These facsimile pages are taken from a Latin Book of Hours and a liturgical Latin Psalter which were in St. Thomas More’s possession while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London and which he used for meditation during the period before his execution. In the margins of nineteen pages of the Book of Hours, More wrote his “Godly Meditation,” lines resonant with his intense spirituality as he pondered his awaiting death yet reflecting the lot of any Christian as he endeavors to “walk the narrow way”; the margins of the Psalter include 150 notes that give deep insight into More’s personal grief and sorrows during his imprisonment. The annotated pages of both volumes are here reproduced in their original size, with those from the Book of Hours in full color.
Mr. Martz and Mr. Sylvester, both professor of English at Yale University and chairman and executive editor, respectively, of the Yale Edition of the Works of St. Thomas More, provide full transcriptions of all the marginalia, with translations of the Latin notes, as well as an Introduction describing the books and analyzing the spiritual and scholarly significance of the annotation. A companion volume to the Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More.