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The Last Letters of Thomas More
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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.

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