St. Patrick, Green Beer and Myths — Renee Yancy
Today I’m happy to welcome author Renee Yancy as she shares some history behind her book, The Fury of Dragons.
There are many legends and traditions associated with St. Patrick, including one that young Americans absolutely love, drinking green beer on St. Patty’s day. And I should know, because with a surname like Quinn, I could down green beer as well as the next mick.
It’s no wonder that St. Patrick’s history has been greatly embellished over the centuries, because after potatoes and alcohol, the Irish love nothing better than a good story!
Actually, most of the myths developed because of something called hagiography, which is an highly idealized biography of a saint.
St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, turned his walking stick into a living tree, and defeated ancient Celtic heroes, among other things.
Most people don’t know, however, that Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was Romano-British, born into a culture that began in 43 AD with the Roman conquest of Britain. Sixteen at the time of his abduction from Roman Britain, Patrick spent six years as a slave, tending sheep.
I imagine most people think of St. Patrick looking like this saintly icon. However, in my story, A Secret Hope, the real Patrick is a living, breathing, very human man. I picture him looking like the second photo.
In my BC college days at SUNY Brockport in western New York, we drank plenty of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day in the Rathskeller on campus. (I’ll leave out the sordid details about the morning after. But it was bad, really bad!)
However, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is a holy day, passed quietly, in prayer, at home or in church. Pubs closed, and it remained a dry holiday until 1970, when the beer started flowing again.
Patrick led an amazing life, and the churches and communities he founded are the basis of what is called Celtic Christianity today. One of St. Patrick’s writings, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, inspired my historical novel The Fury of Dragons.
If you want to make your own green beer, here’s the recipe.
About the book:
Eleri is abducted on the day of her baptism by pirates on a slaving raid and taken across the sea to Britannia. About to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for the second time in her young life, she is taken off the block at the last moment by Coroticus, the fearsome British chieftain who led the raid.
Coroticus doesn’t understand why this skinny girl-child has bedeviled him from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when, on the deck of his ship, she speaks to him the identical words carved into his mother’s tomb, all he knows is he cannot let her go.
The premise of The Fury of Dragons is based on St. Patrick’s fifth-century text, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, in which he condemns the British chieftain who stole his converts and “gave girls away like prizes.”
Renee has reduced the Kindle price of the book to .99 for three weeks in December. (Normally, $3.99)
Amazon link to The Fury of Dragons: https://www.amazon.com/Fury-Dragons-Roman-Britain-Spirit-ebook/dp/B074XGPGWQ/
Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.