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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 838: Materiality and Sanctity: St Thomas Becket among the Saints, IV - The Post-Medieval Afterlife of St Thomas Becket

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 16.30-18.00

Organisers:Elma Brenner, Wellcome Library, London
Paul Webster, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:John Jenkins, Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture, University of York
Paper 838-aThomas Becket, Medieval Stained Glass, and the Work of Restorers at Canterbury Cathedral
(Language: English)
Rachel M. Koopmans, Department of History, York University, Toronto
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - Decorative Arts, Lay Piety, Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 838-bThomas Becket in Coutances: The Modern Afterlife of a Medieval Medicus
(Language: English)
Alyce Jordan, Department of Art History, Northern Arizona University
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Medicine, Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 838-cTennyson, Irving, and Becket: The Embodiment of a Victorian Icon
(Language: English)
Kay Slocum, Department of History, Capital University, Ohio
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Other, Medievalism and Antiquarianism, Performance Arts - Drama

The significance of St Thomas Becket did not end with the destruction of his shrine at Canterbury in 1538, and his martyrdom and cult continue to evoke interest. This session explores Becket's post-medieval afterlife, at Canterbury and beyond, seen in evidence ranging from stained glass to theatre. The first paper focuses on the remarkable research conducted during current conservation and restoration of the miracle windows at Canterbury. Meanwhile, work on the churches of Normandy reveals a 19th-century revival of interest in Becket, including (at Coutances) a renaissance of his reputation as a healing saint. The final paper considers St Thomas on stage, in the drama composed by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and its adoption and embodiment by the actor Henry Irving.