- Publisher: J. B. Lippincott Company; 1st Edition edition (1951)
- ASIN: B000P0ST5I
- Package Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,712,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Royal Road: Father Serra and the California Missions Hardcover – 1951
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A scholarly account of the work of Father Junipero Serra in founding the Franciscan mission of California in the eighteenth century. The period of the Spanish settlements in California is an exciting one, and among the many daring men who penetrated into the Indian territory of upper California were groups of priests, dedicated to the spiritual as well as material well-being of the Indians there, many of whom had never seen white men. As Father President of the Franciscans of Alta California, the aging, ailing but courageous and enterprising Father Serra seemed to face an almost impossible task -- to establish self-sufficient Indian communities based upon Christian principles of brotherhood and orderly living while dealing with the primitive Indian culture and personality on the one hand, and the bickering of warlike Spanish militarists and wavering governors on the other. Ignoring personal hardships and discouragements, Father Serra was able, with the help of brave soldiers and priests, to see his dream of a chain of missions come true.
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The writing is almost like a novel and, with some of the details included, probably could be considered an historical novel. While not as instructive as the adult reader might like, it does give the reader a sense of the dreams, successes and trials of early California. While focusing on Serra, it also gives a reasonably good history of the Missions as a group, but not individually.
I read this book in anticipation of a visit to two of Serra's missions. I am glad that I did. I have read other books about him and his work, but this highlighted aspects of the story which I did not pick up in other volumes.