7th May 2017. A Daughter’s Love…..

a-daughters-love-uk-pb-small.jpgThis was the book very kindly given to me by my daughter on the occasion of her wedding. She had ascertained that I liked John Guy, the author of a previous gift by her, and this was left wrapped at my place on the top table. Lovely, and touching (as she is)! The other book I had read was John’s biography of Elizabeth I which was absolutely terrific, amazingly well-researched by a historian who knows his stuff, but written with the style of a great novelist. The same exactly can be said for this dual biography of Thomas More and his daughter Margaret. I hadn’t wanted to start it – as my attitude to More was that whilst no doubt a brilliant mind he was, unlike say Erasmus, totally committed to the burning of heretics believing they deserved what they got. Not a very Humanist post-of-view. However, once I had started on the book I could not put it down. John Guy’s research was so deep and so widespread and all-encompassing, that we felt we were right in the heart of things and intimate with the Mores’ innermost thoughts. No-one before has really picked up on the relationship between father and favourite daughter, but what a relationship it was. From the very first pages when we walked with Margaret to London Bridge for her to recover and cherish her father’s skull from its public spike, to the last chapter or two when we learned in detail of Margaret’s trips to the Tower to be with him, and pray with him – the only one of his extended family to continue visiting him in his gaol at the Tower, the story is splendidly told. Two people of the utmost principle, who would not give an inch as far as their faith was concerned. Now at last we see the real More family, all flawed, but symptomatic of their dangerous times. What a pity I have no more John Guy to read, for the time being…..

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