Does A Man for All Seasons portray St. Thomas More accurately?


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By Thomas V. Mirus. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode originally from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, Thomas asks attorney and scholar Louis Karlin whether Robert Bolt’s play and film A Man for All Seasons accurately depict St. Thomas More’s views on the rights of conscience, and his motives for martyrdom.

More’s involvement in the prosecution of heretics is also examined: even if More was a martyr of conscience, is it accurate to call him a champion of religious freedom? One thing is certain: the portrayal by Hilary Mantel and others of More as a torturer of heretics is false.


The Center for Thomas More Studies

Lecture by Richard Rex critiquing the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel, “More the villain and Cromwell the hero?”

William Marshner, “Dignitatis Humanae and Traditional Teaching on Church and State”

Thomas Pink, “Conscience and Coercion”

Louis W. Karlin and David R. Oakley, Inside the Mind of Thomas More: The Witness of His Writings

Karlin, Wegemer and Kelly, Thomas More’s Trial by Jury: A Procedural Legal Review with a Collection of Documents

Stephen Smith (ed.), For All Seasons: Selected Letters of Thomas More

Wegemer and Smith (ed.), The Essential Works of Thomas More

St. Thomas More, The Sadness of Christ

The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More, Vol. 14, De Tristitia Christi

Other podcasts on St. Thomas More

Criteria film discussion

Audiobook of More’s Dialogue on Conscience

Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission.

92 episodes