A NEW novel that tells the tale of Saint George and Constantine the Great – and is part-set in Glastonbury – is now available to buy.

George and the Briton, written by senior associate fellow for military history and ex-Navy officer Michael Codner, was published yesterday (May 31).

Codner’s novel tells the story of Saint George as a soldier using a young man’s diary to narrate.

The novel begins in Antioch, Syria, and takes readers to Palestine, Anatolia, Armenia, and Egypt before travelling to what is now Georgia, Crimea, and Russia.

The book ends in York and what is now the Somerset town of Glastonbury.

It is intended to set a number of legends in an accurate historical context from 297 to 305 AD.

The book’s blurb says: “Mark is a young British sailor who is deployed to Antioch in Syria as part of a delegation to brief the Emperor Diocletian on the liberation of Britain from a usurper.


“By coincidence, he meets the Tribune Constantine who introduces him to a fellow Roman Army officer, George.

“Mark can write in Latin so George appoints him as his clerk.

“Mark is tasked to keep an account of the ‘special forces’ unit that George commands on the front line of the Eastern Roman Empire.

“He also keeps his own private diary and is required to provide Constantine, who is a member of Diocletian’s personal staff, with periodic accounts of operations.

“As George achieves some surprising results and Diocletian manages to stabilise the Roman Empire after a generation of chaos and uncertainty, a new problem arises.

“Diocletian’s deputy, Caesar Galerius, starts seeing Christianity as a subversive religion.

“This becomes a challenge for George, his family and some members of his unit.

“This is the tale of Constantine and George told through the eyes of a young soldier’s diary.”

Codner is a senior associate for military history at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

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