"The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St.Thomas More Volume 14;  De Tristitia Christi" by Saint Thomas More

The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St.Thomas More Volume 14; De Tristitia Christi Saint Thomas More, Clarence H. Miller

The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More
Publication date:
01 Jul 1977
Yale University Press
1210 pages: 240 x 160 x 92mm
illustrations, bibliography, index

Publication of this volume brings to conclusion the Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More, a thirty-year publishing project of landmark importance in the study of humanism in Western history. The volume contains More's earliest works, probably written between 1492 and 1522, including English poems, a translation and devotional adaptation of Giovanni Francesco Pico's life of his famous uncle Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and a devotional prose work.These texts together trace More's earliest career as a humanist through his transition to maturity as a defender of the faith. The English poems (c. 1492-1494) are lively and experimental works, written at a time when English poetry was in its doldrums. This collection includes verses for a series of painted hangings in More's father's house, a lament for Queen Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII, traditional and sober Fortune verses, and a lively medieval comic poem, "A Merry Gest of a Sergeant and a Friar." "The Life of Pico" (c. 1510) is very likely More's earliest prose work and is his only extended translation of another writer's Latin into English. The translation is remarkable for its time, when sophisticated Latin was difficult to translate into more primitive English. "The Last Things" (c. 1522) is an incomplete prose work that re-creates the tradition of writing on death, judgment, hell, and heaven as objects of meditation.With the publication of "St. Thomas More: Selected Poems," edited by Elizabeth F. Rogers (1961), the Yale University Press rated two new editions of the works of St. Thomas More. One is a complete scholarly edition in fourteen volumes; the other a modernized version of selected works in seven volumes. "St.Thomas More: Selected Letters "is the first volume in the Selected Works; "The History of King Richard III" is Volume 2 in the Complete Works. These editions, to be published over a period of ten years, are designed to serve as standard reference works for many decades to come. Sponsored by the Yale University Department of English and the Yale University Library, these editions mark a new era in the study of Renaissance literature, history, and religion.

"The De Tristitia Christi is a meditative commentary onthe Gospel accounts of Christ's agony and capture in the Garden of Olives that Thomas More wrote while awaiting his fate in the Tower. It reveals as well as any writing can the inner history of his confrontation with suffering and death. . . . although modern readers will value the work especially for what it reveals of the author's interior life, the De Trisitia Christi is by no means a merely private document. The present editor shows that More consistently revised his text to give it a more universal application. Many Gospel passages are applied to everyday problems of the spiritual life. . . . Does honor to its editor, to the Yale St. Thomas More Project, and, its author would surely add, to the heavenly Maker of all makers. Its completion is cause for rejoicing and gratitude."?Renaissance Quarterly

"The edition is magnificently produced, with a facsimile of the appropriate folio of the autograph facing Miller's Latin edition and the English translation. The codicological and textual information in these two volumes satisfies scholarship's most stringent standards, and the editor should be thanked for including the exquisite English translation of the De Tristitia from 1557 by Mary Basset, More's granddaughter. [Miller] has . . . done his work . . . well."?John W. O'Malley, America

"[A] magnificently produced volume . . . [with] a superb introduction by the translator and editor, Professor Clarence Miller, notes on the revisions in the manuscript and explanatory notes on the text. . . . A moving testimonial on the humanity of one of Henry VIII's few subjects to manifest an exemplary integrity."?Heythorp Journal

"The high standard which we have come to expect from the Yale series of More's complete works is not only maintained but enhanced by Clarence Miller's edition of De Tristitia. . . . An edition such as this would do credit to any team of specialists who had the honor to work on it, but when one realizes that it is the product of a single editor, the effort is prodigiousin the indeed. One can only conclude by observing that Clarence Miller must be that rarity among contemporary scholars, a true 'Renaissance man' himself inthe scope of his many endeavors."?Catherine A. L. Jarrott, The Catholic Historical Review