Source text (please read only from this text!): https://archive.org/details/johninglesant00shor‘John Inglesant’ is the best known of Mr. Shorthouse’s novels: it is also the most perfect embodiment of this spirit of mysticism in fiction. The hero, whose name gives the title to the book, is a cavalier in the court of King Charles the First. There is an exquisite aroma about his character: he is a gentleman and a saint, a courtier with the soul of an anchorite. He adheres with scrupulous fidelity to the requirements of his order, yet he is haunted with visions of the Divine life: he is a mystic and a man of the world.<br><br>The book is a romance of the time of Charles I., and the years immediately following his death, and is cast in the form of the memoirs of John Inglesant, the working-out of whose character forms the most interesting part of a hook, every line of which has its interest. In John Inglesant - educated and trained from his early years at the hands of the Jesuits, and moulded and tuned from the first for the purposes they had in view — the author cleverly paints the conflict of a naturally frank and truthful character, with the more artificial virtues of unquestioning obedience and blind adherence to a cause, however bad, once taken in hand, that the skilful training by these most successful of teachers had superinduced. The book may be said to be divided into two parts, each of which covers a volume [chapters 1-20, 21-39]. In the first, the scene is laid in England, during the last days of the struggle between Charles I. and his Parliament. The second deals with later events in Italy, that took place about the time of the election of Pope Alexander VII; while, interwoven with the later story, is an account of the Molinists and Quietists in Italy, whose short-lived fervour was crushed by the Jesuits, through the arrest of their leader, Michael de Molinos. Throughout the whole, however, runs the thread of John Inglesant’s personal history, which is very cleverly conceived and skilfully blended in.<br><br>[The book] expresses ideals that to the majority of us have become mere phrases. Briefly these ideals are, setting aside the question of religion, personal fidelity to a personal sovereign and single-hearted reverence for one woman.<br><br>This novel was loved by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Summary by Various PD sources)
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