Lives of the Saints

Beginning with our books featuring Cuthbert and Bede, revered Anglo-Saxon saints of the North who are buried in Durham Cathedral (see above: picture credit TSP). For prices and how to order, please see our Home Page.

You can also order via Simon Webb's Amazon author page:

'At this time, Cuthbert was keeping watch over flocks of sheep on some remote mountains. One night he was staying awake, praying through the night, with his companions sleeping beside him. Suddenly he saw a light streaming down from heaven, breaking through the darkness. In the light were choirs of angels coming down to earth, and after taking away a soul that was full of light, they returned to their heavenly country...'

Written only a few years after the death of Cuthbert himself, Bede’s Life is the definitive biography of the North’s favourite saint.

'It was revealed to Eadmar, a devout monk, that Durham was to be Cuthbert's final resting-place.'

Robert Hegge's 1624 book tells the story of St Cuthbert with humour, insight and accuracy. Simon Webb's highly accessible modern English version draws back the curtain on a masterpiece that has remained unpublished for 200 years.

Historian, saint, scientist, monk and biblical scholar, the Venerable Bede was one of the most remarkable figures to come out of the Anglo-Saxon period in Britain.

Simon Webb's book gives an introduction to the life of this extraordinary man: an eighth-century Northumbrian whose works are still read throughout the world.

Simon Webb's book provides an introduction to the most important of the British northern saints, explores the links between them, and sets them against the background of their turbulent times. Includes Cuthbert, Bede, Aidan, Oswald, Wilfrid, Hilda and Ninian, among others. Illustrated. Foreword by the Bishop of Jarrow.

'Edmund’s wolf grew tame, forgot his wildness and waited patiently, night and day, by the martyr’s head, meek as a lamb.'

Written by John Lydgate, a monk of Bury St Edmunds, this account of the life and death of Saint Edmund is full of surprises.

Simon Webb's modern English version captures the excitement, whimsy and humour of Lydgate's original.

Readers should note that only the paperback version of this book is illustrated: the ebook version is not.

Written by the French monk Abbo of Fleury towards the end of the tenth century, 'The Passion of Saint Edmund' is thought to be the first recorded account of the life and death of the celebrated East Anglian king and saint, who was murdered by Vikings in 869 or 870. This new edition includes the whole of Francis Hervey’s classic English translation, with an introduction and bibliography.

Executed outside Durham in the summer of 1594, John Boste, from Dufton in Westmorland, had abandoned a promising career in Protestant England to travel to France and train as a Roman Catholic priest. Betrayed and captured near Brancepeth Castle in 1593, Boste was made a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Simon Webb's new book describes the fanatical anti-Catholic 'witch-hunts' of the Elizabethan age, and also gives an account of the lives and deaths of Boste's fellow Durham Martyrs.

'After eight days they came within view of an island which was very rugged and rocky, and covered over with slag. There were no trees or other plants, but the island was full of blacksmiths’ forges. Brendan said to his brothers, ‘I have a bad feeling about this island. I have no wish to go ashore, or even approach it, but the wind is driving us directly towards it, as if we are supposed to go there...’'

The Voyage of St Brendan, first written down over a thousand years ago, recounts the strange adventures of a sixth-century abbot and his crew of monks, as they wander the oceans for seven years in their sturdy leather boat.

This edition also contains translated extracts from biographies of Brendan written in Latin and Irish, an introduction and suggestions for further reading.

'As for the knight who beheaded Alban, he was immediately blinded: his eyes fell right out of his head, and so he lost all his worldly joy forever. In this way, he was punished for wanting to see Alban bleed.'

According to the medieval legend, Saint Alban was martyred outside the city that now bears his name during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

Alban was the first British martyr-saint, put to death over 1700 years ago outside the city that now bears his name. Simon Webb's book uncovers the story of Saint Alban, and sets it against the background of the Roman city of Verulamium. 'In Search of Saint Alban' also includes a translation of Bede's re-telling of Alban's story.

Celtic Christianity continues to exert a powerful fascination for modern believers. Simon Webb's new book re-tells the stories of the best-loved saints of the Celtic tradition, including Patrick, Brigid, Columba and Aidan.

Alban, Cuthbert, Edward the Confessor, Thomas Becket, Thomas More.

Simon Webb's new book explores the lives of five of the best-loved English saints, and also looks at less well-known figures, such as Amphibalus, Hugh, Edmund, and Lucius, saintly King of the ancient Britons.

Who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become the patron saint of lovers? Is it true that Valentine’s Day originated in a bawdy pagan festival? If it started in the Middle Ages, then how was the unfortunate Queen Anne of Bohemia involved?

These and other questions are examined by author (and incurable romantic) Simon Webb in this entertaining book, which concludes with a convincing theory about how February 14th became a festival of romance.

Based on a fourteenth-century classic, Simon Webb’s re-telling of the legend of the Three Kings includes all the details the Gospels left out. Where exactly were the Three Kings from? What were their names? What did they look like? What did they do next? Combining history with myth and fantasy, this ideal Christmas book also reveals the fascinating link between the Three Kings and Prester John, the mysterious Christian priest-king of the east.

On a pilgrimage to Canterbury, Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London and one-time enemy of Thomas Becket, re-tells the story of the saint's life and death.