Review: The Book in the Cathedral by Christopher de Hamel

My review of Christopher de Hamel’s book The Book in the Cathedral has just been published in this month’s Catholic Herald. This very short book advances a fascinating theory that a hitherto little known Anglo-Saxon psalter was the personal prayer book of Thomas Becket – and, indeed, that it was originally commissioned for another martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, St Alphege. The story of De Hamel’s process of research as much as the story of the book itself, De Hamel’s book sheds light on the personal library of Thomas Becket as well as reflecting on our attitude towards books owned by famous people, both now and in the Middle Ages.

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