St Patrick is one of the most famous saints of all time. Thousands of people with no direct Irish connection celebrate St Patrick's Day, parading along the streets of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Antonio, Texas and Sydney, where St Patrick's Day is a national holiday. These celebrations are the latest version of the cult of St Patrick, which has persisted in different forms since his death on 17 March, 462AD.
But who was St Patrick, and how much of what we know about him is fact, how much legend? This book looks at the historical man and the evidence of his writings, the myths and the apocryphal stories, and describes the social changes that led in the 18th century to his emergence as a symbol of Irish nationalism. Patrick: From Patron Saint to Modern Influencer is a fascinating and lively portrait of the man who converted pagan Ireland to Christianity - a fresh, sometimes startling examination of the folklore and traditons that have developed around the saint through the ages.
First published in 1989 in the UK and USA, this fully updated edition features new photographs and illustrations and will be an indispensable companion for anyone seeking to understand the role of St Patrick in forging modern Irish identity.