English Legends of the Three Kings

Alison Barnes explains our special fondness for the Christmas legend.

Detail of the Three Kings from The Adoration of the Magi tapestry (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Although the account in Matthew's Gospel of the 'wise men from the East' who were guided to the infant Jesus by the Star of Bethlehem (2:1-12) is so tantalizingly short and vague, it is a magical story whose unfathomable mystery has captured the imagination of Christians and others from the earliest times to the present day. And no country in the world possesses more legends about the Magi than England.

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