A biography of Esther Joseph, the tonsured and bare- footed Capuchin monk who became Richelleu's right hand man and who, in attempting to recouncil religion and politics, found that he had turned his back on God. With none of the irony, the sharp wit of Huxley's other works, this is a profound, exhaustive, erudite study of the conflict between the contemplative and the active life. An inquiry into the nature of Christianity, emotional, intellectual, political, with its paradoxes, as well as a study of the man himself. Austers, quent, self-abnegating -- Father Joseph became a tireless teacher, reformer, missionary. When called to Richelieu's side, his religion was superseded by political machinations. The book emerges as almost an exercise in doctrine. With its cold brilliance of reason and argument and learning, its emotional sterility. A limited market.