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St. George and St. Michael

George MacDonald

Book Overview: 

’St. George and St. Michael’ is a little-known historical romance telling the story of a young couple who find themselves on opposing sides during the tumultuous years of the English Civil Wars.

Tensions are rising between king and parliament; the Church of England and the numerous independent puritans and rumors abound that Charles I will soon declare open war on the dissident elements within his realm. Seventeen-year-old Dorothy Vaughan knows little of the brewing conflict, yet is sure that her loyalty must be with her king and her nation. When she challenges her childhood friend, Richard Heywood, to prove himself a man and so worthy of winning her hand in marriage by becoming involved in the larger events that surround them, he finds that his convictions – both political and spiritual – lie with his father’s and the puritans. Determined to do what he believes is right, Richard finds that he cannot shake his immovable conscience, even for the woman he loves.

Though it is, for the most part, a realistic novel, ‘St. George and St. Michael’ is not without either the otherworldly atmosphere of the fantastic or the rich spiritual depth that characterises so much of MacDonald’s writing.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .l his gentlemen, some of whom withdrew, their service over for the time, while others proceeded to wait upon him and his family, with any of the nobility who happened to be his guests at the first table.

'I am the laggard to-day, my lady,' he said, cheerily, as he bore his heavy person up the room towards her. 'Ah!' he went on, as lady Margaret stepped forward to meet him, leading Dorothy by the hand, 'who is this sober young damsel under my wild Irishwoman's wing? Our young cousin Vaughan, doubtless, whose praises my worthy Dr. Bayly has been sounding in my ears?'

He held out his hand to Dorothy, and bade her welcome to Raglan.

The marquis was a man of noble countenance, of the type we are ready to imagine peculiar to the great men of the time of queen Elizabeth. To this his unwieldy person did not correspond, although his movements were still far from being despoiled of that charm which naturally belonged to all that was . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a great historical romance set during the English Civil War. I love MacDonald's ability to write heroes and heroines worthy of the name. I definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys romance in the true sense of the word and not in the way that is sold by bodice-rippers and the like.

In Kindle ed. of The Complete Works.

As always this is not a review but a debrief, to fix in words if not memory the significance of this work and author for me.

I think all of MacDonald's works are about the formation of the soul, about what it means to be human. So I don't mind a long story with lo


Stories such as this are good for the heart and soul. Though they are from time long past the pursuit of truth and honor in life is the eternal story of mankind that is only fulfilled by the love of our savior Jesus Christ.

This historical novel set during the English Civil War tracks the divergent and reconverging paths of a puritan boy and a royalist girl, each following his conscience, and each growing in knowledge and readiness to love the other. It's a fantastic story for our these partisan times. I hope we are al

I love this story so much. MacDonald is a Master Storyteller and I enjoy pretty much everything he has written. As a kid, some of my favorite stories were his ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ and ‘At the Back Of the North Wind.’ I didn’t find this treasure until I was an adult. Now, it certainly isn’t

I remember reading the novel many years ago, the first thing I ever read by George MacDonald, it really helped me get through a season of being in young love with a beautiful young woman whose religion was much more, um ... strict, than mine. I thought we were “just like” Dorothy and Richard - so ro

A "romance" set during the English civil war. I use romance in quotes because it is not of the bodice ripper or similar type of story. Rather, it is a measured look at the relations between the protagonists Richard and Dorothy, as well as everyone else. Richard and Dorothy grew up together. However,

It took me YEARS to get through this. I would see it on the shelf and think, this has got to be great. But it isn't. In a way, it's kind of comforting to think that an artist as significant, wise, influential, and wildly imaginative as Macdonald could write something this bad.

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