Fabiola - a Tale of the Catacombs

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 has been adapted into a movie or two - an Italian silent movie from 1918 and a later Franco Italian movie from 1949.

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.