The Life and Writing of Margaret More Roper Essay

The Life and Writing of Margaret More Roper Essay

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Although Margaret More Roper received recognition as a learned woman in her own time, she is most often viewed through the lens of her relationship with her father, Thomas More, as his well-read and dutiful daughter. Inextricably tied to the life of her father, Roper’s story and her accomplishments rely on the association of her father and his colleagues. Historians gleaned evidence of her character and intelligence through letters from her father, commentary from his humanist contemporaries, and her depiction in the biographies of her father, including one written by her husband, William Roper. Roper herself contributed very little direct information about her life. Although credited as a talented poet and writer, she left behind only a few letters and a translation piece.
Very little academic analysis is dedicated to the life of Roper. Existing works, such as Margaret Roper: Eldest Daughter of St. Thomas More by E.E. Reynolds and A Daughter’s Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg by John A. Guy, consider Roper in tandem with her father. Indeed, both Reynolds and Guy wrote about More prior to publishing books on Roper. Reynolds attributed the lack of historic interest in Roper’s life to the combination of the long shadow cast by Roper’s father and a paucity of records that make a chronological history nearly impossible. Roper’s apparent deference to her father coupled with a dearth of original writing did little to excite interest in feminist historians despite her unique status as the first non-royal woman to publish a translation in English during her lifetime. It has been argued that recent treatments of Roper seek to either create an anachronistic independence from her father or to subsume her individuality by l...

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... Month with the Mores: The Meeting of Juan Luis Vives and Margaret More Roper.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature 88, no. 4 (August 2007): 388-400.
Plowden, Alison. Tudor Women: Queens & Commoners. Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Pub., 1998.
Reynolds, E. E. Margaret Roper: Eldest Daughter of St. Thomas More. London: Burns & Oates, 1960.
Roper, William. The Lyfe of Sir Thomas Moore, Knighte. Edited by James Mason Cline. New York: The Swallow Press and William Morrow & Company, 1950.
Stewart, Agnes M. The Life and Letters of Sir Thomas More:. London: Burns & Oates, 1876.
Vives, Juan Luis. The Education of a Christian Woman: A Sixteenth-Century Manual. Edited and translated by Charles Fantazzi. The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, edited by Margaret L. King and Albert Rabil, Jr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

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