9781856197113 / 1856197115

Life of Thomas More, The





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About the book:

Peter Ackroyd is the quintessential London writer. His wonderful biography of Dickens was lit not only by his love and understanding of the writer, but also of the city which Dickens made his own. Recent novels such as The House of Doctor Dee and Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem may have taken liberties with historical fact, but their London is a fascinating, pulsating place, more their true protagonist than their eponymous heroes.

Thomas More is a prime candidate for the London treatment. Born in the city, with a life of official city duties at a time when London was highly distinct from Westminster and the court, he imbued his writings (especially Richard III and his print debate with Tyndale) with a real sense of London's uniqueness. Ackroyd's treatment is thus both apposite and, of course, highly readable. He possesses a real gift for making dry history come alive with telling detail and vivid swathes of local colour. But while the new angle might imply a new understanding of the man, ultimately, the picture is overly familiar. Ackroyd's More comes out looking very much like Robert Bolt's Man for All Seasons More--a hinge between dark medievalism and modern secular conscience. Only this time he has an inner London postcode. --Alan Stewart

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