Becket's life was lived on a European stage, his cause was conducted in a European setting, and the cult of the new martyr spread with extraordinary rapidity to the furthest reaches of Latin Christendom before the end of the twelfth century.
The fifteen studies collected here reflect not only the global reach of the subject but the diverse expertise of their author, whose edition and translation of the Correspondence of Archbishop Thomas Becket (2000) and acclaimed biography (Thomas Becket, 2004) have established her place in Becket studies.
Based on the critical examination of manuscripts and texts, this collection focuses first on the papal curia and Becket's household in exile.
The following studies deal with Becket's letters and their authorship, the coronation of the young King Henry (1170), and Henry II's reconciliation at Avranches (1172).
The final part traces the explosion of Becket's cult, the transmission of hagiographical and liturgical texts to France, Germany, and Portugal, and the role of diverse agencies of dissemination: Henry II's daughters, for example, in Saxony, Castile, and Sicily, and the Cistercian and Augustinian orders whose networks of houses embraced the whole of Europe.