In 1581 Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest working underground in Protestant England, was found guilty of treason and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Years later he would be beatified. Evelyn Waugh's compelling and elegant narrative is a homage to the man he revered as a poet, scholar, hero and martyr. He tells Campion's story with a novelist's eye for detail, from his success as an Oxford scholar, through his travels around Europe, his doomed secret mission to England and on to his capture and dramatic trial.
Vividly re-creating a time of persecution and surveillance, Waugh writes that 'the hunted, trapped murdered priest is our contemporary and Campion's voice sounds to us across the centuries'.