The Cluny Classics Series is our contribution to the preservation of great works of Catholic (or catholic) fiction, poetry, and essays. Titles in the Series will, more often than not, be complemented by a new Introduction and accompanying Notes for the Reader, to re-introduce the book and its author, to re-acquaint us with the contexts and circumstances in which the book was written and its author lived, and to illustrate the place of the book and author in literary history.
Use code CLASSICS at checkout to save 20% on any order that includes two or more titles in the Classics Series!
A Kiss for the Leper
By François Mauriac
With an Essay by Anthony Esolen
A Kiss for the Leper firmly established future Nobel Prize-winner François Mauriac as one of the twentieth century’s preeminent novelists. Jean Péloueyre, heir to an extensive estate in southern France, is a maladroit, misshapen, misbegotten young man. The very antithesis of a hero, Jean is very much in need of saving. And yet, as Anthony Esolen writes in his accompanying essay, “The redeemers and the redeemed are not whom we expect.” Against Nietzschean notions of power and sentimental dilutions of Christianity, Mauriac casts Jean and his young bride as cooperators in redemption, leprous, unenlightened souls whose Redeemer bore the punishment that makes them—and us—whole. Like in the novels which would develop his renown, Vipers’ Tangle and A Woman of the Pharisees, Mauriac crafts a story that is visceral, violent, and saturated with the mystery of mercy.
“There are no Masters. We are all of us born slaves and we grow into the freedom of the Lord.”
Paperback: 150 pp.
Come Rack, Come Rope
By Robert Hugh Benson
Come Rack, Come Rope is one of Robert Hugh Benson’s best-known novels. Based on true events and individuals in the time of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics in England, it centers on Robin and Margaret, who give up their love for another and hope of marriage in order to minister to their persecuted neighbors. Masterfully weaving the historical source material with his own creative additions, Benson presents an unflinchingly truthful portrayal of the terror of those times along with an achingly beautiful depiction of true faith.
“Benson was one of the brightest lights in the Catholic literary firmament…”
~Joseph Pearce, in his article “Robert Hugh Benson:
Remembering a Forgotten Giant” in The Imaginative Conservative
Dan England and the Noonday Devil
By Myles Connolly
Introduction and Notes by Stephen Mirarchi
Dan England and the Noonday Devil was Myles Connolly’s favorite of his five books. Indeed, with the profound philosophic sensibility and keen artistic vision that marked Connolly’s craft in the outstanding Mr. Blue shining out even brighter here, one can easily why. Dan England is a merry and magnanimous man, whose occupation in life is the forging of friendships and the spreading of joy. Believing totally in the capacity of his friends to reach the heroic heights of sainthood, Dan himself is beset by doubts as he battles against that most insidious of foes: acedia, or the “noonday devil.”
Take and read. Dan England and the Noonday Devil might just become your favorite Myles Connolly book as well.
“With its focus on fatherhood and servant leadership, Connolly’s Dan England and the Noonday Devil raises themes both universal and of immediate import.” ~Paul Almonte, St. Peter’s College
Paperback: 316 pp.
By Georges Bernanos
Joy is the story of Chantal de Clergerie, a young woman and visionary who lives a life defined by innocence and purity in the midst of a tangle of insanity, and Abbé Cénabre, a priest grappling with apostasy. In keeping with the other great works of award-winning author Georges Bernanos, Joy is a captivating, insightful, and profound look into the depths of the interior life. In 1929, Joy was awarded the Prix Femina, a literary prize given to what is deemed the best French novel of the year.
“Andrew Kaethler’s introduction and notes provide a friendly, informed, welcoming guide to this still-too-little-known work.” ~Michael Ward, University of Oxford
Paperback: 340 pp.
Like a Roaring Lion
By Orestes Brownson
Introduction and Notes by Gerald J. Russello
Like a Roaring Lion (first published in 1854 as The Spirit-Rapper: An Autobiography) is an intellectual tour de force and a spiritual odyssey through the religious kaleidoscope of nineteenth-century America. Orestes Brownson witnessed firsthand the obsession of his age with spiritualism and the occult, and in Like a Roaring Lion he undertakes the daunting task of illustrating its temptations and dangers. Today, no less than in the 1850s, does the spirit of the age and the lord of this world still whisper that we humans can be as gods.
“Congratulations for bringing this quirky, deep, and uncannily relevant novel of Brownson back into print. The novel is, most of all, a defense of the realism of true or Catholic religion.” ~Peter Augustine Lawler, Berry College
Paperback: 374 pp.
By Myles Connolly
J. Blue is a mysterious man. Charming and carefree, he goes from rags to riches after the inheritance of an unexpected fortune, only to forgo money and power for the love of Lady Poverty. This life of service leads him to embrace fully his Christian faith—loving the unlovable, instructing the ignorant, and remembering that it is by grace that we are saved. In this new edition of Myles Connolly’s 1928 novel, which features a special Preface by Connolly’s own daughter, readers can again encounter the mystery of “Mr. Blue.” Stephen Mirarchi’s Introduction places the book in historical context and explains its literary structure, and his exhaustive Notes reveal Connolly’s sharp command of his craft. Readers will see more clearly than ever before how “Blue made one believe almost anything is possible,” especially a life of joyful self-giving.
“This little book is a gem.” ~Joseph Pearce, Aquinas College
“This new edition includes superlative notes that will illuminate Blue’s contemporary Catholic world for any reader.” ~Paul J. Contino, Pepperdine University
“At last! A popular classic is given its due with the full scholarly treatment. A refreshing ride with Mr. Blue and his Chestertonian wisdom and innocence.” ~Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society
Paperback: 246 pages
Under the Sun of Satan
By Georges Bernanos
Under the Sun of Satan, Georges Bernanos’s powerful debut novel, throws the reader headlong into the mystery of evil and the drama of salvation. Saturated with dramatic intensity and marked with Bernanos’s inimitable fitful style, the novel follows young Fr. Donissan, a man of fervent faith but limited intelligence, striving to serve the Lord in his rural ministry. The priest’s ability to plumb the depths of his flock’s inner lives, along with his awareness of Satan on the prowl, grant him formidable opportunities of grace—with a girl fallen prey to prostitution, with a child on the cusp of death, and with his fellow priests struggling with doubt. Meditative, keenly insightful, at times alarming, Under the Sun of Satan displays the masterful scope of Bernanos’s artistic vision, a vision which only grew in clarity with his later works.
“Like no other Christian writer of our times, Bernanos is the minstrel of grace.” ~Hans Urs von Balthasar
Paperback: 344 pp.
By François Mauriac
Introduction and Notes by Timothy P. O’Malley; Preface by Stephen Mirarchi
Paperback: 352 pp.
A man’s letter to his estranged wife, explaining his hatred for her and their children, is transformed under Mauriac’s masterful pen into a diary of spiritual and psychological battles against God, family, and self. With remarkable subtlety and sensitivity, Mauriac relates the transformation of Monsieur Louis by the sublime workings of grace. Vipers’ Tangle’s superb arc and unflinching examination of the human heart makes it easily one of the greatest novels—Catholic or otherwise—of all time.
“Mauriac remains unequalled in conciseness and expressive force of language.” ~Anders Österling, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy