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Catholic Church Novels

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The Czar
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Catholic Church Novels

Post by The Czar » Thu February 9th, 2012, 2:42 am

I would like to read some novels about the church. I know that the church, at various points in history, was a viper's nest of intruige and debauchery. I would in particular like to read about the Borgia popes, the Meddici popes, and the Inquisition and counter reformation era.

Anybody got anything good? Fiction preferred, but non fiction works too.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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Post by SGM » Thu February 9th, 2012, 6:04 am

I read the Big Fisherman by Lloyd C Douglas when I was at school. I enjoyed it at the time but am not sure if I would now.

I read the Jean Plaidy triology about Lucrezia Borgia when I was in my teens but would not recommend them although others might. She sold very well, she was not a particularly well-thought-of author over here and I grew out of her quicker than most authors.

On this subject, I always tend to think of Graham Green and novels like The Power and the Glory but those are probably not quite the sort of Catholic Church novels you are thinking about.

As far as NF is concerned, particularly relating to the CC in England, I tend to fall upon John Bossy. There is an academic journal called Recusant History, which if you have access to it contains many useful articles. I have always found them very readable.
Last edited by SGM on Thu February 9th, 2012, 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by annis » Thu February 9th, 2012, 6:46 am

You might like to give Russell Chamberlin's Bad Popes and Eamon Duffy's Saints and Sinners, both non-fiction, a try. I've got a novel about the Great Schism lurking at the fringes of my memory, but it's playing hard to get :) It might come to me later.

Ha- it worked- as soon as I ignored it it crept out. A Trembling Upon Rome, by Richard Condon was the book I had in mind. It is out of print now, though.
Last edited by annis on Thu February 9th, 2012, 8:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by fljustice » Thu February 9th, 2012, 5:38 pm

Pope Joan is an interesting take on a possible Vatican coverup.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Thu February 9th, 2012, 8:29 pm

Here are two Catholic online bookstores I've visited:
Click on the left side menus for your choices. I found some great reads to learn more about my catholic faith.

One non-fiction title I enjoyed reading--How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Last edited by princess garnet on Thu February 9th, 2012, 9:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Justin Swanton
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Post by Justin Swanton » Thu February 9th, 2012, 11:49 pm

You might want to try 'Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk'. It would have to be classified as fiction, even though the author (Maria Monk) claimed it was a factual account of her life as a nun in a convent in Canada in the early 19th century, where, among other things, the nuns had babies that were strangled at birth, and one nun who refused to go along with the status quo was smothered by the priests under the order of the bishop.

When the book came out it caused quite a stir, which continued even after investigation proved that Maria Monk had never been a nun, and her descriptions of some of the nuns of the convent tallied with occupants of the Magdalene Asylum for Wayward Girls where she had stayed for seven years.

There is a Wiki article on it here. The book can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg. Enjoy! ;)

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat February 11th, 2012, 9:58 pm

For the Borgia Pope (there was only one, Alexander VI) you get an eyeful in Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger.

For the interesting relationships between the bishops, the crown of Scotland, and the papacy right after the schism, you can't beat The World, the Flesh, and the Devil by Reay Tannahill.

I especially appreciated the latter's balanced take on the problem of tithe money leaving the country of origin and going to Rome.

Edited to say there was another Borgia pope, Callixtus III. He only lasted three years and did nothing much anyway, other than affirming that non-Christians could be seized and enslaved with no moral consequence to Christians.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Sat February 11th, 2012, 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by annis » Sat February 11th, 2012, 11:16 pm

A couple set around Henry VIII's split from the Roman Catholic Church:

Hilda Prescott's Man on a Donkey, about the Pilgrimage of Grace, a protest against the deposal of the Pope as Head of State, and Peter Walker's The Courier's Tale, set around Cardinal Pole's exile in Italy and narrated by his bodyguard and courier, Michael Throckmorton (an actual historical character). Covers some elements of the Counter-Reformation.

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series cover a similar period.

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Post by donroc » Sun February 12th, 2012, 1:32 pm

My novel ROCAMORA is set in 17th century Spain. It is based on the life of Vicente de Rocamora, 1601-1683, who was the Dominican (the religious Order that dominated the Inquisition) royal confessor and spiritual director for Infanta Maria when she was a teen and he a mere five years older.

The Inquisition plays a major role in my novel and influnces the behavior of my MC and all characters historical and fictional.

It has been republished in soft cover and is now available as an ebook through Smashwords at 40% off until March 1st.

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

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Post by Susan » Sun February 12th, 2012, 1:43 pm

There's lots of novels about nuns and there is even a topic here about that very subject: http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... php?t=2258
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