Lord of the World, Robert Hugh Benson

Contains spoilers

This novel is set in a futuristic world which has been divided between America, Europe and the East. The UK, and rest of the World, is governed by Socialists, who delight in humanity and detest religion. This story is about the resulting conflict between the Humanists and the Catholic Church.

In the story, we see the world being united from its three states in tension with one another into one, under the leadership of one man. The people come to love and worship this man, who brings them peace; seeing himself as the pinnacle of humanity he then demands the destruction of all who follow God and the worship only of humanity.

We do not know much about this leader, but instead we follow Oliver Brand, a leading politician in London and his wife Mabel. They are both atheists and come to love their new leader, before the call to destruction of religion, in contrast to the promise of peace he had come with, leads to tension between them.

On the Catholic side, we follow Father Percy, a priest in London who becomes pivotal in the defense of Catholicism. It is a peaceful and painful defense, as they trust to God rather than any of their own or any worldly means.

Through this story Benson is both warning against Socialism, both because he sees it as likely to lead to persecution of the Church, and also as he knows that God has a plan for the world and that human endeavour or desire can not over-rule it. This makes for a quite different read to many other similar futuristic novels. However, I found the writing could be rather slow, and not as slick story telling as in other novels. I would only recommend the book if you are particularly interested in this topic.


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This entry was posted on April 1, 2016 by in Book review and tagged , , , .
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