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Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel (2012)

de John Guy

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3351379,092 (3.76)1 / 35
Drawing on the full panoply of medieval sources, Guy sheds new light on the relationship between Saint Thomas à Becket and England's greatest medieval king, Henry II, separating truth from centuries of mythmaking, and casting doubt on the long-held assumption that the headstrong rivals were once close friends. He also provides the fullest accounting yet for Becket's seemingly radical transformation from worldly bureaucrat to devout man of God.… (més)
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» Mira també 35 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 13 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Interesting and well written. The author seems to have an objective point of view, which allows the reader to see the personalities and humanity of those involved. Another layer added to my understanding of this period of history. ( )
  MrsLee | Oct 27, 2023 |
Thomas Becket, son of a merchant from London bacaming first the chancellor of the king and later the archbishop of Canterbury and later had to flee to exile after his fall out with the king and being assassinated in his own cathedral by the king`s men triggering and international scandal. A 900 years but still captivating story. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Feb 2, 2022 |
Interesting view of this enigmatic real-life mystery. I finally came to understand why this event occurred and, while previously had always felt it was all King Henrys adult; I now appreciate the nuances that led to this happening. John Guy writes eloquently and eruditely drawing on several sources for what we have known; while at the same time recognising where 'blind faith' or blind ignorance had crept into their views. ( )
  AntonyMichaelShannon | Sep 25, 2021 |
Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel; a Nine Hundred Year Old Story Retold. John Guy. 2012. Since most of my knowledge of Becket comes from Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral and Anouilh’s Becket or the Honor of God, I decided I’d check out this biography when it popped up on a Kindle site. This is a readable biography although I got bogged down with all the names of the nobles and the churchmen especially since they switched their allegiance from Henry to Becket so often. Henry was ruthless, cruel, and sly. Becket was proud, ambitious and honorable or was he? Questions concerning his true loyalty to the church will remain unanswered. I did not realize how far the cult of his martyrdom spread. No doubt he was human, but he did seem to want to defend the church against the Crown and for that we should be grateful. I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure anyone who reads this book list would be interested. ( )
  judithrs | Aug 5, 2018 |
Just finished listening to the audiobook of this title, as I have not really had the time to read the paperback. Absolutely incredible account of the life and career of a remarkable man, from his birth, to his tragic murder.

This book really helps you to understand the nature of the conflict between Becket and Henry II- and the wider conflict between church and state in 12th century England. It was about far more than just criminous clerks.
Now I don't tend to go for books that base their treatment of historical figures and events on sensationalism, speculation, and modern ideas or fashions. I expect to see the authors using contemporary sources and material- and Mr Guy draws on these heavily.

It also convinced me that King Henry was an absolute ass in his treatment of Becket. Oh the Archbishop was not perfect. They were both stubborn and obstinate- and readers must note that I have no love for the Catholic church. Yet, the King as it is shown, was notorius for his duplicity and not keeping his word. Whereas Becket comes across as a man of conviction who was fighting to retain the independence of his institution against state control.

There were also other fascinating details. I had no idea Becket was a lifelong friend of the theologian, diplomat and philosopher John of Salisbury. The development of the concept of tyranny, and the Christian's reponse to it during Becket's day and before is also explored. These were ideas that the men behind the Magna Carta and the first Baron's Revolt against King John would pick up on. They were not invented in the 17th or 18th century.

In the final chapter, the author draws some interesting parallels between the actions of Henry II and his later descendant Henry VIII in their treatment of the church. They are actually quite remarkable. Clearly the conflict did not begin with the Tudors, and Reformation did not come out of nowhere.

Throughly recommended. Now I want to go and visit Canterbury Cathedral to see the site of the martyrdom of one of our most Charismatic and courageous Archbishops. ( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 13 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"Shrewdly contrasting them and assessing their biases, Guy has constructed his own modern successor, assisted by electronic search engines and high-resolution digital photography, which revealed previously invisible annotations in volumes from Becket’s personal library."
 
"But he has given us an unfailingly lively, accessible and vividly written portrait of one of the giants of the middle ages."
afegit per bookfitz | editaThe Guardian, Eamon Duffy (May 18, 2012)
 
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Archbishop Thomas Becket, who for four centuries after his gruesome murder in Canterbury Cathedral would be nicknamed 'lux Londoniarum" (the light of the Londoners), was the only surviving son of Gilbert and Matilda Becket, born very probably when the wreck of the White Ship was still the hottest news in town.
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Drawing on the full panoply of medieval sources, Guy sheds new light on the relationship between Saint Thomas à Becket and England's greatest medieval king, Henry II, separating truth from centuries of mythmaking, and casting doubt on the long-held assumption that the headstrong rivals were once close friends. He also provides the fullest accounting yet for Becket's seemingly radical transformation from worldly bureaucrat to devout man of God.

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