Thomas More

Thomas More: The Search for the Inner Man

LOUIS L. MARTZ
Copyright Date: 1990
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 123
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32btns
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    Thomas More
    Book Description:

    Recent writings about Thomas More have questioned his integrity and motivation and have challenged the long-held view of him as a humane, wise, and heroic "man for all seasons." This new book responds to these revisionist studies by closely and persuasively analyzing More's writings as well as Holbein's portraits of More and his family.

    "Martz cuts down the revived charge of More as a bloodthirsty hunter of heretics, a furious, sexually repressed, and frustrated man. . . . This penetrating rebuttal of the revisionists deserves high commendation."-Choice

    "Martz draws a compelling picture of More's attempts during his lonely imprisonment to adjust to his human fear of death and to see his own plight in the perspective of the universal human condition. In these essays More's voice and personality speak to us from his own literate and humorous prose."-M. Edmund Hussey,AntiochReview

    "In his gracefully writtenThomas More: The Search for the Inner Man, Louis L. Martz provides a sharply different account of the 'dark side' of More. . . . [He] lays out the case for a more complex, ironic construction of More's texts."-Stanley Stewart,Studies in English Literature

    "This . . . book is a gemstone."-Terence R. Murphy,History: Reviews of New Books

    "Correcting the view of Thomas More as a cold-blooded prosecutor of heresy, Martz here considers the gentle, affectionate, yet upright man pictured in Holbein's family portraits and implicit in More's prose."-Judith Fair,Theological Studies

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16220-2
    Subjects: Religion, History, Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    L. L. M.
  5. 1 The Search for the Inner Man
    (pp. 1-28)

    Most of us, I imagine, have held in our minds an image of Thomas More shaped directly or indirectly by the classic biography by R. W. Chambers, or influenced by the similar figure created by Robert Bolt inA Man for All Seasons:the image of a man humane, wise, and witty, honest in his work as judge and lawyer, devoted to and loved by his family and friends, but underneath all this, a man of conscience so strong that he would die rather than bend his beliefs to suit the demands of a ruthless tyranny.

    But this image has...

  6. 2 The Order of the Heart
    (pp. 29-52)

    MoreʹsConfutation of Tyndaleʹs Answeris the most neglected of all his major works. Complaints against its great length and tediousness are of long standing, arising from the earliest readers (or non-readers), as More testifies in the opening chapters of hisApology. But then, More says, ʺEvery way seemeth long to him that is weary ere he begin.ʺ¹

    I would like to provide some reasons to prevent such weariness from arising when readers face the three thick volumes in the new edition of theConfutation.² For More goes on to explain that the great length stems in part from his...

  7. 3 Last Letters and A Dialogue of Comfort
    (pp. 53-82)

    Moreʹs letters from the Tower constitute our best account of his conduct during his interrogations and imprisonment, our best account of his state of mind, and some of his finest works of art—works ofartin every sense of that word, for they show the most artful regard for the presence of several audiences. More could have no doubt that every letter he wrote might be carefully read by his keepers, perhaps even sent to Cromwell himself, who was, as More well knew, alert to any phrase which might entrap More into a confession or a recantation. One has...

  8. 4 De Tristitia: Last Address to the World and to the Self
    (pp. 83-102)

    The closing chapters of theDialogue of Comfort,with their emphasis upon meditation on the Passion, lead toward the Latin treatise,De tristitia, tedio, pavore et oratione christi ante captionem eius,or, in Mary Bassetʹs title,Of the sorrow, weariness, fear, and prayer of Christ before his taking—a work which is much more than a continuation of the commentary begun in Moreʹs English treatise on the Passion.

    It is nevertheless in some sense a continuation, since it begins with the gospel event that follows immediately after the establishment of the Last Supper, the event that closed the English treatise....

  9. Notes
    (pp. 103-108)
  10. Index
    (pp. 109-112)