There's not a great deal I can add to the majority of the excellent reviews above. This book represents a tour de force when it comes to describing the life and times of that turbulent priest. From humble beginnings, rather like Wolsey four centuries later, Becket's rise was meteoric. What is interesting about this book is the narrative style of Guy, which as another reviewer has said, has started from scratch with no preconceptions about where the story would lead and placed Becket's life in the political context of twelfth century England. Guy manages really well in sorting out the chaff and misinformation from the wealth of material that exists about Becket and in doing so at times paints a less than glorious, albeit objective, portrait of this warrior priest. He also debunks a few of the myths and legends that arose around Henry II and Beckett.
There are parallels between the relationship of Henry II and Becket and that of Henry VIII and Wolsey four century's later which make this interesting reading.
This is a marvellously detailed, meticulously researched and objective biography of Becket and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of that period, I don't think it will be bettered.
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