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Customer Reviews

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on 24 August 2003
A satisfying book of reference which has winnowed out the pious platitudes and wilder legends of those canonised by the Church. There are useful lists of Patronages, though these are tantalisingly arguable, Emblems, and a Calendar of Feast-Days. The Glossary could be expanded as some of the terms are incomprehensible ie. "ecstatic" How does that qualify a person to be a Saint? (Nowadays one might be forgiven for assuming that the subject had been overdosing on the herbs and spices or had a medical condition.) That said, these are only tiny peeves in the face of a work that has plainly been researched well and written by authors who make the Saints come to life as human beings. The "Further Reading" list is helpful, and of realistic length, which has led this reviewer into further purchases! Overall, an excellent working reference book.
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on 3 January 2013
I am familiar with this book, and bought this as a replacement for one that has virtually fallen to pieces through many years of use. It's a very thorough and useful work of reference, which often contains details that are not available easily elsewhere.
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on 8 January 2014
As a book of reference, this Penguin dictionary gives an account of the lives and legends of the major saints, many of whom have played important roles in history, as well as those who are less well-known. It provides information on men and women ranging from the Biblical saints to the recently canonized and details of the saints of Great Britain and Ireland and aims to be as historically informative as possible with entries including details of the saints' work and life stories, dates of birth, death, canonization and feast days, as well as emblems and special patronage. There is also an informative introduction, explanatory notes and a list of further reading.
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on 28 February 2011
This little book comes close to perfection: it is concise, it is scholarly and is written in immaculate English. I hope Catherine John is related in some way to Donald Attwater for it would be appropriate for a study of ancient traditions of truth and myth to become a family business. If for no other reason it makes a valuable travelling companion through countries where saints' names are commonly used for villages and settlements. If I were a true scholar I would no doubt have found a reason not to award a full star rating, but I am not so am happy to award the top ranking.
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on 15 June 2013
Outstanding value for money. Its contents and descriptions are excellent and well researched. The ultimate reference for those who wish to further their knowledge of the subject.
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on 12 August 2013
I already have a book about the saints but this is probably the best that you can get- recommended.Well worth the money
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on 18 May 2013
It brought the old edition up to date, and now I can be an authority with confidence., just the ticket.
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on 4 February 2016
Lives up to Penguin's high standard, a great little reference book.
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on 25 March 2014
I bought this as a preset for my great grandmother, howver the size of the text is far too small for her to be able to read. In fact I struggled reading this myself and I don't even need glasses. If this is for an older person or someone with poor sight, give it a miss. Also, the very first saint I looked up myself in it out of interest, Cian, was not included. Not at all worth its price tag and I will be returning this to Amazon.
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