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Francis of Assisi

‘Stoddart has accomplished a difficult piece of work with much success.’ The Spectator


This classic biography of Francis of Assisi proffers an involved and passionate narrative of the Saint’s life.

Francis of Assisi, one of the most venerated religious figures in history, began life as the son of a prosperous merchant. According to this biography, he was full of mirth, and well enjoyed the finer, more worldly things in life throughout his upbringing.

Francis was taken prisoner after a military expedition in 1201. This prompted the onset of a serious illness, which in turn led him into a state of spiritual crisis.

The young Francis eventually renounced his former life and fortune, angering his father Bernardo, and causing himself great personal anguish.

Saint Francis of Assisi spent the remainder of his life ‘married’ to ‘Lady Poverty’, founding a brotherhood which sought to emulate the life of Christ. He preached far and wide, travelling as far as Egypt to convert the Sultan in an attempt to end the Crusades.

Francis is also well known for receiving the stigmata in a fit of religious ecstasy and for arranging the first Christmas nativity scene.

This captivating biography briefly sketches the historical circumstances of Francis’ arrival onto the scene. It bemoans the corruption and wealth of the Church to which the author sees Francis as a welcome foil. Stoddart artfully narrates the trials and tribulations of his life, quoting directly from Francis and other sources in a manner that comes as a breath of fresh air to the modern reader. There is also an interesting discussion of Francis’ death and his portrayal in art thereafter.

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