The Quest for Corvo An Experiment in Biography
One day in 1925, a friend asked Symons if he had read ‘Hadrian the Seventh’. He hadn’t, but soon did, and found himself entranced by the novel and by its mysterious, all-but-forgotten creator.
One day in 1925 a friend asked A J A Symons if he had read Fr Rolfe’s Hadrian the Seventh. He hadn’t, but soon did, and found himself entranced by the novel – ‘a masterpiece’ – and no less fascinated by the mysterious person of its all-but-forgotten creator. The Quest for Corvo is a hilarious and heartbreaking portrait of the strange Frederick Rolfe, self -appointed Baron Corvo, an artist, writer, and frustrated aspirant to be priesthood with a bottomless talent for self-destruction. But this singular work, sutitled ‘an experiment in biography’, is also a remarkable self-portrait, a study of the obsession and sympathy that inspires the biographer’s art.