Saint Patrick Retold: The Legend and History of Ireland's Patron Saint

A gripping biography that sheds provocative new light on the life of Saint Patrick


Published (US):
Mar 2, 2021
Published (UK):
Mar 23, 2021
5.5 x 8.5 in.
9 b/w illus. 2 maps.
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Saint Patrick was, by his own admission, a controversial figure. Convicted in a trial by his elders in Britain and hounded by rumors that he settled in Ireland for financial gain, the man who was to become Ireland’s patron saint battled against great odds before succeeding as a missionary. Saint Patrick Retold draws on recent research to offer a fresh assessment of Patrick’s travails and achievements. This is the first biography in nearly fifty years to explore Patrick’s career against the background of historical events, and Roy Flechner leaves no stone unturned as he takes readers on a riveting journey through Romanized Britain and late Iron Age Ireland. Rather than a dismantling of Patrick’s reputation, or an argument against his sainthood, Flechner’s biography raises crucial questions about self-image and the making of a reputation. From boyhood deeds to the challenges of a missionary enterprise, Saint Patrick Retold steps beyond established narratives to reassess a notable figure’s life and legacy.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the Hagiography Society Book Prize