By: George MacDonald (1824-1905)
’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 rumours 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 otherwordly atmosphere of the fantastic or the rich spiritual depth that characterises so much of MacDonald’s writing.