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The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, Volume I

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Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of both factual and fictional stories, "The Golden Legend" was perhaps the most widely read book, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. In his new translation, the first in modern English of the complete text from the Graesse edition, William Granger Ryan captures the immediacy of this rich, image-filled work, and offer Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of both factual and fictional stories, "The Golden Legend" was perhaps the most widely read book, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. In his new translation, the first in modern English of the complete text from the Graesse edition, William Granger Ryan captures the immediacy of this rich, image-filled work, and offers an important guide for readers interested in medieval art and literature and in popular religious culture more generally.


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Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of both factual and fictional stories, "The Golden Legend" was perhaps the most widely read book, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. In his new translation, the first in modern English of the complete text from the Graesse edition, William Granger Ryan captures the immediacy of this rich, image-filled work, and offer Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of both factual and fictional stories, "The Golden Legend" was perhaps the most widely read book, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. In his new translation, the first in modern English of the complete text from the Graesse edition, William Granger Ryan captures the immediacy of this rich, image-filled work, and offers an important guide for readers interested in medieval art and literature and in popular religious culture more generally.

30 review for The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, Volume I

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fergus

    Sanctity in the unlikeliest places and reprobates who become learned Doctors of the Church... Harlots who repent in the end and poor damsels who flee the lust of princes by entering a convent.... Medieval saints, all of ‘em! People you just won't hear about anywhere else. These vivid stories run the gauntlet of brave ordeals, tortures and trials and helped fire the imaginations of ordinary folks all over the spooky landscapes of the Middle Ages. Some seem fanciful, some syrupy - but ALL make for com Sanctity in the unlikeliest places and reprobates who become learned Doctors of the Church... Harlots who repent in the end and poor damsels who flee the lust of princes by entering a convent.... Medieval saints, all of ‘em! People you just won't hear about anywhere else. These vivid stories run the gauntlet of brave ordeals, tortures and trials and helped fire the imaginations of ordinary folks all over the spooky landscapes of the Middle Ages. Some seem fanciful, some syrupy - but ALL make for compelling reading! You may be amazed to find yourself quite enjoying these tales. They were written - or should I say, compiled (and embellished?) - by a Bishop named Jacobus de Voragine, who lived from 1229 to 1298. And you know how stories change as they spread? Well, who knows what REALLY happened to these people back when they were living their little Dark Ages lives? And, more to the point, who cares who they REALLY were under our current Official Version of ‘objective Reality’? The point is that the folks in these stories were living in the Spirit, and that people in our age - for the most part - are NOT. And besides, as Samuel Taylor Coleridge once told us, the greatest secret of Enjoyable Reading is ‘the willing suspension of disbelief,’ for if we don’t put our HEARTS into the stories we read, how then are we going to GAIN something from them? And about the only thing we REALLY know about these saints for sure is that their FAITH was real. If we enter heart-first into their lives, some of that magical fairy-dust of Faith might even rub off on us... And the refreshing pneuma of the Spirit within them may waft into our lives! When my wife and I first moved into our forever home, one long-ago beautiful fall day, I introduced myself to our new next-door neighbour and his young family. They were Catholic like us, and often in those early days he’d take me over to his church on Sundays. He was originally from Central Ontario, quite a long way away from this, my own home town. Anyway, during the summer his family would vacation in his home town and I’d housesit for them. As a gift on their return, one year, they gave me that classic book we all used to hear about in the old days, Lives of the Saints. Well that, and my old ‘Story of a Soul’ by St. Thérèse, began to whet my appetite for such fabulous tales... until I discovered THIS book! A Feast. This is the CADILLAC of ancient saints’ lives. Now, and here's the important part: If you ever decide to wade your eager soles through the pristine awesome sanctity of this HUGE collection, try getting only the first volume to wet your feet - But make sure it's the great, modern translation published by Penguin (they also publish it in one large volume). I made the mistake of getting the e-book for my Kindle as well - and, hey, was I taken for a ride. It's a prolix Elizabethan translation, full of typos. Yikes! So, a solid five stars for hours and hours of fascinating reading - in BOOK form!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    The imagery of the medieval world is vivid with all its demons and dragons attacking the Christians. But surprisingly, the individuals being attacked flinch not because they already know that Christ has overcome the world and this knowledge strengthens them to stand strong against the evils. I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, but more than that, it helped me understand an era of great Christian Strength, strength that I hope someday to obtain!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Reader2007

    I really enjoyed reading this. It's pretty easy to read, and the stories are so amazing! Literally! They're pretty much outrageous. Out of the gb books this year, this is one of the ones I enjoyed more. I really enjoyed reading this. It's pretty easy to read, and the stories are so amazing! Literally! They're pretty much outrageous. Out of the gb books this year, this is one of the ones I enjoyed more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Supposedly the most widely-read book of the Middle Ages after the Bible. A quote on the back describes it as "the literary equivalent of...stained glass". Delightful and wonderfully strange. Supposedly the most widely-read book of the Middle Ages after the Bible. A quote on the back describes it as "the literary equivalent of...stained glass". Delightful and wonderfully strange.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gretchyn

    A compilation of the lives of the saints, but honestly, only interesting if you are predisposed to that sort of thing. That said, I love it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Shafer

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meganne

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mike Montana

  10. 5 out of 5

    G.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell26 McLaughlin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ernie Martelo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rex Hubbard

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mohosana mohosanakatun mohosanakatun

  19. 5 out of 5

    Saturnq

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  22. 4 out of 5

    K. P.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Sinks

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liam

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Sass

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Traves

  28. 5 out of 5

    P.D. Maior

  29. 4 out of 5

    D. Stark

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

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