BOOKS: 1908's Lord of the World, Catholic novel

Howdy all,

I’m reading a 1908 novel written by Robert Hugh Benson (a Catholic) called “Lord of the World”. It depicts a twenty-first century where almost all Christians in the West have either returned to the Catholic Church or lapsed into secular humanism. There’s Masonists plotting to undermine the Church and form a one-world government, etc.

Has anyone else read it? It’s not quite resonating with me 100 pages in. It seems to me that this book was probably an inspiration of the Bud McFarlane and Michael D O’Brien books, but those are much more engaging reads.

The full version of this book can be downloaded for free from multiple places if anyone is interested:

The twenty-first century this author envisions isn’t very close, so I’ve been mentally tacking on one extra century when a date is mentioned (some of it makes more sense in a distant 22nd century rather than ours). I think since this author predicted wrong because couldn’t have guessed at the events of the next forty years (two world wars, formation of the Soviet Union, etc), but honestly…who would want to think up such things back in 1908? Horrifying.

Benson anticipates three separate, competing governments carving out empires in the world. Perhaps he did anticipate the European Union, though. That’s in there, but it’s totally communist, instead of Russia, which seems to be ruled by a unified Japanese/Chinese dynasty. But if the EU starts urging all member states to brush up on Esperanto, maybe I’ll return to this book.

I have Lord of the World and have read it several times. I don’t read it as a prediction of future political events, no one can ever get those right. What is frightning is the prediction of secularism and man-worship that it depicts.

I can agree, those predictions are frightening.

How many major Marian Apparitions does this book predate? Friends of mine seem to believe that we can trust that things are going to get better for the Catholic Church before the world ends. I have hope in the same.

One thing that I prefer in other Catholic end-times books is that there are groups of faithful Catholic characters here and there throughout the book. 151 pages in, this book has one priest and maybe one woman of questionable mental health.

Now I don’t preclude that more may present themselves later (no spoilers please, for now I’m continuing) but the annoyance for me is that it’s all confined to one character for now.

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