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The daughter of a British chieftain, suddenly betrothed to the warrior who becomes the Roman Emperor Constantius, spends all her time seeking truth in the religions and philosophies of the declining ancient world until she finds her answers in Christianity, literally in the Cross of Christ. Reissue.
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Book Description: Loyola Press February 2005, 2005. Paper Back. Book Condition: New. Evelyn Waugh, considered by some to be one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, considered Helena to be his finest novel. A man who understood himself essentially as a Christian pilgrim and as a writer by vocation, not simply profession, Waugh himself admitted he was a very bad Christian and once told a society matron, ''Madame, were it not for the faith, I should scarcely be human.'' Yet Helena was the only of his novels Waugh deemed worthy to read aloud to his family. Throughout this crisp and deceptively simple telling of the life of Helena (mother of the Emperor Constantine and finder of the true cross) Waugh explores the question, how does one become a saint? His friend, poet John Betjeman, confessed to Waugh that, in the novel, Helena certainly ''doesn't seem like a saint,'' to which Waugh replied: ''I like Helena's sanctity because it is in contrast to all that moderns think of as sanctity. She wasn't thrown to the lions, she wasn't a contemplative, she didn't look like an El Greco. She just discovered what it was God had chosen for her to do and did it.'' For both Helena and Waugh, it seems the ''remorseless fact of the lump of wood to which Christ was nailed in agony'' (to quote Helena) reminds us, most importantly, that we have been created, and we have been redeemed. 239 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 92383
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