5 October, 2018
Author: Fergus Butler-Gallie
Category: New Books
Recommended by bookseller Eleanor Franzen:
"The community of Anglican priests is well-known for having more than its fair share of eccentrics. Fergus Butler-Gallie draws back the curtain on some prime historical specimens. The back cover lists, for example, the Reverend Edward Drax Free, whose reaction to the attempts of his congregation to oust him for (amongst other things) repeated public drunkenness and stealing the lead from the church roof to sell for scrap was to lock himself in his study with 'his favourite maid, a brace of pistols, and a stack of French pornography'. Eccentricity doesn’t mean awfulness, though; there’s a great charm in the vicar who insisted upon traveling only by horse (which he named Sabbatical, so that his secretary could quite honestly tell callers that the good reverend was “away on Sabbatical”), or in Launcelot Fleming, Bishop of Portsmouth, who once commandeered a Navy helicopter when he was late for services. A delightful reminder that, in this most English of institutions, there really is room for everyone."
Buy a copy of A Field Guide to the English Clergy here.