7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Absorbing, readable and thoroughly enjoyable modern retelling of history,
This review is from: Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold (Hardcover)
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As he writes in his introduction to this thoroughly enjoyable book, John Guy has "tried to sweep away the cobwebs, dismantle the legends and use the original sources to conjure back to life a highly controversial figure who helped to change the course of history, and who has divided opinion ever since." He has succeeded admirably in these aims and though the work is some 400 pages long, and covers some highly complex ground - I defy anyone to summarise the course of the civil war between Stephen and the Empress Mathilda without the reader falling off his chair - it remains a readable, rewarding and entertaining book.
Perhaps the nub of the work is to found in chapter 12, 'A Solitary Man', where Professor Guy offers a profound analysis of a major source, the narrative of William fitz Stephen, written about 1173/74, and in doing so provides insights into the character and personality of Becket and his relationship to Henry II, which are entirely convincing and provide ample proof that John Guy has indeed succeeded in conjuring Becket back to life.