Paul Pensom's Reviews > Santa: A Life

Santa by Jeremy Seal
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Jul 18, 12

bookshelves: 21st-c, authors-uk, folklore, history-european, history, history-social, myths-legends, non-fiction
Read from December 21 to 31, 2011

This was an interesting but also a frustrating book; a record of the mythical journey from Saint to Santa taken by the 4th century Turkish bishop St. Nicholas, it was exasperating because the author used the story as the pretext to write a rather tedious Levantine travelogue.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I'd known that was what I was reading, but since it was Santa I was after, it quickly became annoying. Also, the balance of the book was wrong: there was far too much time spent in the eastern Mediterranean, trundling from church to church, and not enough on the later period, which is more interesting in my opinion, when the Saint starts to coalesce into the secular figure which we recognise today.
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