Until a leading historian published this classic biography in 1905, the facts about St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, were clouded by obscurity, controversy, and conjecture. This carefully researched study brought the venerated figure into the light of history, exploring the many legends surrounding the saint and assessing their probability through scrupulous analysis of early sources.
A fascinating portrait of fourth-century life in the British Isles during the Roman occupation emerges as the author narrates the facts of the saint’s birth and boyhood in Britain. Patrick’s abduction at the age of 17 by Irish raiders led to a turning point in his spiritual development and brought him to the island with which he would forever be associated. In Ireland, he embraced his faith and spent most of his life converting pagans, founding churches, and making Ireland a formal part of universal Christendom.
The richly detailed text concludes with extensive appendixes, including a detailed account of the author’s sources. Still a valuable reference work after nearly a century, consulted and quoted by scholars, historians, and theologians, this very readable and accessible biography will fascinate all readers interested in the life of this saint and in Irish history.
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