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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 February 2012
This is the unexpurgated version of Canon Doble's 1925 essay that appears in volume six of `The Saints of Cornwall' series. Unlike that series, it also comes with a couple of maps that shows the sites of the places discussed, although it has to be said that the maps are quite amateurish. There are some line-drawings sprinkled through the text too. This booklet concludes with Charles Henderson writing on St Nectan.

Whilst setting out the convergences and contradictions between the Welsh and English sources that might impart into the mind of the reader much doubt, Doble nevertheless has something important to state here: "Brychan is a very shadowy character indeed. The stories about him are not only mutually irreconcilable, but are obviously legendary and full of typical folk-lore themes ... [But] This does not mean that he never existed." Doble's review naturally focuses on those north Cornwall (and north Devon) parishes whose patron saints possess clear links with `the children of Brychan', but he also highlights the south coast references too, such as for St Keyne.

Subsequent research (particularly that of Nicholas Orme of Exeter University) has, no doubt, led to some of Doble's conclusions being called into question, yet still there is much of value in what he wrote. He was never a blind hagiographer; rather he was seeking, as far as was possible in his time, a truthful relation of the world of the saints in Cornwall (even if he seemed to spend more time in Brittany, Wales, and Ireland).
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