Peter Ackroyd's Life of Thomas More is long and intimidating for a busy person who must squeeze reading into the early morning or late evening hours of a busy schedule.
It is not a new book, but like so many of Ackroyd's works, the quality of the writing and storytelling are of very high quality.
Thomas More lived between 1478 and 1535 and was an important figure in the time of Henry VIII, King of England, and the Protestant Reformation that swept Europe.
With wit and clarity, Ackroyd paints a word portrait of a brilliant and pious Christian man who excels in the practical affairs of life as a lawyer, a politician, and in the high office of Lord Chancellor.
There are important distinctions between the life that Ackroyd tells and how Thomas More was presented in Robert Bolt's, A Man For All Seasons that is still a staple of Canadian high school classrooms. I will leave these for the more scholarly of you to discern.
The final pages of the book are deeply moving as More holds on to his Catholic faith in spite of his loyalty to the King, love for his family, and impending torture and execution.