Born in Holland in the 1460s, Desiderius Erasmus spent his life in France, England, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, but he was above all an international Christian. Though he left the monastic life behind, Erasmus remained dedicated to the church despite the attempts of others to involve him in the conflict that would later be called the Protestant Reformation. Known as the Prince of Humanists, he was a trusted confidant of popes and kings. Even so, he suffered terribly from loneliness and poverty, as well as physical ailments that included kidney stones and gout. Few men have so embodied the literary and scholarly tradition of their time or have been the target of so many attacks from fellow scholars. Throughout all the successes and trials he faced, he remained true to himself and to his vision of a pious Christianity liberated from the superstition and ignorance that had marked the Middle Ages.
Gr 9 Up-These two religious reformers and scholars are given thorough treatment in these detailed, if somewhat dry, biographies. The texts cover their work, personal lives, colleagues, and friendships while the last 25 pages or so offer chapter notes, excerpts from their writings, and standard back matter. Each book has an eight-page insert of good-quality, black-and-white and full-color photos and reproductions, but the books' overall appearance is uninviting. Students researching these men and their influences on the course of human history will find plenty of information but will have to wade through the dense and rather dull writing styles to get it.-Carol Fazioli, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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August 31, 2004
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