banquet: Royal Society of St George - Warwickshire
The Royal Society of St George - Warwickshire have secured Mr Michael Collins to speak at our annual St George's banquet to be held in St Mary's Hall, Coventry on Saturday 21st April 2018.
Michael, who currently lives in Milan, has just published an update of his acclaimed book, "St George and the Dragons - The Making of English Identity". Michael is an Oxford-trained historian and argues that St George, father of Guy of Warwick and patron of England, really existed and his traditions address modern problems. St George and the Dragons shows, according to recent scholarship, that Roman soldier George was martyred in Lod, Palestine, around 250 AD. Patron of local metal workers he became patron of cavalry. His reputation was downplayed because of the Arian heresy in that area. Edward III made him a patron of England because he was acceptable in France. Medieval English writers gave more realistic accounts of George’s martyrdom, but the story became discredited through later Elizabethan exaggerations. After the Reformation, Stuart flirting with Catholicism allowed theorists to claim St George was someone else. Protector of women as well as military martyr, and revered in Islam, St George can be celebrated as champion of modern causes and universal values.
The above challenges some of our long-held beliefs about St George and this promises to be an interesting event.
Mr Collins will give an illustrated talk before proposing the toast "England and St George".
I attach a letter and booking form for the banquet. This is a formal Black-Tie dinner with medals and decorations. There is no restriction on who can attend other than a restriction on numbers, so early booking is recommended.
A Clive Benfield GCStJ, FRSA
President - Royal Society of St George -Warwickshire