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William Roper was the husband of Sir Thomas More's daughter, Margaret. He wrote his Life of Sir Thomas More a few years after More's execution in 1535 and is "by all counts the best and the source of most the intimate details about his personal and family life" . Interestingly, William's annoyance about More's "sacrifice" and refusal to give up his allegiance to the Pope can be found between the lines of his work.

The Life is primarily an account of the last period of More's life after he became Chancellor and contains large quoted speeches (The introduction makes no remark as to their authenticity) and is primarily concerned with portraying More's positive traits.

The editor A L Rowse counteracts this obviously biased account with a selection of parts of More's personal letters. These include his letters to Cardinal Wolsey, his daughter Margaret, his wife Alice, the Nun of Kent, and Thomas Cromwell. More stylistically is influenced by Latin and thus his sentences are verbose and lengthy and have tons of secondary clauses and participles - hence the editor has thankfully broken up the long sentences into shorter ones. These letters show More's desire for martyrdom in his last days.

This 1980 Folio Society edition is clearly meant to be a approachable work for the non-historian since the editor has filled the pages with wonderful illustrations from the time, pencil drawings of cities, portraits of the central players, first edition title pages, and illuminations. A MUST read for anyone interested in Sir Thomas More and England at the time of Henry VIII.

Hardback in excellent condition, although the slip cover is torn.

Please check out my other listings; I'm happy to combine postage for any of them.
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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