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Soldier, Saint

Stuart Airlie, 19 February 1987

William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry 
by Georges Duby, translated by Richard Howard.
Faber, 156 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 571 13745 8
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Thomas Becket 
by Frank Barlow.
Weidenfeld, 334 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 297 78908 2
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... of knights was so different from that of the church clerks whom they seemed to disdain. Professor Barlow’s sterling new biography of Thomas Becket shows us a man whose origins, like William’s, were not of the highest: his father ‘may have been in textiles’. Like William, Thomas owed his rise, not to inheritance, but to his being sent to the ...

Making saints

Peter Burke, 18 October 1984

Saints and Society: The Two Worlds of Western Christendom 1000-1700 
by Donald Weinstein and Rudolph Bell.
Chicago, 314 pp., £21.25, February 1983, 0 226 89055 4
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The Norman Conquest and Beyond 
by Frank Barlow.
Hambledon, 318 pp., £22, June 1983, 0 907628 19 2
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Miracles and the Medieval Mind 
by Benedicta Ward.
Scolar, 321 pp., £17.50, November 1983, 0 85967 609 9
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The Great Debate on Miracles: From Joseph Glanvill to David Hume 
by R.M. Burns.
Associated University Presses, 305 pp., £17.50, July 1983, 0 8387 2378 0
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Saints and their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore and History 
edited by Stephen Wilson.
Cambridge, 435 pp., £35, December 1983, 0 521 24978 3
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... as Urban II in the 11th century, Calixtus II in the 12th and Gregory IX in the 13th. As Professor Barlow reminds us in an essay reprinted in his new collection, it was Calixtus II who canonised Hugh Abbot of Cluny in 1120. It was Gregory IX who both set up the Inquisition and formalised the rules of procedure for canonisation. I doubt whether this was ...

Short Cuts

Tariq Ali: So much for England, 23 January 2020

... are a case in point.) He often sounds like a character in a comic novel. His own. Roger Barlow in Seventy-Two Virgins is a self-portrait that reveals a surprising degree of self-awareness:Barlow’s thoughts of political extinction had taken a philosophical turn. Did it matter? Of course not. The fate of the human ...

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