The Betrayal by Douglas Bond


You may get a chance to read over the summer break. Here is an idea for summer reading.

I do not often read historical novels, but this one was pointed out by Adrian Reynolds a while back.

The novel is about John Calvin, and follows his story from beginnings to the bitter end. It is told from the point of view of his manservant. Douglas Bond is clearly sympathetic to Calvin, which enhanced the enjoyment from my point of view as it meant we could get on with the story without having to stop and take pot-shots at the central character. But neither were the soliloquies or grand sermons. This is a story, if at times a little worthy.

It is hard to come away feeling that one got under the skin of the main character as Calvin is such a dry figure, and yet I came away with some impression of Geneva, and of fiery Farel, and of the struggle that the Reformation involved. I was also encouraged in my faith to go back and rediscover these roots. This is a book I would recommend, with only the proviso that it would appeal more to someone with knowledge of and love for the Reformation.

Incidentally the only other church-historical novel I read was by Bruce Longenecker, and set in NT times, called The Lost Letters of Pergamum. As long as you remember it’s a novel, this brings the NT background to life. Enjoy!