"Nicholas is a biographical travelogue tracing the evolution of one of the greatest cults of modern times--the rise of Santa Claus from his origins in Byzantine Turkey to his role as the jolly man who grants every child's wish. It is a compelling story of religious worship and strife, cultural interpretation, and mass commercialization brilliantly framed by Jeremy Seal's modern-day voyage in Santa's footsteps. Saint Nicholas, as Santa was originally known, lived and worked in Myra on the southern coast of Turkey 1,700 years ago. He became a revered figure in the Orthodox and Catholic churches, attracting devotees across the Christian world as his cult shifted westward with the centuries. The saint's bones are said to still exist, and Seal's dogged pursuit of these relics launches his quest for Santa's true lineage, one that takes him through present-day Turkey, Italy, Holland, England, America, and finally Lapland as he pieces together the history of this extraordinary man-to-myth transformation."--from publisher description.