Evelyn Waugh: Edmund Campion

(165 words)
  • Ian Littlewood (University of Sussex)

Published in 1935, Waugh's biography of the Jesuit priest and martyr Edmund Campion is a feat both of imaginative history and of Catholic apologetics. Its four sections – the Scholar, the Priest, the Hero, the Martyr – highlight the stages of Campion's life (1540-81). After an early career as a brilliant young scholar and teacher at Oxford University, he converted to Roman Catholicism before fleeing to the Continent where he became a Jesuit priest. Sent back to England to minister to persecuted Catholics (or, according to the hostile version that Waugh rejects, to foment rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I), Campion lived undercover, travelling across the kingdom until he was finally captured, tortured and executed in 1581. …

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Littlewood, Ian. "Edmund Campion". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10620, accessed 26 November 2015.]