Both darkly comic and deeply tragic, Guy's biography of the 12th-century archbishop of Canterbury Sir Thomas Becket is a portrait of a saint with plenty of shadows. Does it diminish Becket for us to know that this future martyr in a hair shirt (clothing worn by ascetics) also made sure to keep a fine silk robe handy for his return to Canterbury, a stately progress one chronicler compared to Christ's entry into Jerusalem? That his abstemious diet was partly the result of a lifelong susceptibility to chronic, and debilitating, indigestion? That one of his oldest and closest friends would have found his canonization "utterly absurd"? Only if we prefer the black-and-white certainties of hagiography to the convincingly human portrayal of a charismatic, contradictory individual who was, as Guy puts it, "as prickly as he was smooth ... a man with the habits of a hedgehog."