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Edmund Campion Hardcover – March 31, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586170430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586170431
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Rich Leonardi on September 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"My charge is, of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reforme sinners, to confute errors-- in brief, to crie alarme spiritual against foul vice and proud ignorance wherewith many my dear Countrymen are abused.

I never had mind, and am strictly forbidden by our Father that sent me, to deal in any respect with matter of State or Policy of this realm, as things which appertain not to my vocation, and from which I do gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts."

-- the courageous martyr and "seditious Jesuit" Edmund Campion in his famous "Brag"

Kudos to the good people of Ignatius Press for introducing new generations to Waugh's masterful biography of St. Edmund Campion. The brilliant Oxford scholar was destined for any career he chose in Elizabeth's Protestant England. Instead, at a time when being Catholic meant persecution and an uncertain future, Campion chose not only conversion, but ordination as a Jesuit and near-certain death.

Ignatius' new hardcover edition is superbly done, with a tight binding, attractive dust jacket, high quality paper, and a very readable font. It also includes remarks by modern Waugh aficionados like Joseph Pearce and George Weigel and a new introduction by Fr. Joseph Fessio.

Readers might enjoy excerpts from Percy Hutchison's 1936 review in the New York Times:

"For several years Campion, of the Jesuit order and ordained priest, had been on the Continent. Then Rome ordered him to England to give what mental and religious sustenance he could to the persecuted brethren. Though he knew that sooner or later his life would be forfeit, Campion, ten years before the defeat of the Spanish Armada, landed once again on English soil.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on June 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is always good to read about the saints, but the writing of those who write on the saints is not always good. It is no surprise that one of the great writers of the last century such as Evelyn Waugh would turn out a great book.

Edmund Campion is a biography of the Jesuit Saint Edmund Campion who was martyred in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation and the increasingly severe penal laws in England. This book was written in 1935 only five years after Waugh's conversion into the Catholic Church. It is a straightforward biography based on the best historical research available at the time. The author does not inject himself in the book in that he tries hard to stick to the historical narrative of what can actually be known and any dialogue in the book is straight from the historical record. This is in no way some syrupy hagiography that diverges from facts with flowery stories or that tries to inflate the actions of Edmund Campion. Though considering the subject this is not much needed when you look at his amazing life.

The book running at a little more than 200 pages is divided into four very appropriate chapters: The Scholar, The Priest, The Hero, The Martyr. I wonder if you have to give a spoiler alert when you are talking a martyr. Evelyn Waugh provides the necessary historical background of the state of the Church and of the politics involved and you fast become involved in the biography as if you were reading a novel. Every time you read about the recusants and those in Church history who were persecuted for the faith it always gives you a greater appreciation of what most Catholics in the modern world take for granted.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on September 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
This biography of the English saint and martyr Edmund Campion won the Hawthornden Prize in 1936, and I read it because of that. It is very well-written , tho it lacks a bibliography and footnotes. Campion was executed Dec. 1, 1581, after being sentenced to "be hanged and let down alive, and your privy parts cut off, and your entrails taken out and burnt in your sight, then your head to be cut off and your body divided into four parts." It surely makes one grateful for the 8th Amendment against cruel and unusual punishmnet. This is a fast read and eminently worth reading.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Sammons VINE VOICE on November 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Often, when reading a biography of a saint, one is struck by a certain dissonance: the heavenly heights of the subject matter do not correspond to the writing level of the book. The saint biography is one of my favorite genres, but it is at times a chore to get by the substandard writing to penetrate the beauty of the life of the saint.

Nothing could be further from the case in "Edmund Campion" by Evelyn Waugh. Here we have a combination for the ages: the story of a magnificent saint told by one of the great authors of the 20th century. In many ways, it reminded me of Mark Twain's excellent book on Joan of Arc. Waugh's use of the language allows the story of Campion to come alive in ways a lesser author could have never conveyed. One is swept up into the time of Campion, and allowed to experience the persecution he experienced first-hand, as well as understand the motivating love behind his actions.

Highly recommended for all lovers of literature and the saints.
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