Our reviews note the books historical themes and events, with particular reference to womens lives. We are very critical of those books which in our opinion look back and dress up women in modern clothes and speech. With good research and imagination, a book can ensure that things are presented realistically for their time, while keeping a balance between creating the ambience of the past and the abilities of modern audiences to understand and engage in the narrative. We also bring attention to books which provide an introduction or epilogue containing historic background, and which include a bibliography citing some of the resources used. And, we only review one book in the series, usually the first.
Humanism became a significant intellectual force in England during the reign of Henry VIII (b. 1509–d. 1547). Hence, the history of English humanism is bound up with the Tudor monarchy and Henry’s religious policies. Hay 1952 studies a pioneering humanist. McConica 1965 and Mayer 1989 describe the growing influence of humanists at the court and the roles that they played in Henry VIII’s religious policies, while Gleason 1989 describes a nonhumanist who founded a humanist school, and Surtz 1967 studies a humanist churchman who opposed Henry VIII and was beheaded. Thomas More (b. 1478–d. 1535) was the most accomplished and famous English humanist, and Utopia (1516) was his most famous work. Marius 1984 offers a comprehensive biography of More, while Hexter 1952 and Surtz 1957 analyze Utopia .