The humanist grammar of sanctity in the early Lives of Thomas More
in Sanctity as literature in late medieval Britain
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The lives written about Thomas More in the early modern period – by William Roper, Nicholas Harpsfield, Thomas Stapleton, and Cresacre More – reappropriate familiar hagiographic motifs and symbols. The result is a liminal space in which More’s life becomes a symbolic narrative that combines hagiographic discourse with that of the humanist exemplary man of letters. In the process of reappropriation, More’s texts become relics in their own right.


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