A striking feature of California is the frequency with which its natural landmarks and cities are named for Christian saints. Many place names are traceable to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Spanish navigators, soldiers, and friars who christened the geographical sites they crossed and the missions and presidios they founded as they sought to secure California under Spanish rule. These explorers and the settlers who followed them often named sites for the saint whose feast day fell on the day the location was named.
The authors highlight the appearances of more than ninety saints' namesfrom San Agustin to San Ysidroin present-day California. A sketch of the historical origin for each place name is followed by a brief overview of the life of the saint for whom it is named. This handy little volume will be a valued source for anyone interested in the fascinating history of the Golden State.
Edward Mornin is Professor Emeritus of Germanic Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Lorna Mornin is a former lecturer and research scientist at the same university. They are the authors of Saints: A Visual Guide (Frances Lincoln, 2006).