Books: Man's Fealty

THOMAS by Shelley Mydans. 439 pdyes. Doubleday. $5.95.

Probably no man of the 12th century has had more meaning for intellectuals of the 20th than Thomas Becket. Hum bly born in London's Cheapside, Becket rose high in the world to become Chancellor of England under his fast friend and boon companion, King Henry II. Becket served his king by curbing the power of the lawless barons, and Henry then had him appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in order to curb the power of the clergy. Instead, Becket switched allegiance from King to God. His relevance for moderns is in his martyrdom and its...

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