Eliot chose the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket by agents of Henry II in 1170 as the play’s subject. He relied heavily on the account of the murder by Edward Grim, a clerk from Cambridge who was at Canterbury Cathedral on the night of December 29 when the murder occurred. Grim’s account of Becket’s death is a short one, included in his biography of St. Thomas published some 10 years after the event. But Grim was there, and it was an eyewitness account.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: T.S. Eliot in 1934, shortly before writingMurder in the Cathedral.