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By What Authority?

4.4  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
BY WHAT AUTHORITY? is Robert Hugh Benson's (1871-1914) first published historical novel. In it he portrays the story of the English Reformation in Elizabethan times from the Catholic point of view. This he achieved without the use of the stereotypes that characterized virtually all such productions in his day to the detriment of both sides of the question.
Published October 15th 2005 by Once and Future Books (first published 1904)
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Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now THIS is what a Catholic novel should be. Robert Hugh Benson tells a stirring, heroic tale of Catholics under Queen Elizabeth I. The characters are beautifully delineated; they live and breathe still in my mind, eighteen hours after the book was finished. Somewhat to my surprise, I found the conflicts and characters sharply - indeed, sometimes painfully - relevant, despite the age of the book and the even greater age of the era with which it deals. It is edifying without being preachy or dull ...more
Chris Sudlow
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A truly fantastic and gripping read for anyone interested in the Reformation period of English history - and loves a good novel. In this detailed narrative of historical fiction RHB presents the story of two families, one Catolic, one Protestant, in a magnificently written drama which immerses the reader in the joys, sorrows, hopes, fears and aspirations which were shared by so many.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, catholic
Another fine read from Benson. Benson was an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism. This story, like Come Rack! Come Rope!, is about Elizabethan England after the reformation. Elizabeth is attempting to force the Anglican Church on all. Catholics are persecuted and other Protestants (Puritans in this book) are also treated very poorly.

We see Catholics become Protestant. We see Protestants become Catholic. We see Catholic priests pursued, captured, tortured, and sometimes killed. We see th
Antoine Vanner
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Though written a century ago, this is as readable - and as well paced - as any modern novel. In my estimation it competes on equal terms with Hillary Mantell's "Wolf Hall". It is even-handed but unflinching in its portrayal of the nightmare choices the Reformation forced on people of principle, whether Protestant or Catholic, in the Elizabethan era. I read it in no more than four or five sittings - l was gripped from the start. Very highly recommended.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Robert Hugh Benson is a master of describing what is going on in the characters' minds. This was a page turner!
Michael J. Carey
An excellent sequel

Benson continues his saga of persecuted England with an engaging, inspiring and Catholic sequel to his impressive The King's Achievement.
Sonja Maierhauser
Mar 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
One of those books that kept my mind an ocean away from my suburban 21st century banality. Heroic sacrifices, mind engaging theology, and inspiration to move deeper into the faith of the martyrs.
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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
“To say 'Hail Mary, Hail Mary,' is the best way of telling her how much we love her. And then this string of beads is like Our Lady's girdle, and her children love to finger it, and whisper to her. And then we say our paternosters, too; and all the while we are talking she is shewing us pictures of her dear Child, and we look at all the great things He did for us, one by one; and then we turn the page and begin again.” 3 likes
“There is only one thing to be done," went on the old lady, "be simple and quiet. Whenever your soul begins to be disturbed and anxious, put yourself in His Hands, and refuse to decide for yourself. It is easy, so easy.” 3 likes
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