In 1581 Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest working underground in Protestant England, was found guilty of treason and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Years later he would be beatified. Evelyn Waugh's compelling and elegant narrative is a homage to the man he revered as a poet, scholar, hero and martyr. He tells Campion's story with a novelist's eye for detail, from his success as an Oxford scholar, through his travels around Europe, his doomed secret mission to England and on to his capture and dramatic trial.
Vividly re-creating a time of persecution and surveillance, Evelyn Waugh - author of A Handful of Dust, Scoop, Vile Bodies, Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy - writes that 'the hunted, trapped murdered priest is our contemporary and Campion's voice sounds to us across the centuries'.
Evelyn Waugh, born on 23 October 1903, has been recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the twentieth century. In 1930, following much consideration, Waugh converted to the Roman Catholic Church. He became determined to write a major Catholic biography, and selected Edmund Campion as his subject. Although its publication caused controversy among both Catholic and Protestant readers, it won the Hawthornden Prize. Waugh served in the Royal Marines in the Second World War. He died in 1966 at his Combe Florey home.