The Cathedral

Hugh Walpole

Immensely successful in his own time and endowed with great narrative and descriptive gifts Hugh Walpole regarded The Cathedral, first published in 1922, as his best story.

It tells of life in a town dominated by the brooding presence of its great cathedral. Those who serve it live out the little dramas of their Trollopian lives until the moment at which the hubris of their leading light, the handsome and confident Archdeacon Brandon, encounters nemesis in the form of a newcomer with an uncanny talent for the politics of clerical life.

A titanic and unforgettable struggle ensues which upends the social order of late Victorian Britain in unforgettable scenes of carnivalesque disorder, family conflict, elopement and clerical adultery.

Former Bishop of Edinburgh (1986 – 2000) and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Richard Holloway is one of the most interesting and influential writers on questions of spirituality and faith writing today.

His autobiography Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt (2014) is a beautifully written memoir which charts an extraordinary from Alexandria, industrial town to the West of Glasgow, and a traditional Anglo-Catholic faith, through strong engagement with social and pastoral problems to a cosmopolitan and doubt-filled view of religious belief, a distrust of traditional authority and a love of literature and art.

His most recent books are Waiting For The Last Bus (2018) and Stories We Tell Ourselves: Making Meaning in a Meaningless Universe (2020).

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