There is no saint whose popularity has survived the centuries to the extent that St. Francis' has. Today, particularly--perhaps because he was the original hippie--his stock is high, as witness the continuing sale of the innumerable biographies available at a time when saints' lives are generically ""but."" Miss Almedingen's work makes no pretense of being a definitive biography. Indeed, her approach is too romantic and simplistic, and the book therefore too dependent on the author's attempts to surmise what was in Francis' mind (e.g., ""...even if he had known it, the knowledge would not have influenced his resolve,"" etc., etc.), for it to be taken very seriously as biography. Nonetheless, the work is very readable and will undoubtedly be useful to those who are more concerned with being inspired than instructed. For other readers, this book may readily be ignored in favor of Chesterton's standard work on the popular level and that of Johannes Jorgensen on the scholarly.