This set of books about Christian saints and heroes is elegantly written and beautifully illustrated, but the Child's in the title is quite misleading. These are not books for the introductory reader, but rather, for relatively well educated young people who are already somewhat familiar with the history of the middle ages and basic hagiography (the study of saints). Although the stories of the saints given are not particularly difficult, the author assumes a level of common-knowledge about the history of Europe that is no longer common among modern school children.
This work is less a collection of biographies about saints, than a work of Christian mythology. It recounts legends rather than facts, and romance rather than reasons. The overall tone of the book is well given in the Introduction to Child's Book of Saints.
A saint, whose very name I have forgotten, had a vision, in which he saw Satan standing before the throne of God; and, listening, he heard the evil spirit say, "Why hast Thou condemned me, who have offended Thee but once, whilst Thou savest thousands of men who have offended Thee many times?" God answered him, "Hast thou once asked pardon of me?"
Behold the Christian mythology! It is the dramatic truth, which has its worth and effect independently of the literal truth, and which even gains nothing by being fact. What matter whether the saint had or had not heard the sublime words which I have just quoted! The great point is to know that pardon is refused only to him who does not ask it.