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Lord of the World
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Lord of the World

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  449 ratings  ·  69 reviews
A CENTURY BEFORE LEFT BEHIND THERE WAS LORD OF THE WORLD Imagine a godless age, a time when all the world has fallen prey to soulless communism. This is the world that Christ comes to as he returns to us. This is the Second Coming. This is the End of Time. This is the Apocalypse.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Wildside Press (first published 1907)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,085)
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Webster Bull
Being Catholic today is a challenge. It can be awkward talking about one's faith in polite company—at the average Boston-area cocktail party, for instance. The Church's position on social issues is all wrong, at least if you heed the common mentality. Catholics are among the biggest threats to good, sound, everyday, politically correct thinking. Catholics actually believe in such antiquated notions as God, faith, obedience, life, chastity before marriage, and fidelity in marriage, and they have ...more
Stephen
At the turn of the 21st century, war between the states of Europe and the East threatens; at the midnight hour, however, comes an obscure American politician, a senator of no fame, whose cosmopolitan charm allows him to calm the troubled diplomatic waters and prevent a century of peace and prosperity from being overturned by strife. Hailed as a savior, the rising star becomes a pivotal figure in world affairs – but the epitome of modernity, this senator has a far darker role to play in cosmic hi ...more
Michele
I was ready to give this book 5 stars right up until the last page, maybe even the last line. The writing is lush, complex, with the sort of Victorian-era delight in rich and beautiful language that one seldom encounters these days and it was a joy to read. Here's an example:

It was a very upright old man that [Father Franklin] saw in the chair before him, of medium height and girth, with hands clasping the bosses of his chair-arms, and an appearance of great and deliberate dignity. But it was at
...more
Harry
Although this book of fiction was written over 100 years ago the author accurately predicted the radical changes that have not only taken place in the 20th century but may occur especially in relation to the emergence of air travel,constant berating & actual warfare against the Catholic Church, ready acceptance of euthanasia as a form of so-called medical treatment & most important of all the election by the world's population of the new Messiah who comes forth as a gentle,peace loving & ...more
Chris
In this book a practically unknown one-term United States senator with a charismatic personality and a magnetic speaking voice comes to power in 2008 and turns out to be the Antichrist. Honest.

Yes, this is basically the same plot as a book I was handed by a wild-eyed fellow outside Redfern station a decade ago. You may have been handed the same book. However, in this case: (1) it is the Protestants who cave immediately to join the Antichrist while the Catholics are the persecuted minority fighti
...more
Allie
Freakishly prophetic to today's world "theology" of secular humanism and all that encompasses- even though this book was written in 1907. I read this book in a few days it was so hard to put down and a flowing read. The major point I remember from it is the recognition of how important it will be to be fully in the state of grace in the time of "the" Anti-Christ because of how easily the masses will be fooled and believe in him.
Manuel Alfonseca
An apocalyptic novel written in 1907. Personally, I prefer A canticle for Leibowitz, which seems to me better built and more believable, because the apocalyptic end is caused by man himself, rather than by unexplained acts of God.
There are two kinds of atheism:
1. Optimistic atheism, which replaces faith in God by an overpowering faith in Man. God, in this view, is the result of evolution, not its cause. The ultimate question, a short story by Asimov, could be considered the most concise represen
...more
Frank Roberts
First off, let me say that this book is very Catholic. Catholic ritual, phraseology, and views play major roles, and the chief protagonist is a Catholic priest. As this book was written by a Catholic convert and priest, this is not too surprising.

