Edmund Campion (1540-1581) was a Jesuit priest who, in the turbulent years before the Spanish Armada, was charged with treason and executed. Waugh's book is an elegant homage to a man he revered as a hero and a martyr.
Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903. His first novel, Decline and Fall, was published in 1928 and it was soon followed by: Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). He travelled extensively, served in the Royal Marines and the Royal Horse Guards and continued to write, winning many prestigious literary awards. Brideshead Revisited was first published in 1945. Evelyn Waugh died in 1966.