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Translation In The Service Of Politics And Religion: A Family Tradition For Thomas More, Margaret Roper And Mary Clarke Basset

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Chapter Summary

In early Renaissance England, translation was very often ideologically motivated. Translation and translators were often in the service of politics and religion and played a crucial role in advancing agendas in both areas of activity. This is certainly true in the case of the three members of the More family discussed in this article, although the relationship of translation to religion and politics manifests itself in different ways in the three generations. For Thomas More, they were intertwined throughout his public life. For his daughter, Margaret Roper, the relationship took a different turn with her English translation of Erasmus Precatio dominica in septem portiones distributa. Lastly, for her daughter, Mary Clarke Basset, neither her translation of Eusebius Ecclesiastical History nor that of her grandfathers De tristitia was entirely free of those co-existing political and religious dimensions that characterized Mores writings on translation or influenced her mothers rendering of Erasmus.

Keywords: English translation; Margaret Roper; Mary Clarke Basset; politics; religion; Thomas More; translators



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