Writing in the first decade of the 20th century, but depicting the 21st century, Benson's vision of the future fails in some respects, but is eerily prescient in others. His technological imagination anticipates nuclear weapons and interstate highways
...more
Helen
Our Pope Francis is full of surprises. This book is on his list of favorites! It is in the public domain so is available for free in the kindle store and is available free in audio on librivox. I read it both ways. The author was a Catholic priest, so there is definitely a Catholic perspective, but I think that anyone would find the book a page-turner. Fr. Robert Hugh Benson wrote it in 1907 and it is shocking how prophetic it is. Honestly, I think it would be a very interesting read especially ...more
Robert
I found it a bit tough to get through. I found him spending too much time on the descriptions of a persons interior movement and redescribing it over and over. I was impatient with them and skimmed a bunch getting to the action. It could have been cut down to a more bone and quicker story in some ways.
Elisabeth pifer
Written in 1907, as current as today's thoughts in trends in relativism and humanistic philosophies.
Michael
This book describes the author's vision of the end of the "long defeat" of history (to borrow from Tolkein). The book is engaging on a number of levels. It was written in 1907 and takes places a century or more in the future (from then) (I don't recall if there's an exact date, but probably somewhere around 2030 or so). The book essentially describes the coming of the anti-Christ and the end of days. The book is a novel, though, and there are few, if any, references to revelation, i.e., it's not ...more
Laura Cowan
I couldn't quite get through this entire book, but if you enjoy steampunk or spiritual apocalyptic fiction, this will fascinate you for sure. I've never seen a combination of the two genres, and it really delivers for fans of either. However, like most Victorian alternate-future stories it gets a bit bogged down trying to imagine the differences of the future while missing just how much would change (flexible-wing aircraft feature prominently, there is a minister of Peking, the home of the prota ...more
Evandro Menezes
I just finished reading this book this weekend. It's an interesting novel published in 1906 about a then futuristic 21st century by Robert Benson, the son of an Anglican bishop who converted to Catholicism.
The story depicts a technological century where thoroughfares, telecommunications and air travel are common, though with a Victorian flavor, for the highways are paved with rubber, people have telegraphs at home and fly on airships.
But it also has other almost prophetic descriptions of the soc
...more
Nusato
May 22, 2009 Nusato rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to know why old white catholics are so weird
Recommended to Nusato by: Joseph Ratzinger
I really hate books where people forget that they write what they know. For instance, this author for some reason doesn't know anything about Islam or Africa, so he writes off an entire continent and an entire religion in two paragraphs and completely removes them from the story. An end of times story with no Africa. Or any black people. Yellow ones get mentioned in passing as well, and America is only the birthplace of the Anti-Christ and then a whiny bitch of a nation in later sections. Everyt ...more
Seth Holler
A lean narrative, sometimes propulsive, sometimes pathetic (martyrdoms on pp 176-7), and sometimes a thinly-veiled pamphlet. Also a bit sloppy (the chronology is irregular, for instance). Makes an interesting contrast with Rolfe's HADRIAN THE SEVENTH. In Rolfe, the pope engineers world peace, while in Benson that task falls to the Antichrist. (That Christ came to bring "not peace but a sword" is Benson's chief theme.) Both novels also feature protagonists with doppelgängers.

The figure of Mr Fran
...more
Jerrod Carter
I love a book that will make the contemplate its message for some time to come, and Lord of the World has accomplished that. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in where the arguments for humanism must logically end.

The author is writing from a decidedly Catholic perspective, but the story could easily be extended by an open-minded reader to include all Christians in the persecutions depicted, or even all people of resolute faith.

I especially liked the author's portrayal of the proc
...more
Peter Mongeau
Reviewed on CatholicFiction.net

The Christian world is depressingly awash in end-times fiction these days. Such reading material is depressing not so much because of the subject matter – which is often relevant and interesting – but rather because most of what is available is the dispensationalist schlock that infests the shelves of Christian bookstores across the country. For those who are looking for a more serious fictional treatment of the subject, there is Father Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of
...more
Goodthelife
Jan 25, 2015 Goodthelife marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
http://www.catholicculture.org/commen...
A revealing book recommendation from the Pope...
By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 20, 2015
Twice now, Pope Francis has recommended Robert Hugh Benson's apocalyptic novel, Lord of the World. It’s interesting that an English novel—written more than a century ago, and no longer easy to find—would figure prominently in the public remarks of a Pontiff who is not fluent in English. This bears investigation, don’t you think?

Speaking to reporters on the
...more
J.T. Therrien
I'm not a fan of fiction written at the turn of the twentieth century, and this novel, written in 1907, epitomizes what I dislike most about the period: all tell, no show; long descriptive paragraphs that neither set the mood nor add to the story, quaint British expressions that mean nothing to a modern reader, etc.

I read it because Pope Francis has mentioned it a couple of times in recent interviews, and Catholic writers are saying that if we want to understand the pope's interests, we should r
...more
Frederick Frankel
Fr. Benson tried to imagine the Apocalypse from his standpoint at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a dark vision, of course, as every self respecting Apocalypse must be, but the actual course of the century was infinitely darker than his Edwardian imagination could summon up. His socialists are sort of nice. They'd rather not kill you, but would prefer that you take care of that yourself, if things get a bit sticky.

