ROLAND H BAINTON
Born the illegitimate son of a priest, and plagued throughout life by illness and poverty, Erasmus of Rotterdam was sought everywhere for his wit and erudition. No man in Europe had so many friends in high places: a lifelong cosmopolitan, he moved from country to country, lodging in palaces and in the households of public printers, a friend of Thomas More and Henry VIII and a correspondent of Luther and the pope. A true man of letters, Erasmus wrote and translated tirelessly; arguing, teaching, campaigning for the purification of the church. He ridiculed worldly prelates, but deplored Reformers who broke from Rome. On all occasions he spoke for moderation in thought and action, for classical humanism and a Christianity of the inward spirit. Still, he lived to see many of his friends imprisoned, beheaded, or burned for their beliefs, and he himself was accused of heresy. Through charming and frequently humorous glimpses of the people and scenes of Erasmus’s life, Professor Bainton suggests the amplitude of his hero’s nature. Woodcut images and illustrations throughout.