The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest is an easy-reading, engrossing account of that man’s adventures and achievements while serving underground as a Catholic priest in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. You’d never guess that it was originally written in Latin in 1606.
As a Catholic priest, Gerard was forced to live in hiding and faced arrest, imprisonment, torture, and possible execution for treason if he was ever caught. Equally remarkable are the number of people who took the risk of sheltering Gerard and other priests like him. Gerard was eventually caught and tortured, but escaped out a window using bedsheets(!) before he could be executed. He then returned to his ministry, and it was only in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot that Gerard was forced to flee the country to the continent, where he remained until his death.
Gerard’s book, originally intended for just a few friends and colleagues, is a fascinating historical account of Catholic life under extreme government persecution. Is it unbiased? No, obviously not, but if all histories were this fun and suspenseful, a lot more people would read non-fiction. Definitely recommended.
Review by Jennifer Stewart, Library Assistant, Corsicana Campus