Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More: Lord Chancellor of England and Martyr Under Henry VIII

Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More: Lord Chancellor of England and Martyr Under Henry VIII


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This is a photographic reprint of the original to preserve accuracy.
IN More's dedicatory letter to Thomas Ruthal of his. translation into Latin of three of Lucian's dialogues, he complained that writers of the lives of saints some-· times indulge in falsehoods: "They have scarcely left a life of martyr or of virgin without foisting into it something untrue-piously, no doubt! for of course there was a danger lest truth, left to itself, should not be able to stand upright; so that it was necessary to prop it up with lies!
I may say that my first anxiety in composing this Life of the illustrious writer, chancellor and martyr, has. been not to merit this reproach; to state nothing that I did not believe, and to accept nothing for which I had not historical evidence. My first care was to collate the biographies of More already in existence.
In giving some account of the principal of these, I shall be able at the same time to state the sources from which a correct and complete life of More can be drawn. My own conclusion was, that such a Life still remained to be written; and I have made a serious attempt to supply the want. My readers and critics must judge how far I have succeeded.
ERASMUS. In the letters of Erasmus there are descriptions of More so minute and full, though written during his lifetime, that Erasmus may almost be called his first biographer. There is also a large correspondence between the two friends. This source had already been well used by Stapleton; but I have taken nothing at second-hand. It will be seen that the writings of Erasmus have supplied me with some of my best materials.
ROPER. More's son-in-law, William Roper, resided with him for sixteen years. In the time of Queen Mary he wrote down his reminiscences, as well as details learnt from his wife, Margaret More. These reminiscences were not intended as a complete Life. They were notes supplied to Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield. Archdeacon of Canterbury, by whom they were worked up into a Life to be mentioned immediately. Roper, writing from memory twenty years after the death of More, makes a few mistakes in dates, but his narrati"e bears intrinsic evidence of the simple uprightness of the narrator and of his substantial accuracy, which is confirmed by historical documents. This Life, or rather these notes, were in circulation in MS. and were used by compilers of lives long before they were printed.
They were first printed in Paris in 1626; then by Hearne in 1716; and by Lewis in 1729, 1731, 1765, who added a valuable appendix of documents. The best edition is that of Singer in 1817, of which only 150 copies were printed. Roper's Life of More is also annexed to Mr. Lumley's edition of the Utopia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508870456
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/14/2015
Pages: 486
Sales rank: 1,106,300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.98(d)

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