From the winner of the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award and the Marsh Biography Award John Guy, comes Thomas Becket, a lively and enlightening new book that brings a colossal figure of British history vividly to life. This is the man, not the legend...Thomas Becket lived at the centre of medieval England. Son of a draper's merchant, he was befriended and favoured by Henry II and quickly ascended the rungs of power and privilege. He led 700 knights into battle, brokered peace between warring states and advised King and Pope. Yet he lost it all defying his closest friend and King, resulting in his own bloody murder and the birth of a legend. In John Guy's masterful account the life, death and times of Thomas Becket come splendidly alive. "Lively, effortlessly readable, superb. A triumph". (The Times). "Suspenseful, meticulously researched ...however well you think you know the story, it is well worth the read". (Financial Times). "Wonderfully moving and subtle. Reading of the assassination is almost unbearably intense and brings tears to one's eye". (Daily Express). "Compelling, marvellously measured, entertainingly astute, and in places positively moving". (The Independent). "A beautifully layered portrait of one of the most complex characters in English history ...not only corrects many historical errors and uncertainties, but merits reading more than once, for the sheer joy of its superb storytelling". (The Times). "Scintillates with energetic scene-setting, giving us a tactile, visual feel for early medieval England ...breathes new life into an oft-told tale". (Financial Times). "Vivid and extremely readable. The most accessible Life of Thomas Becket to be published in recent years". (The Times Literary Supplement). John Guy is an award-winning historian, accomplished broadcaster and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. His previous books include My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots, winner of the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award and the Marsh Biography Award, the highly acclaimed dual biography A Daughter's Love: Thomas and Margaret More and a history, Tudor England, which has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide.