Edward Norman

King Takes Bishop

Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim – A 900-Year-Old Story Retold


Viking 422pp £25 order from our bookshop

Historians have until very recently sought to avoid interpreting the past through employing the values and passions of the present. They have been travellers in a strange land, observers and not participants, assessors and not moralists. But practices seem to be changing, and the writing and teaching of history would appear to be transforming the subject into a series of judgements that measure the values and behaviour of the people of the past precisely by modern standards of moral sense. It is as if Sir Herbert Butterfield’s assault upon the ‘Whig Interpretation of History’ was in vain. 

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