Ireland's Saint: The Essential Biography of St. Patrick

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Overview

Explore the life of St. Patrick-a story full of Druids and sorcery, tribal leaders and ancient curses, and the flowering of Ireland. J. B. Bury, the first modern biographer of the great saint, sought to find the man beneath the layers of myth and legend. Now, Jon M. Sweeney introduces Bury's classic biography for twenty-first-century readers, including sidebar notes from other biographers, mystics, historians, and storytellers of Ireland.

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Ireland's Saint: The Essential Biography of St. Patrick

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Overview

Explore the life of St. Patrick-a story full of Druids and sorcery, tribal leaders and ancient curses, and the flowering of Ireland. J. B. Bury, the first modern biographer of the great saint, sought to find the man beneath the layers of myth and legend. Now, Jon M. Sweeney introduces Bury's classic biography for twenty-first-century readers, including sidebar notes from other biographers, mystics, historians, and storytellers of Ireland.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The late Irish Anglican classicist J.B. Bury wrote this biography in 1905 and titled it The Life of Saint Patrick and His Place in History, studying Patrick's life and mission for the light it could shed on the further reaches of the Roman Empire of his time. Bury's intent was to produce a study based on what could be known with a degree of certainty. In the process, he overturned much of what had been thought about Patrick's life. Since 1905, new information has come to light. Sweeney, who edited Francis Sabatier's 1894 biography of St. Francis of Assisi in much the same way, takes Bury's original text and fashions a contemporary English rendering from it, making the last chapter the first and also adding sidebars that highlight recent scholarship and provide new insights into Patrick's life and thought. While scholarly, this edition will also appeal to a popular audience. Libraries may have R.C.P. Hanson's Life and Writings of the Historical St. Patrick(1983) and Patrick's own The Confession of St. Patrick and Letter to Coroticus, available in translation. This edition of Bury is recommended for comprehensive collections, while Hanson is sufficient for other libraries.
—Augustine J. Curley

From the Publisher

Editor-writer Sweeney gives Bury's 1950 biography of the legendary St. Patrick a greater contemporary context in this meticulously researched and presented work.

---Publishers Weekly

Bury and Sweeney have studied St. Patrick and the culture surrounding him. They are able to present an extensive portrait of St. Patrick beyond the myth that surrounds him.

-- St. Anthony Messenger

 

Bury proves to be more than a mere dry historian; he turns out to be a fine storyteller as well, and his accounts of Patrick's spiritual duels with Druid priests for the heart and mind of the Irish king are quite gripping.

---History Book Club

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612613338
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 930,454
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

J. B. Bury(1861-1927) was an Irish historian, and an expert on the Greek and Roman Empires, the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, and the author of many scholarly works, including History of the Later Roman Empire (still in print), Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians (recently reissued), and the present biography of St. Patrick. Jon M. Sweeney is best known for his editing of Sabatier’s classic biography, The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis, which sold more than 40,000 copies and was a featured selection of The History Book Club and Book-of-the-Month Club.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9

1 Patrick's Place in History 21

1 The Spread of Christianity beyond the Roman Empire 31

3 How Patrick Came to Ireland 41

4 Captivity and Escape 51

5 Sojourn in Gaul and Back to Britain 61

6 Palladius and Patrick 77

7 Political and Social Conditions at That Time 87

8 The First Mission 97

9 Legends of Patrick and the Druids 109

10 Early Conversions and Communities 125

11 Preaching and Legends in Connaught 133

12 Visit to Rome 147

13 The Preeminence of Armagh 153

14 Cloisters and Chieftains 163

15 His Denunciation of Coroticus, and the Confession 173

16 The Real and the Mythic Patrick 185

17 Death and Burial 189

Appendix: The Seventh-Century Biography by Muircbu 195

Sources 199

Acknowledgments 202

Index 203

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    a good read

    I liked learning about the Saint and his life. I had known little of him prior to spending time with this book.......at times the details were tedious, but the time invested was worth it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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