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The Last Letters of Thomas More
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About the Author

A native of Spain, he is a Catholic priest who lives and works in Boston. He has edited several works of Thomas More in Spanish, including De Tristitia Christi (1979), A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation (1988), and More's correspondence, collected in two volumes (1988, 1998). He is also the editor of a new Spanish edition of William Roper's Life of Sir Thomas More (2000).

Reviews

De Silva (theology, Thomas More Coll. of Liberal Arts) has gathered together the letters Thomas More wrote to Margaret Roper, Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Dr. Wilson, and others two years before his execution. Any More enthusiast will treasure this collection beyond measure, as it offers a clear window onto the soul of one of history's noblest figures. The statesman's plight becomes the reader's very own: confined in the Tower of London, awaiting the inevitable chopping block. What emerges most poignantly from the letters is More's selfless integrity as distinct from the stubborn individualism so often attributed to him. According to de Silva's own lucid and informative introduction, "More did not exhibit an individualism or an autonomy of the `I' that has no room for anything else...he simply knew that to take the oath [to Henry VIII] would mean the loss of his own self, his own spiritual integrity." Endnotes elaborate on cultural, political, and religious allusions that would otherwise confuse one unfamiliar with the time period. This book makes for a fine supplement to Peter Ackroyd's recent biography, The Life of Thomas More (LJ 6/1/98). Essential for academic libraries; highly recommended for large public libraries.DLoren Rosson III, Nashua P.L., NH Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Times Literary Supplement
"The works which Thomas More wrote during the fourteen months of his imprisonment in the Tower of London are an extraordinary testimony to his strength of mind. None, however, are quite as moving as his letters. Consience is the most recurring theme in the letters, introduced and well annotated by Alvaro de Silva. . . These last letters, with their spontaneous and vivid descriptions of the events attending More's arrest, his stern response to his daughters' attempts to persuade him to compromise, and his sustained dignity through his incarceration, increase one's respect for the man." The Expository Times
"More's prison correspondence, now edited by Alvaro de Silva, is not as well known as Tower of London tracts such as his Dialogue of Comfort and De tristia Christi, and richly deserves the exposure this useful edition provides. . . Alvaro de Silva's edited Last Letters, careful commentary, period glossary, bibliography and index will surely appeal to all serious students of Henrician England. " Library Journal
"Any More enthusiast will treasure this collection beyond measure, as it offers a clear window onto the soul of one of history's noblest figures. . . What emerges most poignantly from the letters is More's selfless integrity as distinct from the stubborn individualism so often attributed to him. . . Endnotes elaborate on cultural, political, and religious allusions that would otherwise confuse one unfamiliar with the time period. This book makes for a fine supplement to Peter Ackroyd's recent biography, The Life of Thomas More." First Things
"Each letter is . . . a literary treasure, and the editor's introduction explaining what More meant by 'comfort, ' 'company, ' and 'conscience' is simply splendid. Warmly recommended." The Catechist's Connection
"A substantial book that will reap great spiritual benefits is The Last Letters of Thomas More, edited by Alvaro de Silva. . . Great reading for daily meditation, one letter at a time."

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