Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel by John GuyA revisionist new biography reintroducing readers to one of the most subversive figures in English history—the man who sought to reform a nation, dared to defy his king, and laid down his life to defend his sacred honor
Becket’s life story has been often told but never so incisively reexamined and vividly rendered as it is in John Guy’s hands. The son of middle-class Norman parents, Becket rose against all odds to become the second most powerful man in England. As King Henry II’s chancellor, Becket charmed potentates and popes, tamed overmighty barons, and even personally led knights into battle. After his royal patron elevated him to archbishop of Canterbury in 1162, however, Becket clashed with the King. Forced to choose between fealty to the crown and the values of his faith, he repeatedly challenged Henry’s authority to bring the church to heel. Drawing on the full panoply of medieval sources, Guy sheds new light on the relationship between the two men, separates truth from centuries of mythmaking, and casts 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.
Here is a Becket seldom glimpsed in any previous biography, a man of many facets and faces: the skilled warrior as comfortable unhorsing an opponent in single combat as he was negotiating terms of surrender; the canny diplomat “with the appetite of a wolf” who unexpectedly became the spiritual paragon of the English church; and the ascetic rebel who waged a high-stakes contest of wills with one of the most volcanic monarchs of the Middle Ages. Driven into exile, derided by his enemies as an ungrateful upstart, Becket returned to Canterbury in the unlikeliest guise of all: as an avenging angel of God, wielding his power of excommunication like a sword. It is this last apparition, the one for which history remembers him best, that will lead to his martyrdom at the hands of the king’s minions—a grisly episode that Guy recounts in chilling and dramatic detail.
An uncommonly intimate portrait of one of the medieval world’s most magnetic figures, Thomas Becket breathes new life into its subject—cementing for all time his place as an enduring icon of resistance to the abuse of power.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Kansas City Star • Bloomberg
St. Thomas Becket
St. Thomas Becket Facts
Thomas was born to Norman parents of the merchant class. He was educated first at the Augustinian Merton Priory, then in a London school, and finally at Paris. Deeply influenced in childhood by a devout mother who died when he was 21, Thomas entered adult life as a city clerk and accountant in the service of the sheriffs. After three years he was introduced by his father to Archbishop Theobald , a former abbot of Bec, of whose household he became a member. His contemporaries described Thomas as a tall and spare figure with dark hair and a pale face that flushed in excitement. His memory was extraordinarily tenacious and, though neither a scholar nor a stylist, he excelled in argument and repartee. He made himself agreeable to all around him, and his biographers attest that he led a chaste life—in this respect uninfluenced by the king.
Thomas Becket was an English priest, and Archbishop of Canterbury , who was killed by four knights with their swords in Canterbury Cathedral in Becket was born in Cheapside , London. He was intelligent when he was a child. He also enjoyed playing sports, such as hunting. At age 16, he left for Paris to study.
Thomas Becket was an English priest, and Archbishop of Canterbury , who was killed by four knights with their swords in Canterbury Cathedral in Becket was born in Cheapside, London. He was intelligent when he was a child. He also enjoyed playing sports, such as hunting. At age 16, he left for Paris to study. In , Becket joined the household of Theobald, as a clerk.
Friendship turned sour
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Thomas Becket was born in around , the son of a prosperous London merchant. He was well educated and quickly became an agent to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him on several missions to Rome. Becket's talents were noticed by Henry II, who made him his chancellor and the two became close friends. When Theobald died in , Henry made Becket archbishop.
The bitter conflict between the two men led to the murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Short Biography profile and facts about the life of Thomas Becket The following biography information provides basic facts and information about the life and history of Thomas Becket a famous Medieval character of the Middle Ages:. Saint Thomas of Canterbury. One who knew him well said, "He never sits down; he is on his feet from morning till night. Thomas Becket was fond of pomp and luxury, and lived in a more magnificent manner than even the king himself.
Thomas Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury who had a troubled relationship with King Henry II of England which ultimately led to him being murdered by knights of the emperor. Here are 10 interesting facts about the life and death of Saint Thomas Becket. Thomas Becket was born in Cheapside, London in or He was born on December 21 , which was the feast day of St Thomas, the Apostle. Thomas was the son of a prosperous merchant Gilbert Becket and his wife Matilda. He was educated first at Merton priory, then in a City of London school, and finally at Paris.