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About the book
  • Published: 15 July 2015
  • ISBN: 9780753555606
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $45.00
Categories:

The Private Lives of the Saints

Power, Passion and Politics in Anglo-Saxon England




Skulduggery, power struggles and politics. A fascinating re-examination of Anglo-Saxon England told through the secret lives of the saints.

The word ‘saint’ conjures a variety of associations in our modern minds. Some might connect it with suffering, charity and devotion to Christian values; others with miracles, martyrdom and heavenly gifts like the stigmata, while others still associate them with superstition, fanaticism and the power of the Papacy.

But far from the one-dimensional pious figures we imagine, the saints were the power players, king makers and politicians of the day, and by re-examining their lives – the art and literature that inspired them, the landscape and buildings that surrounded them, the issues that preoccupied them and the symbolic world that mattered to them – this landmark book provides a unique and fascinating lens through which to explore the rich history of the Dark Ages.

Drawing on a wide range of evidence, from art and literature to archaeology, theology and historical data, Oxford art historian and BBC presenter, Dr Janina Ramirez examines the real lives of over a dozen seminal individuals, from the infamous to the obscure, whose effect was felt throughout the Anglo-Saxon world and can still be felt today.

Re-evaluating the role of the saints, taking them from their heavenly status to the human level, and examining their desire for adulation, power, wealth and legacy, Janina offers a unique and discerning study of life in Anglo-Saxon England.

  • Pub date: 15 July 2015
  • ISBN: 9780753555606
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $45.00
Categories:

About the Author

Janina Ramirez

Dr Janina Ramirez is an Oxford lecturer, BBC broadcaster, researcher and author. Janina is the course director for the Undergraduate Certificate and Diploma in History of Art at the University of Oxford. She presents her ideas widely at conferences, public speaking and outreach events, and publishes her research in journals and magazines. She has presented and written over six BBC history documentaries and series, is a regular guest on the new BBC Four series ‘Quizeum’ and is currently working on a number of projects including a three-part series for Radio 4. She lives in Oxfordshire with her young family.

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Praise for The Private Lives of the Saints

“What a wonderful book this is. Like the interlace stonework on an Anglo-Saxon cross, Janina Ramirez's themes are interwoven with a consummate skill.”

Tom Holland

“Those who were recast as saints achieved a superhuman status, their real lives often obscured by hagiographies rich with legends of miracle-working from beyond the grave. Janina Ramirez's book portrays them historically – as living, breathing personalities within the world they knew, the places we have inherited. Her enthusiasm and instinct for relevance should welcome a broad new audience to medieval Church history.”

Jonathan Foyle

“Ramirez blasts a powerful spotlight into the so-called Dark Ages and reveals a vibrant world, awash with colour and character.”

Dan Snow


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