Well, so the day isn’t celebrated with quite the exuberance of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and America, but still it must bring good luck for the English. St George has long been regarded as the patron saint and spiritual protector of England, winning out over native English saints like Edward the Confessor–who was quite a hair-shirt-watered-wine dullard of a king, not one to inspire good luck or protection. St. George first caught the imagination and loyalty of the English during the Crusades, when he was said to appear in the clouds above crusading troops during the Battle of Antioch, protecting them against the Saracen army. Edward III declared St. George the patron saint of England when he established the Order of the Garter in the 14th century…and after the Battle of Agincourt, when the cry “For God, King Harry and Saint George!” inspired the English troops to another victory, St. George’s reputation for special protection increased.
And there was that dragon…though that’s not my point today. I posted a St George and the Dragon blog in March, which for the curious is available in our Word Wenches Archives, along the right-hand bar.…
As a model of chivalry and knighthood, St. George was a revered, if mostly fictional, hero during the Medieval and Renaissance eras in England and elsewhere. As the supreme and original Chivalric Guy, saving a damsel from a dragon (and in some versions allowing her to lead that dragon away on a leash, while in another version marrying the princess, and in a lesser known version, getting her pregnant first, then marrying her), St. George is the original chivalric archetype for a wide range of historical romance heroes from early medieval through nineteenth century. Chivalry was alive and well for centuries beyond the days of armor and jousts…and it’s still alive now, let’s give credit where credit is due.
So it seems to me that St. George’s Day should be a holiday for historical romance writers too. He could be our patron saint as well–just imagine that hero of all Heroes appearing in the clouds above a romance writer’s conference, inspiring us and spurring us on to victory at the awards ceremonies…or privately appearing in a vision as a writer takes yet another walk or a pass digging in the garden as she tries to work out a plot and the character development of a hero in her head….maybe we should all fly the red-cross banner above our desks or as decals on our computers to bring us luck and give us protection and inspiration as we head out into the mad fray of writing, creativity, publishers, reviewers, and market competition. It would be great to have that sort of divine protection and intercession!
Which brings me to my final point: most of us like a little extra luck, some protective and inspirational items that we keep nearby as we work. Maybe not a statue of St. George and the dragon…but something. What do you keep on your desk or in your workspace that you feel brings you luck and gives you a sense of protection and inspiration?
I have a few things on my desk and in my office that I like having around, and I like to think they bring me luck. For example, on my desk and around my office I have:
~ an angel on the desk, and a few others on bookshelves (okay and all around my house, I’ve collected angels for many years, and now I have so many that I have to pack them away and rotate on a regular basis)
~a postcard of St George & the Dragon on the bulletin board
~a few historical Barbies (very inspiring)
~a couple of little quotes taped to the monitor (including “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” –Mother Teresa)
~and a basket to one side of the desk where I toss everything that gets in my way and distracts me (I figure it’s good luck if I can find anything in there at all)…
Do you keep good luck charms around you for protection, inspiration, or any other reason?
What do you always keep on your desk or with you when you’re working, writing, reading?
And does anything particularly help? I could sure use some good luck! 😉