The Quest for Becket's Bones: The Mystery of the Relics of St Thomas Becket of Canterbury

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1996 - History - 180 pages
1 Review
In January 1888, workmen excavating the eastern crypt of Canterbury Cathedral uncovered the ancient bones of a tall, middle-aged man whose skull had seemingly been cleft by a sword. Could these be the remains of St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in the Cathedral in December 1170 by knights of King Henry II? This fascinating book recounts the story of the quest for St Thomas Becket's bones over eight centuries, and includes startling new evidence that has only recently come to light. An intriguing story of politics, science, religion, conjecture and romanticism, it explores the mystery of the survival of Catholic England's most precious relics, and presents a telling hypothesis as to their fate.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drmaf - LibraryThing

Fascinating story essentially broken into three parts. Firstly Becket's assassination itself, a blow by blow account of how renegade knights pursued the archbishop through Canterbury cathedral until ... Read full review

Contents

The Skeleton in the Crypt
35
Debating the Bones
58
Archiepiscopal Intervention
78
The Grave Revisited
95
Burned or Buried?
109
Five Hypotheses
135
A Mystery
156
Notes
170
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

John Butler is now retired, having worked as an academic at the Universities of Nottingham, Manchester, and Kent. He has the title of Emeritus Professor of Health Services Studies at the University of Kent. He is a life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a guide at Canterbury Cathedral.

Bibliographic information