Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt by Richard Holloway - review by John Cornwell

John Cornwell

Turbulent Priest

Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt


Canongate 358pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Richard Holloway is the first mate who incites a mutiny, makes his fellow mutineers walk the plank, dynamites the scuppers, and takes to a lifeboat. His has been a difficult life for his shipmates. Approaching eighty, he today finds himself stranded on Dover Beach, from whence he bleakly views the foundering ship of Faith in which he sailed so proudly – once. 

Holloway started life in a small town in the west of Scotland called Alexandria, where he served as an altar boy in his local Episcopal church. Drawn to the priesthood as an adolescent, he was granted a place at Kelham, an Anglican Benedictine school, where he received a kind of

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

The Incomparible Monsignor

Kafka Drawings

Follow Literary Review on Twitter