary characters and I admit to getting those mixed up from time to time.
While Robin is the hero of the story, I felt a HUGE connection to Marjorie. She is the the first character in years to make me put
Mar 02, 2016 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating historical fiction. England in the late 1500s after the reformation. Queen Elizabeth made criminal the Catholic Mass and Catholic priests. This story involves a young man who was raised Catholic. But his father became Anglican because of the heavy fines imposed on Catholics. The son leaves England to be ordained a Catholic priest. The battle between father and son was intense. A story of persecution and bravery in its face. Also a story about selfless love and redemption.

The best cha
Simon Hill
Dec 21, 2016 Simon Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb rendition of life for Roman Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I. Both horrific in visual accuracy and beautiful in soulful artistry. Many famous martyrs are portrayed. From Edmund Campion to Mary Queen of Scots; Come Rack! Come Rope! will move you to tears as ERI's bloody reign of terror routes out the faithful, sets father against son and inflicts torture and gruesome slow public death penalties the CIA can only dream of.
Come Rack! Come Rope! is an important reminder of that the
May 25, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, a very imaginative and intense portrayal of the lives of recusants under Elizabeth I. The narrator is sympathetic even to many of the antagonists, drawing careful distinctions between them. He especially gives a clear sense of the stress brought to bear on recusant circles, infiltrated by spies, harassed by fines, and threatened for their lives.

The story is generally very well told, the Msgr. Benson sometimes gives a bit more narrative explanation that I like. I would definitely recomme
This is definitely a religious-themed novel, but even though I'm not Catholic, it felt believable and not preachy to me; I could understand and sympathize with the characters. The setting was great--it seemed very authentic, like I was in Renaissance England. As an older book, it is a bit dense, but not nearly as bad as some others written in the same era.
Nov 22, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A seriously good book that explores what it means to be Catholic in an age of persecution. The story told is both thrilling and spiritually enriching, and I found the 377 pages whizz by as I dove into the plot.
Gregory Graham
Feb 18, 2014 Gregory Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an engaging story about Catholics in Elizabethan England, where the practice of their religion was illegal, and Catholic priests were in danger of torture on the rack and execution.
Joseph Sherman
Jun 14, 2016 Joseph Sherman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An awesome book!
A must read for those who want an insight into want being a Catholic in 16th Century England meant.
Julie rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2015
Gina rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2015
Julie rated it liked it
May 24, 2014
Remitriy rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2015
Anne rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2014
Tskrogergmail.Com rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2017
Debbie rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2014
Chip Atkinson
Chip Atkinson rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Spear: A Novel of the Crucifixion
  • The Great Heresies
  • Strangers and Sojourners
  • The Ballad of the White Horse
  • Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief
  • The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity
  • The Song of Bernadette
  • Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church
  • The Man on a Donkey
  • The Song At The Scaffold
  • Transformation in Christ
  • The Shadow of His Wings
  • Surprised by Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic
  • Knight's Fee
  • The Ides of April (Roman Empire Sequence, #2)
Robert Hugh Benson (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was an Anglican pastor who joined the Roman Catholic Church (1903) where he was ordained priest in 1904. Youngest son of Edward White Benson (Archbishop of Canterbury) and his wife, Mary, and younger brother of Edward Frederic Benson, he was lauded in his own day as one of the leading figures in English literature, having written the notable ...more
More about Robert Hugh Benson...

Share This Book

“For where men have made the earth that is trodden underfoot, and have largely veiled the heavens themselves, it is but natural that they should think that they have made everything, and that it is they who rule it.” 2 likes
“A broken heart and God's will done would be better than that God's will should be avoided and her own satisfied.” 2 likes
More quotes…