Press Release: The Life of Thomas More
The Life of Thomas More
Introduced by Diarmaid MacCulloch
‘A marvellously vivid biography. Ackroyd has an excellent visual sense and a sharp eye for the particularities of daily existence.
A readable, colourful and deeply enjoyable life of an
More, often caricatured as an overly pious burner of heretics, is revealed in Ackroyd’s masterful biography to be both more human and more complex than such a simplistic portrait would suggest. Through close examination of More’s writings, his correspondence with confidants such as the humanist Erasmus, and a wealth of contemporary material, Ackroyd gets under the skin of a complex man. He examines More’s privileged boyhood, his intellectual prowess, his glittering law career and his rise to power within the volatile court of Henry VIII. Ackroyd also brings to this book his extensive knowledge of, and passion for, London – the medieval city is as vividly conjured as the man whose life was so closely interwoven with it.
Ackroyd’s More is a man betrayed by the march of time. Standing for the ideals of the late medieval period, a time of spectacle, ritual and holy wonder, he is swept away by the changes wrought by a zealous king; the book’s final chapters, focusing on More’s isolation in the Tower, show a man ultimately glad to step away from a world that he no longer recognises.
In his introduction, historian Diarmaid MacCulloch places the events of Ackroyd’s ‘richly enjoyable book’ in the wider context of the Reformation. The endpapers of this edition feature details from one of the earliest maps of London, while the 32 pages of colour plates include many of Holbein’s remarkable portraits from the period.
Three-quarter-bound in cloth with a Modigliani paper front board, blocked and printed with an image by Neil Packer. Set in Albertina with Aquinas display. 480 pages. Frontispiece and 32 pages of colour plates. Printed endpapers. 10″ x 6¾”. Slipcase
UK £49.95 US $79.95 Can $99.95 Aus $99.95
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