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The Saint's Tragedy   By: (1819-1875)

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In Charles Kingsley's historical novel, readers are introduced to an enthralling tale of love, faith, and tragedy set against the backdrop of 16th-century Reformation England. The compelling narrative offers a unique blend of romance, political intrigue, and religious conflict, making The Saint's Tragedy a captivating read for lovers of both history and fiction.

The story revolves around the central character, Agnes, a young girl born into a noble family. As the plot unfolds, readers witness Agnes' transformation from an innocent and sheltered child to a woman who is torn between her duty to God and her forbidden love for Raymond, a fervent Protestant. Kingsley expertly explores Agnes' internal struggle, giving readers a profound insight into her complex character.

One of the most remarkable aspects of The Saint's Tragedy is Kingsley's ability to paint a vivid and realistic picture of the religious and political climate of the era. The author delves into the intense conflict between Catholics and Protestants, immersing readers in the turmoil and uncertainty of the Reformation. Through Agnes and Raymond's forbidden love, Kingsley highlights the consequences of religious zealotry and the human cost of intolerance.

Kingsley's writing style is elegant and evocative, transporting readers to 16th-century England with his rich descriptions and attention to detail. The prose is at times poetic, adding depth to the narrative and making The Saint's Tragedy a literary gem. The author also incorporates historical figures and events seamlessly into the story, enhancing its authenticity and making it an educational read for those interested in this period of English history.

The novel's tragic undertones are apparent from the start, as the title suggests, and Kingsley does not shy away from exploring the darker aspects of the story. The Saint's Tragedy is not a happy tale, but rather a poignant examination of sacrifice, loss, and redemption. The emotional depth of the characters and their personal journeys during this tumultuous period will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on readers' hearts.

Overall, Charles Kingsley's The Saint's Tragedy is a beautifully written and thought-provoking novel that transports readers to a bygone era. Through its memorable characters and engaging plot, it offers a powerful exploration of love, faith, and the human spirit. Kingsley's mastery of historical fiction is on full display, making this book a must-read for anyone seeking an immersive and captivating reading experience.

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email



The writer of this play does not differ with his countrymen generally, as to the nature and requirements of a Drama. He has learnt from our Great Masters that it should exhibit human beings engaged in some earnest struggle, certain outward aspects of which may possibly be a spectacle for the amusement of idlers, but which in itself is for the study and the sympathy of those who are struggling themselves. A Drama, he feels, should not aim at the inculcation of any definite maxim; the moral of it lies in the action and the character. It must be drawn out of them by the heart and experience of the reader, not forced upon him by the author. The men and women whom he presents are not to be his spokesmen; they are to utter themselves freely in such language, grave or mirthful, as best expresses what they feel and what they are. The age to which they belong is not to be contemplated as if it were apart from us; neither is it to be measured by our rules; to be held up as a model; to be condemned for its strangeness. The passions which worked in it must be those which are working in ourselves. To the same eternal laws and principles are we, and it, amenable... Continue reading book >>

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