Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914) was born just outside of London, the youngest son of Mary Sidgwick and Edward White Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 to his death in 1896. Benson studied at Eton and Trinity College in Cambridge and was ordained to the Anglican priesthood by his father in 1895. Benson decided to enter an Anglican religious order, the Community of the Resurrection, however, his attraction to Rome grew as he continued his studies and deepened friendships with Roman Catholics. In 1903, he was received into the Catholic Church. After nine months of study in Rome, he was ordained a Catholic priest.
Benson was sent to Cambridge to write and serve as a priest chaplain to the Catholic community. Later, he was allowed to live on his own to devote himself to writing. A prolific author, he traveled extensively, writing and lecturing. Benson wrote many apologetic works, including The Religion of the Plain Man, Paradoxes of Catholicism, and Confessions of a Convert. He was also a bestselling novelist, writing The Holy Blissful Martyr Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Come Rack! Come Rope!, and The Necromancers. The dystopian novel Lord of the World is his best-known work.