Eight years ago Elizabeth Goudge gave her readers in God So Loved the World a profoundly moving retelling of the Gospel story. Now she has chosen the life of St. Francis of Assissi as her subject, one of the great human and spiritual stories of the world. Twelfth century Italy was rent by local warfare, as the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, the Pope and the Emperor, struggled for power, as city state warred with city state, as the religious world had fallen into disrepute, the Crusades become affairs of looting and material goals. In this troubled world, the spirit of Francis of Assissi, converted after a youth of ebullience and dreams of power, succeeded in bringing a sense of peace, a focus of true Christianity in practice, and the firm start of a new Order, dedicated to poverty and service to God and Man. It is an absorbing story, enlightened by sustaining faith and love, as, a man, humbled by his vision, inflexible in his determination to sustain his goal, draws all sorts of men to him. The contemporary sources, his own writings and those of his followers, the legends- which she employs with the skill of a gifted story-teller-all these are blended in a superb recreation of a wonderful personality, which even today holds a unique place in men's imaginations and hearts.