Review Round Up: Thomas Becket: Murder and the Making of a Saint, British Museum

The British Museum highlights the murder that shook the Middle Ages in this exhibition that explores the life and legacy of Thomas Becket.

a reliquary statue of Thomas Becket, made in Liege circa 1666. Photograph: The British Jesuit Province/PA.

The Guardian: ***** “The British Museum’s mind-expanding exhibitions have taken us to many cultural wonderlands, but this trip to medieval Kent is truly far-flung.”

Evening Standard: ***** “The show brings home both Becket’s London origins and its, and his, cosmopolitanism. He was born in Cheapside (there’s no mention here of the legend that his mother was, excitingly, a Saracen princess) and the curators have gone to pains to suggest the vitality of the twelfth-century city.”

The Times: ***** “Thomas Becket: Murder and the Making of a Saint is a wonderfully evocative show. Bringing together 100 objects from museums, churches and private collections across Europe, it launches the visitor headlong into the medieval era”

Church Times: “This extraordinarily rich exhibition gives the history of Plantagenet England in testimony to the cult of the martyred Archbishop, canonised on Ash Wednesday, 21 February 1173. It demonstrates the generosity of pilgrims down the ages, including two commemorative pieces that Henry VIII had made in silver and gold for the Barber Surgeons.”

London Visitors: “This fascinating exhibition provides plenty of evidence that the violent death of Thomas Becket is considered shocking even today. Although it is often considered that Henry II did not mean to order his murder, the outcome would create a schism between the church and crown for centuries to come. It was the ultimate power struggle between the power of those on earth and those looking for solace in the afterlife. If you are interested in this real life drama, this exhibition does not disappoint.”

The Telegraph: ***** “A new exhibition of 100 objects at the British Museum paints a surprising picture of the 12th century.”

Thomas Becket: Murder and the Making of a Saint is on display at the British Museum until the 22nd August.

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