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The question 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?' must be one of the most notorious in history. Four knights interpreted it as a hint from their sovereign, rode to Canterbury, and there in his own cathedral murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket. Or so the story goes. Of Becket's murder there can be no doubt, nor is there any question about the spectacle of Henry II performing public penance for the act by being flogged round Canterbury Cathedral, but so much is obscured by the very act of martyrdom and the cult that followed it that a great many issues remain unresolved. The construction and deconstruction of Becket's reputation is central to this provocative new study. The cult of Becket has remained enduring: it was the centrepiece of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; and in our own time it has carried powerful enough resonance to generate interpretations from T.S. Eliot, Jean Anouilh, and indeed Hollywood. This book investigates whether the popular conception of Becket through the ages is a result of valid assessments of the man and his cause, or a product of a carefully constructed myth, and how far can one correct for the bias and reach 'the truth'.
List price: $35.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic & Professional
Publication date: 10/29/2004
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
|The social climber|
|The controversial archbishop|
|Flight and exile|
|Defiance? : the Vezelay excommunications|
|God's honour and the church's liberty|
|God's honour and my order|
|God's honour, king's honour, Becket's honour|
|A hollow peace : Freteval and after|
|Murder in the cathedral|
|The image constructed and deconstructed, 1171-1900|