More About the Author
Born on 28th June 1952, Nicholas (later Luke) Bell grew up in Surrey (United Kingdom) in a house full of books. He studied English literature at King's College, Cambridge, where he was particularly drawn to the novels of Dostoevsky. Having qualified as a teacher following further study at Bristol University, he taught English at a school in Surrey. After three years of this, he left England to take up a post at the University of Fez in Morocco. Here he taught Shakespeare to Moroccans, and was known to them by the nickname of "Shakespeare." He produced a staging of "Othello" with a Moor playing the lead role! After four years in North Africa, he took a teaching post back in England at the Jesuit Wimbledon College. Here he was received into the Catholic Church, and after five years teaching in a very lively and companionable English department, he left to become a monk at Downside Abbey in Somerset. On entering the monastery he took the name "Luke". All his books have been written by him as a monk. His first book, "Paradise on Earth" (dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux) explores a Christian approach to suffering, drawing illustrations widely from literature. The second "Discovery of Grace" (dedicated to the monks of Quarr Abbey) looks at various Christian spiritual themes. Both these books were published by Kevin Mayhew Publishing. His third book "Joy in Heaven" draws on his experience working as a priest in an English country parish and as a prison chaplain. It is dedicated to the people of his parish, Saint Michael's, Shepton Mallet, and published by New Life Publishing (Luton). In 2003 Father Luke (as he then was) came as a monk to Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight. His first book written there was "A Deep and Subtle Joy: Life at Quarr Abbey", which takes the reader on a twenty-four hour personal tour of Quarr Abbey and invites the reader to share in the lives of the monks. It is dedicated to his goddaughter, Hannah, and published by HiddenSpring, an imprint of Paulist Press. The same publisher issued his next book, "Baptising Harry Potter: A Christian Reading of J K Rowling", which is dedicated to his godson, Aelred. News of its publication prompted an accusation of betrayal by Christians opposed to Harry Potter, but it is not really written to try to win over such people: rather it is written for all who enjoy the Harry Potter books - to delight and enlighten them! He is currently working on a new book "The Meaning of Blue: Recovering a Contemplative Outlook" to be published in 2014 by Angelico Press.