In The Life of Thomas More, acclaimed author Peter Ackroyd tackles the familiar story of the man for all seasons and manages to shed new light on a life that has been the focus of scholars and historians for more than four centuries.
When mischievous orphan Anne Shirley arrives at the Cuthbert farm Green Gables, she knows she wants to stay forever. But the Cuthbert's were expecting a boy orphan -- someone strong enough to help with their farmwork. Can spunky Anne win their hearts? This beautiful picture book adaptation of L. M. Montgomery's classic novel will delight the author's many fans -- and captivate a new audience of younger readers.
This is the first biography of More to have absorbed the small revolution in Reformation scholarship of the last 20 years...and is able to see England, through the mists of Protestant and Whig propaganda, as one of the most authentically Cahtolic countries in the history of Europe. -- The New York Times Book Review
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Who can resist another encounter with Anne Shirley? Is it possible to do justice to one of literature's most beloved girls? Since its publication in 1908, Anne of Green Gables has been recognized as a classic, as well as a hallmark of great Canadian literature. To celebrate the 100th year since it was first published, Deirdre Kessler has written a beautifully-crafted adaptation that takes this novel into the 21st century without losing any of its charm. Many famous episodes are included in this wonderful retelling, such as Anne's arrival at Green Gables, the tempest in the schoolroom, Anne's debut as Lady Elaine in a King Arthurian re-enactment, and the final scene, in which Anne and Gilbert Blythe finally reconcile their differences and become friends. Anne Shirley emerges from this adaptation just as lovable, imaginative, and impulsive as she is in L. M. Montgomery's original noveland on her way toward winning the hearts of another generation of readers around the world. This book will inspire young readers to return to the classic novel, and the illustrations will appeal to anyone who has ever loved the original. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
The New Yorker
This superb biography does more than narrate the life of the Lord Chancellor who was beheaded and later canonized for refusing to accept Henry VIII as head of the church. It describes the London More knew, the ferment of humanism to which he contributed, and the contemporary appeal of Catholicism. It also portrays an archetypal zealot: More denied heretics their rights of conscience, but later pleaded his own conscience without ever glimpsing the parallel between himself and the Protestants he had executed.
The Wall Street Journal
Sensitive [and] well-informed.
The Boston Globe
Brilliantly conceived....Ackroyd's vividly human More is...imperfect yet inspiring.
A vividly evocative portrait of the lawyer and statesman who was 'the King's good servant, but God's first,' from award- winning biographer and novelist Ackroyd (Blake, 1996; T.S. Eliot, 1984). Thomas More was born in 1479 in Milk Street, in what is now the center of London's financial district, to Agnes and John More, a tradesman-turned-lawyer. Thomas would be one of the great intellects of his time, and Ackroyd gives particular attention to young More's rare and prolonged education: his apprenticeship at the court of the learned Archbishop and Chancellor John Morton of Canterbury, his grounding in the liberal arts at Oxford University, and his legal education at New Inn and Lincoln's Inn. More's upbringing and education, Ackroyd shows, left their permanent imprint upon him: His extensive training in dialectical logic served him well at the bar and on the bench, his time with Archbishop Morton made him familiar with the world of prelates and statecraft, and his Latin and literary training fitted him for his career as a humanist. Ackroyd vibrantly evokes the devout London in which More lived, where even successful lawyers meditated on life's transience and participated in endless rounds of prayer and ritual. He also gives an intimate picture of More's affectionate relations with his family and tells the familiar story of More's rise to favor in the court of Henry VIII, his friendship with Erasmus, his tenure as lord chancellor, and his fall from grace as the crisis of the king's divorce of Catherine of Aragon worsened. Ultimately, More's constancy to his church outweighed his obeisance to the king: Ackroyd gives what amounts to a transcript of the trial in whichMore refused to endorse Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn, and narrates his imprisonment in the Tower of London and execution in 1535. A limpidly written and superbly wrought portrait of a complex hero who was truly, as his friend Erasmus stated, 'omnium horarum homo,' a 'man for all seasons.'
From the Publisher
"Aficionados of the auburn-tressed waif will find Anne of Green Gables lavishly illustrated."
Read an Excerpt
Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
There are plenty of people, in Avonlea and out of it, who can attend closely to their neighbors business by dint of neglecting their own; but Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can manage their own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain. She was a notable housewife; her work was always done and well done; she "ran" the Sewing Circle, helped run the Sunday-school, and was the strongest prop of the, Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary. Yet with all this Mrs. Rachel found abundant time to sit for hours at her kitchen window, knitting "cotton warp" quiltsshe had, knitted sixteen of them, as Avonlea housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices-and keeping a sharp eye on the main road that crossed the hollow and wound up the steep red hill beyond. Since Avonlea occupied a little triangular peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with water on two sides of it, anybody who went out of it or into it had to pass over that hill road and so run the unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel's all-seeing eye.
She was sitting there one afternoon in early June. The sun was coming in at the window warm and bright; the orchard on the slope below the house was in a bridal flush of pinky-white bloom, hummed over by a myriad of bees. Thomas Lynde-a meek little man whom Avonlea people called "Rachel Lynde's husband"-was sowing his late turnip seed on the hill field beyond the barn; and Matthew Cuthbert ought to have been sowing his on the big red brook field away over by Green Gables. Mrs. Rachel knew that he ought because she had heard him tell Peter Morrison the evening before in William J. Blaire's store over at Carmody that he meant to sow his turnip seed the next afternoon. Peter had asked him, of course, for Matthew Cuthbert had never been known to volunteer information about anything in his whole life.
And yet here was Matthew Cuthbert, at half-past three on the afternoon of a busy day, placidly driving over the hollow and up the hill; moreover, he wore a white collar and his best suit of clothes, which was plain proof that he was going out of Avonlea; and he had the buggy and the sorrel mare, which betokened that he was going a considerable distance. Now, where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?
Had it been any other man in Avonlea Mrs. Rachel, deftly putting this and that together, might have given a pretty good guess as to both questions. But Matthew so rarely went from home that it must be something pressing and unusual which was taking him; he was the shyest man alive and hated to have to go among strangers or to any place where he might have to talk. Matthew, dressed up with a white collar and driving in a buggy, was something that didn't happen often. Mrs. Rachel, ponder as she might, could make nothing of it and her afternoo's enjoyment was spoiled.
"I'll just step over to Green Gables after tea and find out from Marilla where he's gone and why," the worthy woman finally concluded. "He doesn't generally go to town this time of year and he new visits; if he'd run out of turnip seed he wouldn't dress up and take the buggy to go for more; he wasn't driving fast enough to be going for the doctor. Yet something must have happened since List night to start him off. I'm clean puzzled, that's what, and I won't know a minute's peace of mind or conscience until I know what has taken Matthew Cuthbert out of Avonlea today-"
Accordingly after tea Mrs. Rachel set out; she had not far to go; the big, rambling orchard-embowered house where the Cuthberts lived was a scant quarter of a mile up the road from Lynde's Hollow. To be sure, the long lane made it a good deal further. Matthew Cuthberfs father, as shy and silent as his son after him, had got as far away as he possibly could from his fellow men without actually retreating into the woods when he founded his homestead. Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of his cleared land and there it was to this day, barely visible from the main road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so sociably situated. Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place living at all.
1. It's just staying, that's what," she said as she stepped along the deep-rutted, grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes. "Ifs no wonder Matthew and Marilia are both a little odd, living away back here by themselves. Trees aren't much company, though dear knows if they were there'd be enough of them. I'd ruther look at people. To be sure, they seem contented enough; but then, I suppose, they're used to it. A body can get used to anything even to being hanged, as the Irishman said."