He seems to have been a serpent of serpents in the bosom of all the nineties. That in itself endears him to one.
D. H. Lawrence, in Adelphi (December 1925); cited from Michael Herbert (ed.) Selected Critical Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) p. 200.
It's all nonsense to say that the Fifteenth Century can't possibly speak to the Twentieth, because it is the Fifteenth and not the Twentieth, and because those two Centuries haven't got a Common Denominator. They have. It's Human Nature.Frederick Rolfe
He took the imperial hand and shook it in the glad-to-see-you-but-keep-off English fashion.Frederick Rolfe
An appeal to a goodness which is not in him is, to a vain and sensitive soul, a stinging insult.Frederick Rolfe
That cold white candent voice which was more caustic than silver nitrate and more thrilling than a scream.Frederick Rolfe
Pray for the repose of His soul. He was so tired.Frederick Rolfe
Rolfe's vice was spiritual more than it was carnal: it might be said that he was a pander and a swindler, because he cared for nothing but his faith. He would be a priest or nothing, so nothing it had to be…If he could not have Heaven, he would have Hell, and the last footprints seem to point unmistakably towards the Inferno.Frederick Rolfe
I have…read it with a good deal of amusement and enjoyment. The latter is due, I suppose, entirely to the subject – for everyone likes to imagine what a man could do if he were a dictator or Pope, or Caliph; the amusement is mainly at the author's expence. The style is one of the most preposterous I have ever read, and I doubt if I ever saw so much pedantry combined with so much ignorance.Frederick Rolfe
He wrote with great care, and with a sharpness, vivacity, and variety of epithet that give immediate and continuing pleasure, but he was not in any serious sense a novelist or even a writer of fiction. His emotionally injured self is the sole character of his fictions, with everybody else seen through the haze of his paranoia, like figures in a fun-fair mirror.Frederick Rolfe
He was a confidence-man, pauper, tutor, blackmailer, paedophile, translator – and author of seven novels and a number of short stories. Rolfe was a trickster whose failed life stank to himself as to the few friends whom he had and betrayed. But he was a fascinating figure: a bore, but also a pseudo-Borgian freak whose vindictiveness and paranoia have deservedly become legendary.Frederick Rolfe