Tuesday Jun 15 2004
Something has been niggling at the back of my mind ever since you told me that Stephen was working on a version of the Thos a Becket story, because it reminded me that someone else had done a very good version of the same story, and I have just remembered that it was me. In my last ever Franglais book, "The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman", I did highly condensed versions of about 40 different classics, and one of them was Murder in the Cathedral. Just to show him how it could be done (as a bad thriller in mangled French) I enclose a copy.
When I was once making a Channel 4 programme about Catholic relics, a cardinal in Rome proudly showed me the best relic they had in their church; a bit of St Thomas himself. He claimed it was the part of the head and shoulder which the four knights had chopped off. He may have been right, though it looked a bit more like an old mop to me.
"When are you going to give it back to Canterbury ?" I said.
"When they come back to Rome," he said.