The Purple Robe by Joseph Hocking

“All of us long for forbidden fruit. This may explain why Alison Neville, of Neville Priory, desired to enter a Nonconformist Church. Had she been free to do as she liked about the matter, the possibilities are that she would not have had the faintest inclination in this direction; but being a Roman Catholic, as her forefathers had been for many generations, she had been led to regard worship within unconsecrated walls as a species of blasphemy. Hence the desire to take part in a Protestant service.”

Joseph Hocking is the Lutheran Librarian’s favorite Christian novelist. During his lifetime he was widely read and greatly beloved throughout the English speaking world. Most of his books deal in some way with the struggles and conflicts of living as a Christian in the modern world.

The Lutheran Library is republishing many of Joseph Hocking’s novels. If you have any of Hocking’s 50 “lost” books, please contact us.


  • Titlepage
  • Contents
  • 1 Why Alizon Neville Went To Tudor Chapel
  • 2 How Duncan Rutland Met Alizon Neville
  • 3 Why Duncan Challenged Father Sheen To A Public Debate
  • 4 How Duncan’s Letter Affected Father Sheen
  • 5 A Tournament Of The Nineteenth Century
  • 6 Alizon Neville’s Dilemma
  • 7 The Scene At Boggart’s Clough
  • 8 Duncan Rutland’s Victory
  • 9 The Coming Of Father Ritzoom
  • 10 Father Ritzoom’s Plans
  • 11 At The Priory
  • 12 The First Link In The Chain
  • 13 The Beginning Of The Struggle
  • 14 How Duncan Rutland’s Eyes Were Opened
  • 15 “Man Proposes, But God Disposes”
  • 16 Rutland’s Confession
  • 17 Ideal Catholicism
  • 18 The Man And The Woman
  • 19 “All Roads Lead To Rome”
  • 20 The Home Of The Papacy
  • 21 What Alizon And Duncan Saw At St. Peter’s
  • 22 The Opinions Of Those In High Places
  • 23 Within The Vatican
  • 24 The Bambino
  • 25 How The Bambino Cured Lady Neville
  • 26 Sight-seeing
  • 27 How Rutland And Alizon Saw The Pope Of Rome
  • 28 How Alizon Received Rutland’s Confession
  • 29 Afterwards
  • 30 How Lady Neville Received The News
  • 31 Duncan’s First Love-letter
  • 32 Father Ritzoom Deliberates
  • 33 The Priest And The Woman
  • 34 Rutland’s Home-coming
  • 35 Duncan Rutland’s Temptation
  • 36 God, The Man, And The Woman

Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2020 updated: 2023
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0
Joseph Hocking
Joseph Hocking

Joseph Hocking (1860-1937), was a Cornish writer and United Methodist Free Church minister. His novels were immensely popular in his lifetime. Many of his 100 books are available at no charge from the Lutheran Library.