My thanks are due to Messrs. Sheed and Ward for permitting me to repeat some paragraphs which I contributed to a small volume published by them in 1929, on 'The Fame of Sir Thomas More'; and to the British Academy for allowing me to use portions of a lecture which I delivered on 5 November, 1926. I have also included in this book the substance of an unprinted lecture which I first delivered in 1902 in University College, arguing the complete consistency of More's life and death. More's early biographers brooded for twenty or thirty years before writing the life of their hero; and in this, at least, I have striven to imitate them.
During these thirty-three years the task of every biographer of More has been lightened in many ways. The magnificent edition of the letters of Erasmus, upon which, when the first volume appeared in 1906, Dr. P. S. Allen had been already labouring for thirteen years, 'under the gloom of Indian summers and in high valleys in Cashmere', is now nearing completion under the care of Mrs. Allen. Professor A. F. Pollard has provided, in his Life of Wolsey, a background indispensable to every biographer of More. Dr. E. V. Hitchcock has toiled to supply correct texts of those early lives of More upon which all later biographies must be based. I have had the advantage of using the proofs of her 'Roper', and the manuscript of her forthcoming edition of the Life by 'Ro. Ba.' Dr. Hitchcock has read my proofs and made the Index. More himself knew the labour of 'sorting out and placing principal matters' contained in a book. I also thank my colleagues, Mrs. F. Blackman, Dr. E. C. Batho, and Miss H. W. Husbands for reading the proofs and for helpful criticisms.
It is a pleasure to express gratitude for the encouragement which my work on More has received, from its earliest stages, at the hands of Prof. A. F. Pollard, and to remember the many acts of kindness I have received from him and his. I owe much . . .