The Book in the Cathedral: The Last Relic of Thomas Becket
by Christopher de Hamel
The assassination of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170 is one of the most famous events in European history. It inspired the largest pilgrim site in medieval Europe and many works of literature from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral and Anouilh’s Becket.
In a brilliant piece of historical detective work, Christopher de Hamel here identifies the Anglo-Saxon Psalter which Becket cherished throughout his time as Archbishop of Canterbury and which he may even have been holding when he was murdered.
Beautifully illustrated and published to coincide with the 850th anniversary of the death of Thomas Becket, this is an exciting rediscovery of one of the most evocative artefacts of medieval England, and the only surviving relic from Becket’s shrine.