16th century Biographies

A Man for All Seasons

Book cover: 'A Man for All Seasons'
Copyright: 
1966
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This is a VERY well-done rendition of the story of St. Thomas More. Thomas More was a well-respected lawyer who was named Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII. He is a model statesman - modest, intelligent, and principled. He was martyred for not condoning the actions of the King toward the Catholic Church and his first wife. (Quite a refreshing contrast to modern-day politics!) I would suggest this for high school students as younger students (unless they are familiar with the story and accustomed to somewhat complex dialogue) may find it "boring". We were very pleased to find this movie at our local library. Available on VHS or DVD.

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

How the Reformation Happened

Book cover: 'How the Reformation Happened'
Author(s): 
Hilaire Belloc
Copyright: 
1928
Publisher: 
TAN Books and Publishers
Binding: 
Softcover
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This book is a surprisingly readable and interesting account of "How the Reformation Happened". Although it is written from a Catholic perspective, Mr. Belloc is very fair in dishing out the blame to the appropriate people on both sides. The years covered are 1517 (when Martin Luther affixed his protest against the Indulgences to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany) to 1648, but also includes commentary of the implications of the "Reformation" on our own times. He covers all the major countries involved and is very skilled at explaining the essentials of what happened and the lessons we should take from it. This is the answer for homeschoolers looking for the whole story of what is so often misrepresented in History texts - whether Protestant or Secular. It makes good reading for adults who are teaching younger children or for high schoolers to read on their own. Includes a complete index.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
3-25-2000
Reviewed by: 

Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal

Book cover: 'Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal'
Author(s): 
Robert T. Reilly
Copyright: 
1957
Publisher: 
Bethlehem Books
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
202 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The true story of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, an Irish prince who fought the English Invaders at the time of Queen Elizabeth. This is a fast paced story - quite exciting and with a touch of romance. The hardships endured by Red Hugh, particularly during his imprisonment, are a bit graphic, but probably not too intense for mid-gradeschoolers and up. We are reminded of Red Hugh's faith when he asks the English to let him see a priest. The request is refused and the reader is introduced to the tactics of indoctrination, used to attempt to sway the hero from his Irish and Catholic loyalties. This will probably be a favorite among boys who like stories about battles, chases, and the victory of good over evil.

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus

Book cover: 'Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus'
Author(s): 
August Derleth
Copyright: 
1956
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
167 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the well-known saint/scholar, founder of the Jesuits and author of the Spiritual Exercises, was a surprisingly simple and humble man. Although he was rather arrogant and adventurous as a young soldier, a serious battle wound forced him into an extended bed rest. Restless and bored, he finally gave in to reading the only two books available to him - The Life of Our Saviour and The Lives of the Saints. Reading and studying these stories placed Ignatius onto a new and completely unexpected path - one of serious devotion to God and profound humility. The story follows his life as he seeks God's will, returns to school as a 33 year old man, gains folllowers while in the University and finally puts together his dream of "the Company of Jesus."

We are reminded in the story of what effect the stories of the lives of the Saints can have. The story of Ignatius is of particular value, not only because of his great effect on the world, but also because of the glimpse we are given of the spiritual development that takes place within him as he seeks to do God's will. Despite the depth of content, the story is told in a simple enough manner to be understood and appreciated by the whole family.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
11-16-99
Reviewed by: 

Saint Philip of the Joyous Heart

Author(s): 
Francis X. Connolly
Copyright: 
1957
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
168 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The lovely story of the 16th century priest and saint of Rome whose joy brought many away from the evils of the day. He patiently bore a great deal of emotional persecution from some fellow priests, but eventually won his tormentors over to the love of Christ. Many insights into the meaning of a vocation and how to spread the joy of Christ.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
4-26-01
Reviewed by: 

Saint Thomas More of London

Book cover: 'Saint Thomas More of London'
Author(s): 
Elizabeth Ince
Copyright: 
1957
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
188 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

An interesting and readable life of Thomas More (1477-1535): the great saint, scholar, father, lawyer, statesman, author, patriot and lover of the Church. The author, a descendant of Thomas More, has included many interesting details and anecdotes that bring this great man to life and help us better understand who he was. Even as an adult who became interested in St. Thomas More from the movie A Man for All Seasons, I found many tidbits that helped fill in the details not present in the movie - particularly regarding More's life before he became Chancellor of England. We also get more of a sense of his holiness and spirituality. Highly Recommended.

Part of the Vision series from Ignatius Press, this book best for upper grade school and high school.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
9-29-03
Reviewed by: