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The Life of Thomas More (1998)

by Peter Ackroyd

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1,1751416,536 (3.94)38
Pre-eminent as a courtier and a humanist, a friend to Henry VIII and the author of Utopia, Thomas More is one of the great figures of England's history; his life and career epitomize the great transformation of the country in the space of 35 years. This biography investigates the paradox of this man for all seasons: the man of the world who travelled across Europe to negotiate on behalf of his king, and the unworldly man whose careful silence on the matter of Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn would lead to his disgrace and execution.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Excellent view of what we can reasonably know about Thomas More, a man born in the 15th century. Fortunately he was a prolific writer and was a friend of writers. We know of his childhood, education, capers, perverse sense of humor, past-times, jobs, friends, wives, children, sons-in-laws, etc. I found it refreshing to see that he was a devout man, yet he "down to earth" to the very end. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
Anyone who sees More as admirable or worthy of respect should read this book as it shows More in his true light: a delusional bastard who really wasn't capable of true critical thought and who is directly responsible for the deaths of quite a few people in a very cruel manner. He may have been a man of his time, but there were many others who were far better people, even during his time. ( )
  tnilsson | Jan 28, 2021 |
Born into the professional classes, Thomas More applied his formidable intellect and well-placed connections to become the most powerful man in England, second only to the king. As much a work of history as a biography, The Life of Thomas More gives an unmatched portrait of the everyday, religious, and intellectual life of the early sixteenth century. In Ackroyd's hands, this renowned "man for all seasons" emerges in the fullness of his complex humanity; we see the unexpected side of his character--such as his preference for bawdy humor--as well as his indisputable moral courage.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Jan 28, 2020 |
Aside from Ackroy claiming to a fidelity to the milieu of More by quoting him in the obscure spellings of the sixteenth century, there are vast praries of emotional space between the author and his subject. I am left a bit puzzled. Ackroyd goes to sufficient lengths to remove the aura of hagiography from More, but doesn't construct a viable counter-thesis either. There is simply the written record. Odd. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Wonderful book on a troubled man. Many Catholic schools are named after this man who was made a saint; does anyone remember he burned dozens of Protestants at the stake. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
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For Thomas Wright
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The infant was taken, within a week of its birth, to the precincts of the church: the child of wrath must be reformed into the image of God, 'the servant of the fiend' made into 'a son of joy'.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Pre-eminent as a courtier and a humanist, a friend to Henry VIII and the author of Utopia, Thomas More is one of the great figures of England's history; his life and career epitomize the great transformation of the country in the space of 35 years. This biography investigates the paradox of this man for all seasons: the man of the world who travelled across Europe to negotiate on behalf of his king, and the unworldly man whose careful silence on the matter of Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn would lead to his disgrace and execution.

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