William Benjamin Basil King (1859–1928) was a Canadian-born clergyman who became a writer after retiring from the clergy due to loss of eyesight and thyroid disease. His novels and non-fiction were spiritually oriented.
He was born on February 26, 1859, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He graduated from the University of King's College in Nova Scotia, and served as an Episcopal rector at St. Luke's Pro-Cathedral in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and later at Christ Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
King retired from the clergy in 1900 due to illness, and began writing. His anonymously published novel The Inner Shrine, about a French Irish girl whose husband is killed in a duel, became very popular when published in 1909. King wrote a number of best-selling works (see list below). Critics often faulted Kings fiction for its sentimentality and didacticism.
King's spiritual orientation increased later in his life. His The Abolishing of Death (1919) described the transmission of messages from a deceased chemist. The Conquest of Fear (1921) portrayed his own struggle with ill health and eventual spiritual growth, and lays out his somewhat mystical approach to religious understanding.
He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 22, 1928.
- The Inner Shrine (1909)
- The Wild Olive (1910)
- The Street Called Straight (1912)
- The Way Home (1913)
- The Side of the Angels (1916)
- The High Heart (1917)
- Abraham's Bosom (1918)
- The Abolishing of Death (1919)
- The Conquest of Fear (1921)
- The Dust Flower (1922)
- The Discovery of God (1923)
- The Happy Isles (1923)
- The Bible and Common Sense (1924)
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