A Daughter’s Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg

John Guy, Author . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $30 (378p) ISBN 978-0-618-49915-1

“You alone have long known the secrets to my heart,” affirmed Sir Thomas More to his eldest daughter, Margaret (1505–1544), shortly before his execution for defying Henry VIII. Guy (NBCC award winner for Queen of Scots ) describes the Catholic More as a witty and flawed man: a future martyr who condemned others to be burned at the stake, who educated his daughter (Erasmus himself paid tribute to her for correcting his Latin) yet warned that women should not seek recognition for their intellectual work because it resulted in “infamy.” Yet Meg’s deep intellectual and religious kinship with her father ultimately strengthened More while in prison despite his crushing fears of suffering. Using extensive sources, Guy provides unprecedented insight into this intense relationship. Ironically, since More segregated his private and professional lives, there is less information about his relationship with Margaret during his years of ambition in the Tudor court, but Guy reveals an invaluable perspective on Henry VIII’s political and religious machinations. Because of Margaret’s dedication to her father and her own intellectual endeavors, More’s body of work was saved, preserving his memory, reputation and martyrdom. Illus. (Mar. 17)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
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