It’s not just the Pope doing Sam Cabot’s publicity

When Pope Benedict retired everyone was talking about the last time that happened, in the 15th C., which allowed the Council of Constance to elect Martin V — which event happens to be pivotal to the present-day action in Sam’s book, BLOOD OF THE LAMB.

Then came the election of the first Jesuit Pope, and everyone was talking about Jesuits, which Father Thomas Kelly, one of the heroes of Sam’s book, also happens to be.

Now, this isn’t nearly as big, but the Opinionator blog in today’s NY Times is about a lost letter concerning the death of Margaret Fuller. Fuller, almost forgotten today, was an important figure in the mid-19th C. A brilliant and passionate writer, she was sent by an American newspaper to cover the Italian uprising know as the Risorgimento — making her the first woman war correspondent.

Here, let Father Thomas Kelly, Sam’s hero, tell you about her as he tells a Cardinal in Chapter 6. He’s discussing an Italian poet named Mario Damiani, whose theft of a document in the 1840’s sets in motion the action of BLOOD OF THE LAMB.

“There’s a letter he wrote to Margaret Fuller. The American journalist?” No light went on in the Cardinal’s eyes, but it didn’t matter. “It’s what I’ve been doing in London. Going through Fuller’s papers. She was enormously important in Italy. Her reporting shaped the American view of the uprising and helped make Garibaldi a hero. She was married to a partisan, knew them all, and didn’t pretend to be objective. Damiani and she were particularly close. In his letter he tells her he stole something from the Vatican. He’s coy about what it is, but calls it, quote, ‘a document that will shatter the church.'”

Will it? Sam wouldn’t like it if I revealed any more. Luckily for you, the book will be out this summer…

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