The strength of the book is its mystical aspect. He has a sense of the e
...more
Ryan
Somewhat sensational view of the late 1990's written by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson of Cambridge in 1907. Envisions a parallel universe in which the Church has been pushed back and defeated in nearly every nation on earth, owning only Rome and Ireland. An unknown man named Julian Falsenburgh arises suddenly, uniting the entire world under the "Spirit of Man," denying God and ushering in an era of peace between nations. The inevitable clash between the all but destroyed Church under the young Po ...more
Jake
An end of days/sci-fi book written by a Catholic priest in 1906. It is very surprising to see how many things he got right. Of course it is unabashedly preachy and Catholic, but it is interesting all the same. The prologue is 5 stars and definitely worth checking out.
Tim Reckart
I picked this up on Pope Francis' recommendation.

It was really fascinating to read science fiction written before tv, movies, or even electronic speakers were a thing. A major part of my enjoyment was seeing what the author predicted correctly, and what he got wrong about the future; and the things he got wrong (especially *how* he got them wrong) were the more fascinating of the two.

The story has a real apocalyptic atmosphere that is tangible and of course appropriate. There were long stretches
...more
John
Because this book has stayed with me for weeks after reading, I must change my three star review. This book accurately predicted a good portion of what's going on now. The idea of a world government holding so much power and how the characters respond to that power is thought provoking. Actually, it's downright scary. I don't know why Pope Francis recommends this but it might be because of the fight over religious liberty. Four stars.
____________
Highly recommended by Pope Francis. Before 1984, a
...more
Orlando Tosetto
Li a tradução brasileira recente, "O senhor do mundo". Benson, o autor, era padre católico; o livro é a visão que ele tinha do fim dos tempos; é, portanto, apocalíptico, escatológico. O que motivou a tradução é que essa visão se parece muito com os dias de hoje: socialismo sueco ("de resultados"), pacifismo, religião oficial que cultua coisas como "a maternidade", o estado entrando pelas dobras das nossas roupas como ar quente. Não é bem escrito, nem lá muito bem traduzido (o padrão da Ecclesiae ...more
Stephen
Wow. Terrific book after a somewhat confusing beginning. A masterpiece.
Marcia
Writing in 1907, Benson gives an interesting projection of what happens when humanism and other ideas of his time supplant religion. Benson was a Catholic convert and well versed in the Latin Mass, Latin hymns, and Latin phrases. The reader who is unfamiliar with Latin can still get most of the gist of what is happening but will lose some of the points Benson makes by not translating the Latin. The world has won in this dystopian novel, but the end conforms to the book of Revelation and Catholic ...more
Nelson
Ediciones Cristiandad ha tenido la excelente idea de reeditar esta extraordinaria novela de R. H. Benson, publicada por primera vez en 1907, ocasión en la que se convirtió en un best-seller. Lejos de envejecer, este libro ha cobrado con los años una enorme actualidad, sobre todo si se toma en cuenta que el autor ubica los acontecimientos que narra justamente en nuestra época, a principios del siglo XXI. Fue, en este sentido, una novela futurista y quizás la primera obra del género de las distopí ...more
Andrea Grosso
Questo libro ha un qualcosa, si puo' dire, di profetico. Benson aveva visto lungo, tanto che molte delle cose che stanno accadendo oggi e' possibile ritrovarle nella sua opera e questo, da un certo punto di vista, fa un po' paura (ma per capire questo mia affermazione bisogna prima leggere il libro). Il libro ha una trama molto complessa e articolata, estremamente interessante e con un messaggio di fondo molto forte che per essere compreso necessita di una lettura molto attenta e soprattutto non ...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: So the Pope recommends a dystopian novel ... 18 53 Mar 05, 2015 01:16PM  
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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
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“It was incredible, she told herself, that this ravening monster, dripping blood from claws and teeth, that had arisen roaring in the night, could be the Humanity that had become her God. She had thought revenge and cruelty and slaughter to be the brood of Christian superstition, dead and buried under the new-born angel of light, and now it seemed that the monsters yet stirred and lived.” 0 likes
“Yet Percy, even in the glimpses he had had in the streets, as he drove from the volor station outside the People's Gate, of the old peasant dresses, the blue and red-fringed wine carts, the cabbage-strewn gutters, the wet clothes flapping on strings, the mules and horses -- strange though these were, he had found them a refreshment. It had seemed to remind him that man was human, and not divine as the rest of the world proclaimed -- human, and therefore careless and individualistic; human, and therefore occupied with interests other than those of speed, cleanliness, and precision.” 0 likes
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