National Geographic : 1955 Sep
first detailed account of the beginning of Canterbury Cathedral.* Coming from Rome at the head of a mis sionary band in 597, he re cords, St. Augustine bap tized Ethelbert, King of Kent, and his subjects at Canterbury. As was the custom, his torian Bede wrote in Latin. It remained for Chaucer, through his Canterbury Tales, to further the liter ary usage of the London dialect, from which today's language developed. Thus Chaucer was a father not only of English literature but of the language itself. Coming from the hills above Canterbury, we caught sight of the vast Cathedral. Miraculously, it escaped serious damage during the Nazi blitz; Chaucer's pilgrims might recognize it even now. What vicissitudes Can terbury has suffered! When St. Augustine ar rived, it was a village of wattle huts surrounding a church that had probably been built long before by Roman believers. The town grew by 1011 to a substantial ecclesiastical center with a modest cathe dral. Then it was burned by Danish raiders, who slew the archbishop. Fire again destroyed nearly all of it in 1067. In 1066 William the Conqueror had defeated the Saxon King Harold at Senlac, near Hastings, Sus- 319 © British Museum Alice at 7: the Last Page of Her Adventures Charles Dodgson recited his fantasy to Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating trip in 1862. Later he reduced the story to writing, called it Alice's Adventures Under Ground, and gave it to her. This is a part of the manuscript that sold 66 years later for $74,998. For printing, Dodgson expanded the story under a new title (opposite and page 322). sex, 40 miles southwest of Canterbury. Har old was slain in the battle and buried beside the English Channel. Of the Battle of Hastings, "the marvellous boy," Thomas Chatterton, wrote: O Chryste, it is a grief for me to telle, How manie a nobil erle and valrous knyghte In fyghtynge for Kynge Harrold noblie fell. From France King William had his friend Lanfranc come to be Archbishop of Canter bury. Since that time, with few exceptions, the Archbishop has officiated at the corona tion of Britain's rulers. Archbishop Thomas a Becket, a close friend of Henry II until the King and he fell out over the question of control of the Church by the State, was * See "Cathedrals of England," 16 ills. in gravure from dry-point etchings by Norman Wilkinson, NA TIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1939.