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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich and erudite, 15 Sept. 2008
This review is from: The Life of Thomas More (Paperback)
This is a rich and erudite biography, replete with literary and theological references. As would be expected from this author, the theme of More as a Londoner is brought out quite clearly. The overriding theme, however, is of More as essentially a man of his time, the last great representative of late Medieval Catholicism, with a deeply ingrained belief in order, harmony and peaceful uniformity as represented by the collective piety of his religion, still at this early stage shared by the great bulk of the population of London and most of the country. That explains his hatred and violence towards the heretics whom he saw as disturbers of all order and civilisation in the world, not just of the Catholic church; it is the aspect of his life that is most disturbing to the modern reader, seeming to conflict harshly with his great conscience and the heroic nature of his death. But he must be seen in the context of his time when many great educated men on all sides of the religious divide believed in causing the deaths of their opponents to save those opponents' souls. A great, if not easy read, though I felt it lost its way a bit in the middle.
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