St George and the Dragons: The Making of English Identity

Author(s): Michael Collins 

ISBN: 9781781556498
£17.50 £25.00
How the story of St George grew and changed in England, and now as English identity changes, he is an inclusive multicultural symbol of unity and peace.
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  • Based on new and unpublished research

  • The relevance of St George for today

  • How the story of St George has changed over the centuries

  • Discover where St George got his dragon

Celebrated on 23 April, St George’s Day has become a topic of discussion as more people wave the flag of St George to proclaim their allegiance and identity despite knowing little about him. Who was St George? How did this Near Eastern martyr become England’s patron saint and an icon of English culture? What is his relevance for today’s secular, multicultural England?

New research reveals that from the third century, St George was revered as a healer, protector of women and the poor, and patron of agriculture and metal-working more than merely a military dragon-slayer. St George and the Dragons explores the origin of the cross of St George and the roles of Richard I, Edward III, and Henry VIII in making St George the patron saint of England.

With a foreword by Professor Emeritus Dan Brown, this richly illustrated celebration of English culture shows how St George can be reinterpreted for our times while remaining true to our English heritage. English, yet international, revered both by Christians and Muslims, St George is a multicultural figure who symbolises universal values.

BOOK ISBN 9781781556498
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 288 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 13 colour illustrations



Michael Collins, MA (Oxon), MPhil, is an author, speaker, and lecturer. He read modern history at Merton College, Oxford, where he went on to take a research degree. His thesis was on the career as an Anglican of Thomas Brett the Nonjuror (1667–1743). For a number of years, Collins taught western civilisation at Beijing International Studies University. He is a regular speaker and reviewer on historical and cultural themes. He has travelled widely and has published The American Panorama, a field guide to American culture. Information about the author and his publications can be found at