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King’s Bishop

The king and the chancellor were the best of friends, until they weren’t. They were inseparable, until they had an irrevocable rift. What caused their great quarrel? Was it politics? Was it position? Was it pride? Was it rejection?

The dramatic story of the quarrel between Henry, King of England, and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, has echoed down through the ages. Sometimes told as a close friendship gone bad, sometimes told as a morality tale of pride, sometimes as one of jealousy. History supports many versions of the story. But two things are clear: The king forced his chancellor and favorite, Thomas Becket, to also become Archbishop of Canterbury. And at that point, Thomas switched his allegiance from the king to the church.

In recounting this tale with a fresh view, Judith Koll Healey explores the friendship and the ensuing conflict of these two men as humans, not just giants in history. She tells the story, unusually, from the point of view of the king. The reader of the story that recounts these events may identify with either character, but one thing is certain: Pride played a center-stage role with these historical giants.

Don’t miss the chance to read about their friendship and their quarrel and then make up your own mind. Who was in the right? How will history judge them?


Why I Wrote “King’s Bishop”

There are so many narratives centered around this well known historical event that paint Henry as the villain and Thomas as the innocent victim. While Henry certainly seems culpable in the murder of the archbishop on some level, I felt the way their relationship changed over time deserved a more nuanced telling.

Other Books by
Judith Koll Healey

Judith Koll Healey is the acclaimed author of a broad range of books including poetry, fiction and a biography.

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Some of the praise for Judith Koll Healey’s writing

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