This wonderful novel by Jean Plaidy is the story of Sir Thomas More, his life, his home and also the story of his family. History of England seems to be a forte with Jean Plaidy and this novel does not disappoint.
Set during the turbulent times of Tudor England this novel tells the story of a humble man who lived during unimaginable change and who also in a way lived well before his time.i.e. There was not really a place for him in the government circles of Henry VIII but he achieved a measure of success which was quite astounding but at the same time he would not have acknowledged his status in the council of Henry VIII as becoming a successful person. He was more astute and aware of life and circumstances to have his head turned by material wealth and success. He did not fit the mold of his predecessor, Cardinal Wolsey.
I especially loved the story of his daughters, how Sir Thomas More believed that the girls should also be well educated at a time when girls were not educated to high standards similar to the boys. There was a happy family environment in which Sir Thomas More married twice. He had three daughters and a son from his first marriage and a step-daughter from his second marriage. There was also an adopted daughter, Mercy, who was of a similar age as Margaret, his first daughter and Ailie, the step-daughter.
The lives of the daughters and son are intermingled in this story of high politics and drama which ensued from Sir Thomas’s time working at the court of Henry VIII. He also eventually moved to Chelsea with his family, whom he loved very much.
It is unfortunate that this man of the people, who believed in fairness and justice and was also a trained lawyer who eventually became Chancellor of England should have such a dramatic downfall. There were many changes at hand and Sir Thomas could not succumb to Henry VIII’s wishes even though he had resigned in all conscience as Chancellor of England.
Sadly, Sir Thomas More met his fate bravely on a fine day in May at Tower Hill.
This novel describes the many wonders of Tudor life and Tudor London of the times. It is also imbues the main character, Sir Thomas More, with special qualities and insights. The love he had for his family and the beautiful gatherings they had whether outside in the summer weather for special occasions or a nightly gathering with music and song shines prominently in this story. It is a beautiful story of an extraordinary man. He believed he was the king’s good servant but God’s servant first.
A well recommended story.