Item description for A Danger to the State: A Historical Novel by Philip Trower...
Through a large cast of historical and fictional characters, A Danger to the State relates one of the outstanding though little known dramas of modern history. In 1773, surrendering at last to a 20 year long campaign of intrigue and calumny, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the famous Society of Jesus, founded 200 years earlier by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Just sixteen years before the French Revolution, Europe's Catholic kings, threatening to take their countries into schism, pressured Pope Clement into destroying the strongest bulwark and the Church's most successful band of missionaries. What lay behind this apparent act of madness? There was no popular opposition to the Jesuits, and the Kings were mainly dupes. The driving force came from the writers and thinkers of the French Enlightenment, agnostics and atheists that included a number of Europe's leading statesman among it's members. "Once we have destroyed the Jesuits", wrote Voltaire, "we should have easy work with the Church." The action revolves around the de Vallecas family, a distinguished Spanish family that have two sons in the Jesuit order - one a missionary to the Jesuit Reductions in Paraguay, the other a novice in Spain during the efforts of suppression. This chronicle of political intrigue moves masterfully from the turbulent scenes in Madrid of the French anti-Jesuit forces battle to influence King Charles III and other Spanish leaders, to the serene setting of the Jesuit missions in Paraguay in their last days of glory and, finally, to Catherine the Great's Russia.
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Release Date Mar 31, 1998
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 0898706742 ISBN13 9780898706741
Reviews - What do customers think about A Danger to the State: A Historical Novel?
Moved three words off my "queasy list" Oct 11, 2004
For years, my Queasy List (words or events that I know are important but don't know enough about to explain to an 8th-grader) included the "Enlightenment," the "Suppression of the Jesuits," and the Paraguay "Reductions."
Trower's "Danger to the State" moved all three to my Got It List. Plus, it's plenty good enough as a novel to keep me excited about the plot and the fate of the characters.
Since reading it, then stumbling across his monograph, "The Church Learned and the Revolt of the Scholars" (available by free download), and then speaking to him for a few minutes, I've come to believe he is as honest and fair a historian as one is likely to find.
Marshall Fritz www.HonestEdu.org
Catholic Family newspaper review Nov 17, 1998
Joanne Bogle, writing in "The Catholic Family" (No.38 IV 1998) writes: "This book genuinely deserves the comment, "I couldn't put it down". Combining vivid descriptions with a magnificent plot, interweaving high adventure, intrigue and haunting romance, it is the story of the Jesuit supression in the 18th-century. It describes their magnificent work in South America, stalks spies and politicians through the courts of Europe and shows how decisions and compromises made by leaders of Church and state have effects on the lives of ordinary people. Philip Trower's prose is free of clichés or lavish wording; he has produced a novel that is both readable and with an epic quality. He brings history before our eyes and makes its conversations and tensions echo in our ears and minds. I recommend it particularly for anyone in their late teens or twenties".
Suppression of Jesuits; Tragedy for Western Civilization Aug 27, 1998
Trower's book is a fictional depiction of the historical events surrounding the supression of the Jesuit Order in 1773. When Pope Clement XIV issued the brief decommissioning the Society of Jesus, he wiped out a religious order founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola. At the time of its demise, there were almost 23,000 Jesuits in Europe, the Far East, and the Western Hemisphere. The Order had 39 provinces containing 845 educational institutions over 600 of which were secondary schools and colleges all of which were well endowed and tuition free. No wonder the Enlightenment enemies of the Church targeted the Society of Jesus! It was like a formidable intellectual and unsinkable battleship which made short work of silly fools like Diderot and sybaritic fops like Rousseau. The Jesuits had to be swept away in order that the Enlightenment could have a free hand. The results: intellectual confusion and the disintegration of Western civilization -- legacies that still plague us today. The novel is focused around a Spanish noble family, both of whose sons are Jesuits, one a novice in Spain, the other a priest in Paraguay. Trower's story fleshes out the dry historical bones of this little remembered episode in history. He accomplishes it well by sound historical research, masterful character development, and not without intrigue and mystery. The Order eventually was restored in 1814, kept alive in Russia during the interim by Catherine the Great, who recognizing the Jesuits' formidible intellectual and teaching skills, would not allow the papal brief of suppression to be promulgated. Even this episode makes its way into Trower's drama. Ignatius Press does not as a matter of course publish fiction unless it is of the highest quality. Once again Ignatius made a sound editorial decision. the reader will not be disappointed.