The Road to Siena: The Essential Biography of St. Catherine by Edmund G. Gardner was recently reviewed by Brian Welter in The B. C. Catholic, and because I’ve always had an interest in Catherine of Siena but have not found a good readable biography, I checked out the book on Amazon. To my surprise, I found that ” this book was first published a century ago and was praised by Evelyn Underhill as the best modern biography of a saint ever written. Long out of print, this new edition has been slightly abridged and generously supplemented with the reflections of other biographers, historians, and artists–who shed fresh light on what we know about an amazing woman.”
Sounds interesting, eh? Catherine lived in the 14th century, a disastrous time for the Church, as the papacy had transferred to Avignon and many of the clergy as well as the papal court lived in corruption and scandal. She was a mystic but also worked with great energy for the reform of the Church, and was eventually declared a Doctor of the Church.