William Tyndale (1494 - 1536) is one of the most famous of history's martyrs. Being out of sympathy with the contemporary English church and suspected of heresy, he left England in 1522 and matriculated at Wittenberg two years later. Here he got to know Luther. In 1525 he translated the New Testament and the Pentateuch by 1531. He had reached the book of Jonah when he was burned for heresy near Brussels. Brian Moynahan's brilliantly written account ties no less than Sir Thomas More, newly named patron saint of politicians, to the betrayal and burning of Tyndale. The extraordinary feud between the two men has never been shown in such detail before. The book also included vivid portraits of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey. Burnings alive, early printing, book smuggling, and the linking of More, 'the man for all seasons' to the betrayal and execution of the most quoted writer in the language (84% of the King James New Testament is word-for-word Tyndale) - these are the backdrop to one of the most astonishing lives in British history.
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(197mm x 126mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
One of the major concerns of the modern world is the seemingly unstoppable and ungovernable proliferation of free information offered by the Internet and by new technologies in general. It is therefore interesting to see a counterpoint to this in the panic of the established church caused by the translation of the Bible out of Latin in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the challenge to clerical authority that this dissemination of knowledge posed. Brian Moynihan concentrates on two key personalities: William Tyndale, the first translator of the Bible into recognizably modern English, and Thomas More, in this account a very different character from the ascetic 'man for all seasons' of the popular imagination. Tyndale's burning desire that the congregation should be allowed direct contact with the word of God, and his translation and eventual publication of most of the Bible in English, made him a target for the grandees of the Church and State - and particularly for More, a devout Catholic bitterly opposed to Tyndale's aims. The stories of Tyndale's work and his eventual betrayal and execution are here played out against the background of side-switching and intrigue which characterized the court of Henry VIII. Within the narrative, Moynihan also examines Tyndale's work from a literary angle, revealing him as one of the most potent and lyrical linguists of his age, and one whose original text forms three-quarters of the Old Testament and four-fifths of the New Testament of the King James Bible of 1611 - the 'Authorised Version' known to us all. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Brian Moynahan
Brian Moynahan worked as a journalist for the YORKSHIRE POST and THE TIMES and currently works for several British and American newspapers. He is the author of THE BRITISH CENTURY, THE RUSSIAN CENTURY, and A BIOGRAPHY OF RASPUTIN.