Robert Hugh Benson was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury so imagine the scandal when he converted to Catholicism! It was long after his father died, otherwise the shock would probably have been even greater.
This is a lyrical but old-fashioned book in which Benson tells the story of his long search for meaning. Although he became an Anglican priest, the Anglican church never really engaged him. It had 'no spark in it of real vitality,' at least when he was young. He was brought up to think of Catholicism as 'corrupt and decayed' and the extreme Protestants as 'noisy, extravagant and vulgar'. Benson saw the life of a quiet country clergyman with a beautiful garden ahead of him.
However, when he went to Europe, he felt a sense of isolation as an Anglican and he was struck by the strength and continuity of the Catholic church. These reasons for conversion don't apply so much today - there is much more division within Catholicism now, for example. However, anyone interested in Catholicism will find this tale of a Victorian clergyman who decided to follow the beat of a different drummer worth reading.
I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.