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Frederick Rolfe (1860–1913)

Auteur de Hadrian the Seventh

46+ oeuvres 1,593 utilisateurs 24 critiques 14 Favoris

A propos de l'auteur

Œuvres de Frederick Rolfe

Hadrian the Seventh (1904) — Auteur — 808 exemplaires
Le desir et la poursuite du tout (1909) 180 exemplaires
Les Borgia (1931) 159 exemplaires
Stories Toto Told Me (1898) 62 exemplaires
Don Tarquinio (1905) 51 exemplaires
Lettres de Venise (1966) 38 exemplaires
Nicholas Crabbe (1958) 35 exemplaires
Don Renato: An Ideal Content (1963) 25 exemplaires
In his own image (1901) 23 exemplaires
Collected Poems (1974) 21 exemplaires
The Weird of the Wanderer (2003) 10 exemplaires
Amico di Sandro (2019) 9 exemplaires
Letters to Harry Bainbridge (1977) 8 exemplaires
Letters to James Walsh (1972) 5 exemplaires
Three Tales of Venice (1950) 5 exemplaires
How I Was Buried Alive 2 exemplaires
Alpha & Omega (2013) 1 exemplaire
Why the rose is red (1994) 1 exemplaire
I Walked by Night (2013) 1 exemplaire

Oeuvres associées

The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) — Contributeur — 236 exemplaires
Hadrian VII (1968) — Author of original — 71 exemplaires
Venice Stories (2018) — Contributeur — 27 exemplaires
The Songs of Meleager (1937) — Traducteur — 4 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances



Frederick Rolfe was born in London, the son of a piano-tuner, and left school at the age of 14. Rolfe converted to Roman Catholicism and this conversion became a strongly felt desire to join the priesthood himself. Rolfe went to college in Rome but was eventually thrown out because his inability to concentrate on his priestly studies and his erratic behaviour meaning that his desire to join the priesthood was constantly frustrated and never realised. Instead Rolfe became a free-lance writer relying on benefactors for support but he had a tendency to fall out with those who tried to help and support him. He eventually died in poverty in Venice. 'Hadrian the Seventh' is Rolfe's best known novel and many regard the titular character as the author's alter-ego.

'George Arthur Rose,' having originally been rejected for the priesthood and living in poverty as a free-lance writer, finds himself the object of a highly improbable change of mind on the part of the church hierarchy, who then elect him to the papacy. Rose takes the name Hadrian VII and embarks upon a programme of ecclesiastical and geopolitical reform. Dogged by petty jealousies and scurrilous accusations Hadrian's papacy is relatively short lived.

Rolfe was himself an avowed homosexual and Hadrian like his creator soon surrounds himself with young men and abhors the presence of women and children. Hadrian thus becomes an exercise in wish-fulfilment.

It seems highly unlikely that even back in the early 20th century that the Pope would have had the influence amongst politicians that Rolfe seems to imagine that Hadrian has but in todays world this seems ridiculous. This is a rather quirky novel that has almost been totally forgotten. This wasn't a particularly easy read, the prose is grandiose, there are elements of this book that I rather enjoyed, in particular his dealings with the Socialists who were laughable, but there were also some elements that I found rather tedious. It perhaps deserves to be more widely read but in truth I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to any of my friends.
… (plus d'informations)
PilgrimJess | 11 autres critiques | Mar 31, 2023 |
A lone man in search of life, "He was for fresh air, open skies, and lovely loneliness". Thus Nicholas Crabbe sets out to find some taste of pleasure on a voyage into the unknown of his imagined future.
jwhenderson | 1 autre critique | Mar 30, 2022 |
Alexander Theroux sent me here.

I’ll be reading everything by Rolfe/Corvo on which I can get my hands.
chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
George Arthur Rose is a staunch Catholic and a wannabe-priest, but for twenty years all his efforts to have his vocation made official have been torpedoed either by bad luck, or by bishops disinclined to put up with his difficult character and his erratic behaviour. As a result, Rose, eking out an existence as a freelance writer, has become bitter and easy (and very eager!) to take offence; he takes pride in rubbing his misfortunes in the face of those responsible precisely by ostentatiously not rubbing them in their face. He’s got several magnanimous monologues prepared, for when his tormentors finally see the light and apologize to him. He’s also an inveterate cat person.

So far, the story is really that of the author himself: Frederick Rolfe, the self-styled Baron Corvo, who abbreviated his first name Fr. so as to give the impression of being a priest. But then, one day, Rose gets elected pope. He takes it in stride, and sets out to become the best, most memorable, and most innovative pope ever. Also, he mews occasionally.

Hadrian the Seventh is a fun romp of a book. It’s Roman-Catholic fanfic, a delightful what-if tale that takes its silly premise and runs with it, emphatically not caring about what anyone may think. Rolfe’s pope, scrupulously exact and sternly megalomaniacal, is what the entire book hangs on, lavishing well-deserved attention on him, letting him shine in all his contradictory glory; as such, he joins my pantheon of memorable characters that transcend their book.

And it isn't just the main character -- it’s the entirety of Hadrian the Seventh that so fascinatingly walks that fine line between sincerity and satire. It is written in an elegantly baroque style that is so full of its own aloofness it almost parodies itself; its central character, so impossibly smug, is treated with the utmost gravity; and its attitudes towards women, socialists, non-Catholics and assorted nationalities are ridiculous, yet presented as such self-evidencies and taken so far that it’s hard to take them entirely seriously.

I'm not quite sure just how tongue-in-cheek this book is: is it mostly self-aware over-the-top wishful thinking with an honest desire at its core? Or does it aim to create an exaggerated but mostly honest attempt at what-if? Or was the author unaware of how self-aggrandizing the book is? Or perhaps he was and he intended it so. From what I've read, all of these are possible. (Incidentally, I've also purchased Symons' The Quest for Corvo, a biography of Rolfe (which appears to be a fêted classic in its own right), and will certainly read it.)

Whatever the case may be, Hadrian the Seventh was enormous fun to read, endlessly entertaining and more whimsical than any other book I read this year.
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2 voter
Petroglyph | 11 autres critiques | Dec 22, 2014 |


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