Press Release

16 November 2012

Critically acclaimed British historian and broadcaster Dr John Guy will be giving this year's Annual Thomas Becket Lecture.

Dr John Guy
Dr John Guy

Dr Guy has sold hundreds of thousands of books and is recognised as one of Britain’s most exciting historians for the way he brings the past to life with his scholarly and accessible re-telling of history.

The lecture, on Thursday 29 November, will see Dr Guy discuss his new book, ‘Thomas Becket: warrior, priest, rebel, victim a 900 year old story retold’. In the book Dr Guy draws on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters and first-hand accounts to build a psychologically gripping account of this iconic man, the turbulent times in which he lived and the pivotal role he played in the nation's history.

Dr Louise Wilkinson, Reader in Medieval History for the Department of History and American Studies, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr John Guy, a renowned historian, broadcaster and fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge, as the speaker for our seventh Annual Thomas Becket Lecture.

“Many people will already be familiar with Dr Guy’s books on the early modern period, most notably 'My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots and Tudor England', which has sold more than 250,000 copies.

“We look forward to learning about his impressions of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury whose martyrdom took place in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170, uncovering the man behind the enigma and what it was that set Henry II's formerly loyal Chancellor on course to clash with the King after his appointment as Archbishop.”

The Annual Thomas Becket Lecture takes place on Thursday 29 November, 6pm, in Augustine Hall, Augustine House. It is free and open to all. No reservation is needed. For further details, please contact:


Notes to Editor

  • John Guy specializes in the history of Tudor England and has written extensively on the subject. His work has been critically acclaimed, with his book, My Heart is My Own: the Life of Mary Queen of Scots, being awarded the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award.
  • He has presented documentaries for BBC 2, including the Timewatch film The King's Servant and the four-part Renaissance Secrets (Series 2); he has also contributed to Meet the Ancestors (BBC 2), and to Channel 4's Time Team and Royal Deaths and Diseases. Wolsey's Lost Palace of Hampton Court was a short-listed finalist for the 2002 Channel 4 television awards.
  • John Guy also appears regularly on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, BBC World Service and BBC Scotland. In print he currently writes or reviews for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Economist, the Times Literary Supplement, BBC History Magazine and History Today.


Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:15:00