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Baron Corvo aka Fr. Rolfe

Born on this date. If you appreciate the anarchic A Confederacy of Dunces you may well enjoy Rolfe’s super funny and outrageous novel Hadrian the Seventh. A classic in its own right is A. J. A. Symons’ biography of Rolfe, The Quest For Corvo. Below: Alec McCowen as Hadrian the Seventh, Mermaid Theatre, April 1968 winning his…

Ralph McInerny on Baron Corvo, the “Spoiled Priest”

Lovely talk by the late Ralph McInerny that opens with the vexed question of what one might mean by the “Catholic novel”, an idea deeply complicated by one of my favourite authors, the one and only Frederick Rolfe aka Baron Corvo, “the most anti-Catholic Catholic” (a la Buñuel). If you appreciate transgressive caustic humour (i.e. you are someone that hasn’t been…

Frederick Rolfe a.k.a. Baron Corvo

Given a papal change is underway, Rolf’s Hadrian the Seventh is as timely as ever, and in my view happens to be one of the top five novels of the 20th Century. Here is David Bradshaw’s reliable Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry. Part and parcel of the Corvo legend is Symons’ classic biography of Corvo, Corvo brought to Symons’…