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A Life of Thomas Becket in Verse (Mediaeval Sources in Translation #56)

A Life of Thomas Becket in Verse (Mediaeval Sources in Translation #56)

Current price: $25.00
Publication Date: November 7th, 2013
Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies


Composed in the immediate aftermath of Becket's murder in 1170, and based, in part, on oral testimony gathered at Canterbury and from Becket's sister, Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence's 6180-line narrative poem is the earliest Life of Becket to appear in the French vernacular. Its account of Becket's life and martyrdom, though heavily biased in favour of its saintly protagonist and the cause he embraced, is informative as well as vigorously polemical. It offers a viewpoint different from that of contemporary Latin historians in that it was written to be listened to by laymen and women. It was also recited at the saint's tomb at Canterbury, and provides therefore a picture of events that would have reached a contemporary French-speaking public avid for first-hand knowledge of their new heroic martyr.