St. George: Knight, Martyr, Patron, Saint, and Dragonslayer by Giles Morgan

This book is unnecessarily padded beyond belief. Having said that, it’s not uninteresting, but it tries too hard to reach beyond its own scope.

The author says outright that the known facts of St. George are few and far between, and much of what we think we know is contradictory. The historical assessment of St. George as martyr outlined in chapter 1 is good stuff. It needs to be there. Likewise, chapter 3 is all about the classic myths of St. George and the Dragon. Chapter 5 explains how the cult of St. George expanded upon itself during the Crusades, and that makes perfect sense.

From there, the book collapses on itself with a brief history of other Christian saints, a comparison to other mythological heroes that just begs the reader to jump straight to Joseph Campbell, and far too much time spent on how St. George evolved as an English symbol. Separate chapters on St. George as Patron Saint of England, Hero of the Empire, and St. George as Icon… three chapters to explain a single point that basically grows out of Crusades portion of the story? And the book is still this tiny? C’mon. As I said, padded.

I’m probably just jaded because I am considerably more steeped in history and lore than the target audience of this book, but I think it’s probably a considerably better read for a younger reader just discovering this sort of thing.

2 stars


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