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The Cathedral

by Hugh Walpole

A notable novel of power and interest, marking the close of an era ending with the Queen's jubilee in 1897. Its action covers less than a year. The central theme is the Polchester cathedral, splendid and massive, "become a god demanding his own rites and worshippers." Against the background of its magnificence and petty village life is fought the duel for supremacy between simple-minded, autocratic archdeacon Brandon, symbolizing the arrogance of the church, and Canon Ronder, used by destiny as a blind, impersonal force to break in pieces the old order to make way for the new.

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Author of the Day

Deborah Swift
When Deborah Swift isn't working on her latest novel, she enjoys exploring the English countryside. It was during one of her nature walks that an "orchid guard" inspired her to write her novel, The Lady's Slipper. As our author of the day, Swift reveals why she was inspired, why she picked the 1660s as a backdrop for her book and what the orchid symbolizes.
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