Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
The Eternal City
Hall Caine (1853–1931)
Eternal City, The, by Hall Caine was published in 1901. The story opens in London, where Prince Volonna, who has been exiled for conspiracy against the Italian government, lives a life of charity under an assumed name, being known as Dr. Roselli. He rescues from the snow, a street waif, David Leone, who is one of the many who are brought to England yearly from the south to play and beg in the streets. This lad grows up in the household of the good doctor and his English wife and little daughter Roma, imbibing his foster father’s theories and becoming his disciple. Prince Volonna is finally tricked back to Italy, where he is captured and transported to Elba, and David Leone is likewise condemned as a conspirator; the latter escapes, and as David Rossi enters Rome and preaches his principle of the brotherhood of man. After the death of her father, Roma is discovered by the Baron Bonelli, Secretary of State, and a man of cunning and duplicity, who brings her to Rome where she becomes the reigning belle of the capital, but one whose name has not remained untarnished. The author recounts her meeting with David Rossi, her recognition of her foster brother, their love and the various obstacles which beset their path. In ‘The Eternal City’ Mr. Caine has presented a sociological study with a strong element of love-making in it. Through the efforts of a humanizing socialism, the principles of which are based upon the Lord’s Prayer, the Pope resigns all temporal power and the young King is brought to abdicate his throne, and an ideal republic is born, whose creed is the brotherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. The story, with its background of Rome the Eternal city, is thrilling in detail and holds the reader’s attention by the intricacies of its plot and the brilliancy of its author’s dramatic style.  1

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