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Briefly Noted

Inside the Mind of Thomas More:  The Witness of His Writings by louis w. karlin and david r. oakley scepter, 130 pages, $11.95 This little volume by Louis ­Karlin and David Oakley uses Thomas More’s own writings to demonstrate the nature of his witness to the truth. The authors gently . . . . Continue Reading »

Paradise Possible

When exactly did utopia become less interesting than dystopia? The vision of a grim and gray future is just as much a fantasy as that of a perfectly ordered society, but somehow it is the grim one that now captures our attention. The descriptions of a glistening City of the Sun or a New Atlantis . . . . Continue Reading »

“Wolf Hall” and Upmarket Anti-Catholicism

Wolf Hall, the BBC adaptation of Hillary Mantel’s novel about early Tudor England, began airing on PBS’s “Masterpiece Theater” Easter Sunday night. It’s brilliant television. It’s also a serious distortion of history. And it proves, yet again, that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable bigotry in elite circles in the Anglosphere.The distortions and bias are not surprising, considering the source. Hillary Mantel is a very talented, very bitter ex-Catholic who’s said that the Church today is “not an institution for respectable people” (so much for the English hierarchy’s decades-long wheedling for social acceptance). As she freely concedes, Mantel’s aim in her novel was to take down the Thomas More of A Man for All Seasons—the Thomas More the Catholic Church canonized—and her instrument for doing so is More’s rival in the court of Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell. Continue Reading »

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