Book Series Mediaeval Sources in Translation, vol. 56

A Life of Thomas Becket in Verse

La Vie de saint Thomas Becket by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence

  • Pages: 201 p.
  • Size:150 x 230 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-306-9
  • Paperback
  • Available


This is the first new English translation of the verse Life of Thomas Becket by Guernes de Pont-Sainte-Maxence in almost forty years, and both the translation and the introductory materials take full advantage of the many significant changes in scholarship since that time. Guernes’ work is itself an essential witness to the cultural, intellectual, and political upheavals in England during the twelfth century: the emergence of a vibrant new francophone literary culture; the rising importance of written documents and bureaucracy; and the long-rumbling contest between papal and royal authority that ultimately brought about the profound shock of Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral. Ian Short’s translation, assured in the balance it strikes between readability and fidelity to the tone and context of the original, is a companion to Jacques Thomas’s recent edition of the Medieval French text, and is accompanied by explanatory notes that will make this the go-to English version for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the literature, religion, and history of the middle ages.”