The Quest for Becket's Bones: Mystery of the Relics of St.Thomas Becket of Canterbury (Hardback)John R. Butler (author)
Hardback Published: 28/02/1995
- Not available
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 ? What really happened to the mortal remains of St Thomas Becket? Were the bones indeed hidden from Henry VIII's commissioners and reburied later in a secret location within the Cathedral? What was the significance of the grave discovered in 1888 and why in 1949 did the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury order its re-opening? Why does an obscure French Cardinal occupy a makeshift tomb in one of the most sacred areas of Canterbury Cathedral and what dark secret did two French legionnaires seek to reveal by prizing it open in 1990? For whom does the perpetual red lamp of a martyr burn in the sanctuary of the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene? And what is the significance of the spot in the Cathedral on which, twice a year, a small group of people still gathers to pray for the conversion of England? This book recounts the story of the quest for St Thomas Becket's bones over eight centuries and includes evidence that has only recently come to light. A 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 hypothesis as to their fate.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Weight: 720 g
Dimensions: 253 x 178 x 21 mm
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