Thomas Becket

Thomas Becket

by Frank Barlow

Paperback(First Edition)

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On 29 December 1170, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury was brutally murdered in his cathedral by four knights from the household of his former friend and patron, King Henry II. The horror that the killing inspired and the miraculous cures performed at Thomas's tomb transfigured him into one of the most popular saints in Western Christendom, and Canterbury became one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the West.

Yet these were unexpected results. Thomas's extraordinary career had been, and remains, controversial. The transformation of a handsome, attractive, and worldly courtier into a zealous prelate, a bitter exile and finally a martyr was for many hard to understand. In this brilliant new biography, based on the original sources and informed by the most recent scholarship, Frank Barlow reconstructs Thomas's physical environment and entourage at various stages of his career, exploring the nuances and irregularities in the story that have been ignored in other studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520071759
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 08/16/1990
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Frank Barlow is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Table of Contents



1 The London merchant's son: background and youth, 1120-1143
2 The lower rungs of the ladders, 1143-1154
3 Royal chancellor, 1155-1162
4 Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162
5 Thomas at Canterbury: the first year, 1162-1163
6 The quarrel with the king, 1163-1164
7 Thomas on the defensive, November 1164- April 1166
8 Thomas on the attack, April 1166-May 1167
9 The path of truth and justice, II67-II69
1O The road to glory, 1170
11 The end of the road
I2 From death unto life


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