Summa minutiae

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought. — Lord Peter Wimsey

The complete works of St Thomas More

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The writings of Thomas More were scarce in 1914 when J. S. Phillimore wrote his preface to the Manresa Press edition of the sermons of St John Fisher on the seven Penitential Psalms:

The young student who swallows what his hand books tell him is never allowed to suspect that More’s English works fill 1400 pages of folio. Or suppose him to have learned this much (for the literary histories mention it), he is little the forwarder. There is hardly a possibility of his reading them. Since 1557 there has never been a complete reprint; and only three pieces, I think, have been reprinted at all.

Yale University published the works of More in a scholarly edition of 15 volumes between 1963 and 1997, but 15 volumes at about $100 per volume comes to way too damn much for me to pay.

The 1557 edition (funky spelling, gothic type, crappy printing, &c.) is on the web here at the Center for Thomas More Studies at the University of Dallas. There’s a transcription & translation job there for a young scholar with a steady eye and an iron butt.