Simon Called Peter

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Simon Called Peter is a novel by Robert Keable (1887–1927) [1] which was a best-seller in 1921.[2] The title is a reference to Simon Peter the apostle and first Pope of the Catholic Church.

In 1921 it was met with astonishing success, and its runaway popularity won Keable a level of celebrity. The book reportedly sold over 600,000 copies during the 1920s,[3] reaching a 66th edition by 1922.[4] A largely autobiographical work, Simon Called Peter is the tale of a priest, Peter Graham, who has an affair in wartime France with a nurse named Julie. The title character almost abandons his faith for love, but experiences a direct revelation of Christ while watching a Catholic mass and is given up by his lover, who sees his sincerity. The book was controversial at its introduction due to its sexual and religious content;

It was made into a play in 1924 by Jules Eckert Goodman and Edward Knoblock;[5] which had a short run on Broadway.[6]

This book is referred to in The Great Gatsby. Nick Carraway, the narrator, reads a chapter and claims that "either it was terrible stuff or the whisky distorted things, because it didn't make any sense to me."[7]

The novel was followed by a sequel, Recompense, published in 1924,[8] which was made into a 1925 motion picture with the same title.


  1. ^ [1] Time Magazine, Jan 2, 1928
  2. ^ Great War Fiction by George Simmer
  3. ^ Peterson, Austin (2003). Tahiti Report 2003. iUniverse. p. 66. ISBN 0-595-26835-8.
  4. ^ Robert Keable, quoted in Cecil (1995) p.155
  5. ^ [2] Time Magazine, Aug. 18, 2004
  6. ^ Internet Broadway Database
  7. ^ The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Penguin. 2011
  8. ^ [3] Time April 21, 1924.

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