My Name Is Legion (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
A. N. Wilson may be England’s most prolific writer. He has written biographies of Jesus, the Saint Paul the Apostle, Leo Tolstoy, Hilaire Belloc, and the members of the British Royal Family. Recently he penned an unflattering portrait of the distinguished novelist Iris Murdoch. He is a novelist of distinction himself, beginning with scandalous comedies such as The Sweets of Pimlico (1977) and moving on to the five-novel Lampitt Chronicles and to the story of a pedophile, Dream Children (1998). The comic achievement of Incline Our Hearts (1988), first of the Lampitt novels, would by itself make him a major author and make any new novel of his an event.
My Name Is Legion is such an event. It is a long novel, telling an involved story that takes place in England, mainly in London, over a fairly short period of time. Flashbacks take the reader to Zinariga, an African country rich in copper, where the grandfather of Lennox (“Lennie”) Marks established copper mines. Lennie was born in Zinariga and as a boy fell under the spell of an Anglican monk, Father Vivyan Chell. Chell, an aristocrat, came to Zinariga as a military officer, was overwhelmed by a transient feeling of God’s presence, became a monk, and returned to Zinariga to do good. Under Father Vivyan, Lennie briefly became devoted to the good, but when he went to the United States for his education, he lost most of his ethical principles. He retains, however, a...
(The entire section is 1846 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
Booklist 101, no. 17 (May 1, 2005): 1573.
Commonweal 132, no. 9 (May 6, 2005): 28.
The Guardian, April 3, 2004, p. 27.
The Independent, March 26, 2004, p. 25.
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 5 (March 1, 2005): 259.
Library Journal 130 (January, 2005): 76.
The Nation 190, no. 13 (March 26, 1960): 280-281.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 11 (March 14, 2005): 44-45.
Sunday Times, April 24, 2005, p. 46.
The Times Literary Supplement, April 2, 2004, p. 22.
(The entire section is 41 words.)