Thursday, April 06, 2006

If All the Swords in England: A Story of Thomas Becket

If All the Swords in England: A Story of Thomas Becket , Barbara Willard
(1961; repr. Bethlehem Books, 2000), pb. 181 pp.

The story of Thomas Becket’s brave stand against the King is a moving and powerful story. It is full of lessons and examples about ultimate allegiance to God alone and the willingness to follow God even to the point of death. However, this retelling of the story does not succeed very well in communicating this powerful account. Mrs. Willard seems to assume her audience knows the story already, and therefore jumps about in the story often without clear clues to her readers. This is similar to my complaint with her other book, Son of Charlemagne.

Honestly, this is one we endured our way through. I had to work hard to salvage the key points of the story. The account follows pretty carefully historical accounts as far as I can tell, but it simply is not communicated well. Tell your children about Thomas Becket, but look for other resources to help you in doing so.


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