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A Thomas More Source Book Paperback – August 20, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0813213767 ISBN-10: 0813213762

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (August 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813213762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813213767
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gerard B. Wegemer is Professor of English at the University of Dallas. An expert on Thomas More, he is the author and editor of numerous works including Thomas More on Statesmanship and Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage. Stephen W. Smith is Assistant Professor of English at Hillsdale College and coeditor of Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Readings in Literature and Politics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Zajano on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
What a great contribution these authors have made to the world of Renaissance and Thomas More studies! This comprehensive anthology provides a wealth of primary sources as well as related materials on Thomas More and his world. Due to the multi-faceted character of its subject, this book will be of interest to historians, biographers, educators, theologians, writers, politicians, and many others as well. The "Man for All Seasons" was a lawyer, judge, husband and father, scholar, counselor to the king, and martyr, and this rich source book provides the background to the inner man. The authors begin with contemporary biographies and sketches of More, then explore samples of his own works. Selections from his early poems and letters are followed by some of his writings on education (he was a trend-setter in promoting education of women), government, and religion. The closing section, "More's Last Days", includes samples of his letters, various accounts of his trial, and the Paris Newsletter report on his execution.

This book provides a solid foundation for More studies and would serve as an excellent college text. Following an informative Introduction, a treasury of More-related material is provided. Even the Elizabethan play "Munday and Shakespeare's 'Sir Thomas More'" is provided in its entirety. Explanatory introductions are given to all selections, and clear glosses enrich the text throughout the book. Perhaps the only thing one might miss here is More's most famous work, "Utopia", but for study at this level, it certainly deserves to be treated separately, in its entirety.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Laurel on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although some scholars purchase this book as part of the class and lecture series on Thomas More, I bought it to console myself since I could not attend a class.

I was impressed by Thomas More's clarity of thought and ability to decide "the right thing to do" at each turn in his life. Clearly, many of his contemporaries admired him for this characteristic of his as well, as their contributions to this book show. I enjoyed the thought-provoking depth which Thomas More shares through his own writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick J. Flood on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Source Book is a selection of passages from Thomas More's writings and from writings by contemporaries who knew him -- like Desiderius Erasmus.

The selections present a fairly well-rounded picture of one of the outstanding political, religious, and cultural figures of Renaissance England, someone who was also one of the finest examples of human character of any age. More made it look almost easy to stand by objective moral principles in the face of heavy pressure, and he did it with a grace and wit that made it very hard to dislike or attack him. But the king he had served did in fact turn on him for not sacrificing his principles to the king's impulses and fixations, and took his life for it. The king's fixations about perpetuating the dynasty came to nothing (it died out with his children), but More's life -- or rather the he way he lived it -- has made him not just "a man for all seasons" but a man for all ages, and perhaps particularly for our age.

The book also gives the reader first-hand accounts of the events of More's interrogation, imprisonment, trial, and execution, including, for instance, the report of the Paris Newsletter on this trial and executioin..

The reader should be on notice not to expect to find excerpts from either "Utopia" or "The History of King Richard III," two of More's best-known works, although there are passing references to them. The editors evidently decided it would be more valuable to introduce readers to some lesser-known writings that better illuminate the man and the subjects that absorbed his interest.

Some passages in the selections are not in modern English, which can make for occasional puzzlement and a slower pace, though the editors have provided helpful footnotes for many of the more obscure terms.
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