This is the third of Robert Hugh Benson's "mainstream" novels. The Coward, first published in 1912, may have been the most shocking to the upper class sensibilities of Benson's day. A young man is faced with challenges and manages to fail at every step. He becomes convinced he is an irredeemable coward - and only then begins to find courage. In a damning indictment of close-minded Edwardian society, a supreme act of courage on the young man's part is mistaken for yet one more craven act. The Coward takes on the soul-destroying tendency to adhere unthinkingly to social conventions. [Suggest a different description.]
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