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Death Comes for the Archbishop

Critique • Quotes

Death Comes for the Archbishop first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literature form

Literary, historical fiction

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 73,000 words

Notable lines

One summer evening in the year 1848, three Cardinals and a missionary Bishop from America were dining together in the garden of a villa in the Sabine hills, overlooking Rome.

— First line

The difficulty was that the country in which he found himself was so featureless—or rather, that it was crowded with features, all exactly alike.


They lapsed into the silence which was their usual form of intercourse.


The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.


Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. the landscape one longed for when one was far away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!


"I shall not die of a cold, my son. I shall die of having lived."

Eusabio and the Tesuque boys went quietly away to tell their people; and the next morning the old Archbishop lay before the high altar in the church he had built.

— Last line


Critique • Quotes