Young Thomas More and the Arts of Liberty

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What does it mean to be a free citizen in times of war and tyranny? What kind of education is needed to be a "first" or leading citizen in a strife-filled country? And what does it mean to be free when freedom is forcibly opposed? These concerns pervade Thomas More's earliest writings, writings mostly unknown, including his 280 poems, declamation on tyrannicide, coronation ode for Henry VIII, and his life of Pico della Mirandola, all written before Richard III and Utopia. This book analyzes those writings, guided especially by these questions: Faced with generations of civil war, what did young More see as the causes of that strife? What did he see as possible solutions? Why did More spend fourteen years after law school learning Greek and immersed in classical studies? Why do his early works use vocabulary devised by Cicero at the end of the Roman Republic?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Those who look at the More family portraits from the frames provided by this book will learn something new because Wegemer has such wisdom in discovering old facts..."
-Stephen Merriam Foley,Brown University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521196536
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/29/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerard Wegemer is professor of literature at the University of Dallas and, since 2000, he has been the founding director of the Center for Thomas More Studies. Among his publications are A Thomas More Source Book, Thomas More on Statesmanship and Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage. He has served as an editor for Moreana, the international journal on Thomas More and his times. He is editing a paperback series of Thomas More's major works and has written articles and reviews on Thomas More, Shakespeare and Renaissance humanism in such journals as Renascence, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Review of Politics, Ben Jonson Journal and Moreana. Wegemer has master's degrees in political philosophy and in literature from Boston College and Georgetown University, respectively, and earned his doctorate in English literature from the University of Notre Dame.
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Table of Contents

1. Young Thomas More:
why do peace and prosperity require arts of humanitas?
2. Fashioning peace and prosperity:
what are the necessary arts?
3. Cicero's and More's 'first citizens':
how do they avoid faction and civil war?
4. What were More's earliest views of humanitas, libertas, and respublica, 1500–1506?
5. More's Life of Pico della Mirandola:
a model of libertas and humanitas? (c.1504–1507)
6. More's 1509 coronation ode:
artful education of eighteen-year-old Henry VIII?
7. Political poems of 1509–1516:
proposing self-government by 'sound deliberation'
8. Richard III, c.1513:
diagnosing the causes of England's plague of war
9. Utopia, 1516:
a model respublica of peace, liberty, and self-government?
10. The un-utopian Thomas More Family Portrait:
an icon of Morean humanitas?
11. The arts of liberty:
can peace and prosperity be fashioned by 'sound deliberation'?
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