Hadrian the Seventh is novel of extreme wish-fulfillment developed out of an article he wrote on the Papal Conclave to elect the successor to Pope Leo XIII. The prologue introduces us to George Arthur Rose – a failed candidate for the priesthood denied his vocation by the machinations and bungling of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical machinery, and now living alone with his yellow cat. Rose is visited by two prominent churchmen, one a Cardinal Archbishop. The two propose to right the wrongs done to him, ordain him a priest, and take him to Rome where the Conclave to elect the new Pope has reached deadlock. When he arrives in Rome he finds that the Cardinals have been inspired, divinely or otherwise, to offer him the Papacy. He accepts, and since the only previous English Pope was Adrian (or Hadrian) IV, he takes the name Hadrian VII.