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English literature notes - Hadrian the Seventh - Frederick Rolfe


Hadrian the Seventh was written by Frederick Rolfe in 1904 and the book is considered Frederick Rolfe's masterpiece.

Frederick Rolfe was born in London in 1860. He converted to Catholicism as a young man, after his theological studies from where he was expelled for mysterious reasons. Subsequently Frederick Rolfe began his adventurous life, made of a thousand trades (photographer, decorator, teacher, secretary, painter, writer).

The main character (Hadrian the Seventh) is described and portrayed by the author Frederick Rolfe with a keen psychological analysis and a great depth.
In addition, this novel also is characterized by an interesting historical connotation and realistic one. But the novel is also characterized by an anticipatory connotation: the book, in fact, describes the political events that would occur a few years, a few decades later.
The book can be read through several different interpretations.

For example it can be seen as a prophetic anticipation of the totalitarianism which characterized the twentieth century; or it can be read as a book by a blatant violator, such as extreme, wonderful fruit of Frederick Rolfe's eccentric existence, characterized by a lot of wonderful experiences.

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