Few people have had as enduring an influence as Thomas More (1478-1535), whoalong with Erasmus, with whom he correspondedwas the quintessential Renaissance Humanist. More had a deep understanding of the classics. He wrote poems in Latin and prepared Latin translations of Lucian's Greek dialogues. Like so many thinkers of his day, he had a strong interest in the philosophy of education. Trained as a lawyer, he was also a leading political figure of his time. He became a member of Parliament in 1504, speaker of the House of Commons in 1523, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1525, and Lord Chancellor in 1529. But most importantly, he was a theologian and religious leader and had once contemplated pursuing a religious vocation. He challenged the influence of Lutheranism; debated Christopher St. German about the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in England; and wrote theological treatises on the sufferings of Christ, the nature of heresies, and other religious topics. Though he saw himself as the king's servant, he refused to acknowledge the authority of Henry VIII as spiritual head of England. For his defiance, he was executed; for his martyrdom, he was canonized. Many of his views are reflected in what is perhaps his most famous work, Utopia, in which he offers a fictional portrait of an ideal society.
Research on More has flourished in the centuries after his death, particularly since his canonization. This bibliography includes more than 1600 annotated entries for major works on his life and writings not only written in English, but also in French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. It contains entries for books, chapters, journal articles, and numerous unpublished dissertations. The opening chapters cover reference works, editions, and editorial concerns. A chapter on biography precedes sections on general critical studies; More's reception, reputation, and influence; the religious and philosophical background of his works; and his language, style, and use of classical and Christian sources. Individual chapters then treat particular major works, such as his History of King Richard III, or clusters of his shorter writings, such as his English and Latin poems. Entries include cross-references, and the volume closes with a detailed index.