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Oddsfish! (a title derived from King Charles' favorite epithet) is the last of Benson's historical romances. It describes the plots and political movements of the closing scenes of the life of Charles II. Interwoven with the accurately portrayed events and places of the time are fictitious characters, including the narrator, Mr. Roger Mallock and his cousin and lady-love Dolly. Sent by Pope Innocent XI to Charles's court as a diplomatic representative of the Vatican, Mallock becomes a trusted confidant of the King and acts upon Charles's deathbed wish to give his confession to, and receive absolution from, a Catholic priest.
Robert Hugh Benson (1871 - 1914) was an English Anglican priest who in 1903 was received into the Roman Catholic Church in which he was ordained priest in 1904. He was a prolific writer of fiction and wrote the notable dystopian novel Lord of the World (1907). His output encompassed historical, horror and science fiction, contemporary fiction, children's stories, plays, apologetics, devotional works and articles. He continued his writing career at the same time as he progressed through the hierarchy to become a Chamberlain to the Pope in 1911 and subsequently titled Monsignor.