Written as a love story from the point of view of a Christian, Marcus Vitellus, Blood Purple describes Rome's military campaigns in the West, leading to Julian's declaration as Emperor in A.D.360, and his subsequent campaigns in the East, where he died at the age of 32. Christian theological disputes, the intrigues of the Court and the quarrels of the Christian emperors contrast with Julian's strong moral character, his love of Greek philosophy and his reverence for the ancient gods. The novel is a prism through which to view the late Roman world, when Christianity had only recently vanquished the old religions, particularly the salvation cults of Dionysos, Orpheus and Mithras. Julian tried to redress the balance between the ancient world and the new faith in a spirit of tolerance. Although he failed in this attempt, nearly 1700 years later, Julian the Platonist still has the ability to inspire as an example of duty, self-restraint and power uncorrupted.George Ernest Insley (born 1917), was a reluctant lawyer, but recognized that the practice gave him time to devote to other pursuits such as painting, writing and collecting - his earliest collection being the coins of the Emperor Julian. Recovering from polio in 1949, he read Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. When he reached the life of Julian (Emperor A.D. 360-363) he stopped: ".. a virtuous mortal, who had practised on the throne the lessons of philosophy; who, in a state of human imperfection, had aspired to imitate the moral attributes of the Deity."