The Whitbread Award–winning author of Queen of Scots presents a “brilliantly observed” dual biography of Sir Thomas More and his daughter (The New York Times).
Sir Thomas More’s life is well known: his opposition to Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, his arrest for treason, his execution and martyrdom. Yet a major figure in his life—his beloved daughter Margaret—has been largely airbrushed out of the story. Margaret was her father’s closest confidant and played a critical role in safeguarding his intellectual legacy. In A Daughter’s Love, John Guy restores her to her rightful place in Tudor history.
Always her father’s favorite child, Margaret was such an accomplished scholar by age eighteen that her work earned praise from Erasmus of Rotterdam. She remained devoted to her father after her marriage—and paid the price in estrangement from her husband. When More was thrown into the Tower of London, Margaret collaborated with him on his most famous letters from prison, smuggled them out at great personal risk, and even rescued his head after his execution.
Drawing on original sources that have been ignored by generations of historians, Guy creates a dramatic new portrait of both Thomas More and the daughter whose devotion secured his place in history.
"You alone have long known the secrets to my heart," affirmed Sir Thomas More to his eldest daughter, Margaret (1505 1544), shortly before his execution for defying Henry VIII. Guy (NBCC award winner for Queen of Scots) describes the Catholic More as a witty and flawed man: a future martyr who condemned others to be burned at the stake, who educated his daughter (Erasmus himself paid tribute to her for correcting his Latin) yet warned that women should not seek recognition for their intellectual work because it resulted in "infamy." Yet Meg's deep intellectual and religious kinship with her father ultimately strengthened More while in prison despite his crushing fears of suffering. Using extensive sources, Guy provides unprecedented insight into this intense relationship. Ironically, since More segregated his private and professional lives, there is less information about his relationship with Margaret during his years of ambition in the Tudor court, but Guy reveals an invaluable perspective on Henry VIII's political and religious machinations. Because of Margaret's dedication to her father and her own intellectual endeavors, More's body of work was saved, preserving his memory, reputation and martyrdom. Illus.