Christopher de Hamel

The Book in the Cathedral
  • The Book in the Cathedral

  • From the bestselling author of Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, a captivating account of the last surviving relic of Thomas Becket

    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 only surviving relic from Becket's shrine: the Anglo-Saxon Psalter which he 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.

In the course of a long career at Sotheby's and at Cambridge University, Christopher de Hamel has probably seen and catalogued more medieval manuscripts than anyone alive, and his delight and enthusiasm run through all he writes. He is the author of many books, translated into numerous languages, including A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, The Book in the Cathedral, and Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Wolfson History Prize. He is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

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