Diarmaid MacCulloch: St Patrick’s Purgatory, 1 August 2019
Show More St Patrick Retold: The Legend and History of Ireland’s Patron Saint by Roy Flechner.
Princeton, 320 pp., £22, March 2019, 978 0 691 18464 7Show More
“... What do we know about St Patrick? Most people could probably place him in Ireland, amid every short cut to Irishness – shamrocks, Guinness, lots of green things – while a little more knowledge may attach to him the legend that he is responsible for Ireland’s lack of snakes, having ordered them all to leave. The picture becomes more complicated for those who have discovered that he wasn’t Irish at all but from somewhere in the island of Britain, captured and enslaved by Irish raiders, escaping home and then returning to the land of his captivity, to convert the Irish to Christianity and preside over the Irish Church as bishop in Armagh ...”