The best-selling historian of medieval manuscripts discovers the most intimate surviving relic of Thomas Becket.
In the course of a long career at Sotheby's Christopher de Hamel probably handled and catalogued more illuminated manuscripts and over a wider range than anyone else alive. He is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was Librarian of the Parker Library from 2000 to 2016, which holds many of the earliest manuscripts in English language and history, including the Psalter of Becket. Christopher de Hamel is the author of A History of Illuminated Manuscripts and Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, which won the Wolfson History Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize in 2016. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society.
Readers will delight in de Hamel's passion for his subject, his
book's sumptuous illustrations, and above all his virtuoso display
of learning -- John Guy * Literary Review *
De Hamel - author of the wonderful Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts - shows us all the tools of the bibliographer's trade: dating handwriting, identifying pigments, noting the rust marks left by nails from a now-lost ornate binding ... The identification - or rehabilitation - of his psalter, the book he carried with him into exile, possibly held at his death, is a timely and enjoyable tribute. -- Dennis Duncan * The Guardian *
Christopher de Hamel quotes Sherlock Holmes, as he might, in his latest bit of medieval detective work, showing that a book of the Psalms in a Cambridge college was once a treasured possession of St Thomas Becket ... grippingly told in The Book in the Cathedral. -- Christopher Howse * Daily Telegraph *