A legendary book that I was overjoyed to find in an Op Shop way back in 2001 (before kids). Something about pre-natal check-ups and waiting rooms meant that I read a lot of books that year.
The book brings to life the story of Sts Agnes, Sebastian, Tarcisius and Pancratius and a few others for good measure. The author drew on his own familiarity with the Catacombs of Rome and then current research (1850s).
It is available on Librivox, but not yet Project Gutenberg. It’s sitting in the Post Processing round with the Distributed Proofreaders.
And I have just made a cheap paperback reprint through Lulu.
My Op Shop copy is falling apart (and it’s only from 1962!) so I’m really looking forward to this new reprint that I can hand to my kids without worrying about losing the pages.
There were a few spin off novels - not by the same author. Callista by Cardinal Newman and I also have a book about Perpetua and Felicity called Fabiola’s Sisters. The time affects the style, so they start off feeling a tad melodramatic, but you become acclimatized after a while.
And to show I’ve been interested in formatting Fabiola for over a decade, here is my earlier attempt to scan, ocr and format the book. I only got a few chapters in.