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The Life of Sir Thomas More por Thomas Stapleton
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In 1588, the year of the Spanish Armada, Thomas Stapleton sat down to write the book Tres Thomae; his subject was the life and works of St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and Sir Thomas More. He wrote it in Latin (as More had done with his Utopia) since a knowledge of English was a rare accomplishment among European scholars and readers. Apart from its entertainment value as an account of More's life, the book is also a document of great importance; his list of sources is impressive since it includes many of the exiled members of More's circle from whom he gathered the information treasured in their memories. Most valuable of all was the collection of letters preserved by John Harris, More's secretary; from these, Stapleton gives us more than thirty letters or extracts from letters not to be found elsewhere. Apart from such documentary evidence, the book also gives us the recollections of those who were intimate members of More's household; it records the reputation Thomas More had gained within a half century of his death and it emphasizes the remarkable place that he had achieved in the popular mind even before any written account of his life was available.The fascination of the life of a man who preferred to obey the law of God rather than the command of a king has not diminished with the passage of time. That such a life should be the subject of awards for its portrayal on stage and screen is not only a testimony to the incomparable artistry of an actor and a playwright; it is, as well, an acknowledgement of (in the words with which Stapleton brings his book to a close), the admiration of modern man for the life, the character, the achievements, and the glorious martyrdom of that noble and illustrious man, Sir Thomas More.
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