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252 Short Notices Sistine wall paintings of the early 1480s) demonstrate its widespread and inventive use, and even the corpus of much smaller panel paintings contains ample examples of this supposedly reactionary device. Indeed, the developments in perspective during the course of the fifteenth century drove rather than inhibited the exploitation of continuous narrative. The greater sophistication in representing pictorial space enabled and encouraged a more complex narrative structure, bringing 'a special clarity to narrative imagery' (p. 100). Much of this book is concerned with the theories of beauty and visual perception contained in the cryptic and often enigmatic notes of Ghiberti, the elegant restatements of classical theory by Alberti, and the restless jottings of Leonardo. Through this examination of contemporary theory, and the analysis of painters' specific solutions to the problem of representing the temporal on a two dimensional surface, we come much closer to understanding the relationship between time and space in Renaissance painting than w e do through the anachronistic eyes of the Enlightenment. Dugald McLellan Department ofItalian University of Sydney Marius, Richard, Thomas More: A Biography, (1984) Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1999; paper; pp. 562; R R P US$18.05; ISBN 067485252. Although it was released in hardcover in 1984, Marius' Thomas More: A Biography had to wait until 1999 to be printed in paperback. This new edition coincided with the popularity of another book on More, Peter Ackroyd's Thomas More: A Life. The works have a lot in common, both relying heavily on primary material, both attempt to recast More's character in a new mould, and both are aimed at a populist audience. However, while Ackroyd has many pointless digressions, disregards evidence, and offers conjecture over analysis, Marius draws on decades of study of More to produce a very readable interpretation of his academic conclusions. The book is now dated, indeed some reviewers considered his ideas a little out of touch with modern scholarship in 1984. However, it offers a good introduction to More, and in particular his writings. There are four chapters dedicated to his Utopia alone, and an entire chapter focusing on just one aspect Short Notices 253 ofthe Dialogue concerning Heresies. Each text is examined in terms of the social, political and personal context of the time, and Marius uses each piece ofwriting to establish the character traits of his subject. Yet while it is a readable, educated, and enjoyable work, Thomas More: A Biography is not a fitting legacy for Marius, w h o died shortly after its paperback release. His major scholarly contributions to the study of the saintly Lord Chancellor are his 25 years' work on the Yale Edition ofthe Complete Works ofSt Thomas More. Thomas More: A Biography is a book pitched at a popular readership, albeit a very interesting, well-written, and thought-provoking one. It is a good starting point for discussion of Thomas More and his writings; it raises many interesting issues, and is full of provocative points. For example, Marius argues that Book One of More's Utopia 'is not a cry for reform but a bid for supporting ironic smiles' (p. 158). H e is especially controversial in his re-evaluation of More's personal character, portraying him as a ruthless hunter of heretics, a strict authoritarian, and somewhat sexually repressed. However, by Marius' own admission he 'kept the scholarly apparatus to a minimum' (p. 525), so while he lists a number of secondary works, they are not cited within the text. This limits the usefulness of the work, and reduces it to an educated opinion, rather than an academic study. David Tulloch Department ofHistory Victoria University of Wellington May, Steven W , The Elizabethan Courtier Poets: The Poems and Their Contexts, Asheville, North Carolina, Pegasus Press, The University ofNorth Carolina, 1999; paper; pp. 407; ISBN 1-889818-05-4. This is a reprint of a book initially published in 1991 which was deservedly reviewed at the time. Its reappearance is justified. Atfirstglance it looks like a text book for a very specialised course on Elizabethan courtly poetry, since it has severaf chapters examining the historical context, followed by scrupulously edited and annotated texts of poems. But closer reading reveals...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 252-253
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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