Margaret More Roper: A Survey of Her Writings


  • Eugenio M. Olivares-Merino Universidad de Jaén



Margaret More Roper, Thomas More, Erasmus of Rotterdam, A Devout Treatise upon the Pater Noster (1524?), letter writing in the Renaissance


As a contribution to the forthcoming 500th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Roper (née More)’s A Devout Treatise (1524-2024), the purpose of this article is to make a survey of her written production (public and private), including those works that were preserved as well as those others that were written but have been lost. The trial and death of Thomas More necessarily resulted in the loss of documents and writings, not only by More but by his daughter too. Sixteenth-century biographies of Thomas More are the main source of information about his daughter Margaret (1505-1544) and her written production. These early biographers were clearly concerned with the promotion of the figure of More, but they did not let pass the opportunity to ponder and testify to the scholarly excellence of his eldest daughter. This is particularly the case of Nicholas Harpsfield (1557) and, more especially, Thomas Stapleton (1588). Cresacre More’s biography of More (Douai, 1631), even though in general terms it offers no original information, has also been used in this study. Another important corpus of information is the epistolary writings of Margaret and her father, as well as of Erasmus. Various other documents subject to recent literary criticism are also consulted.


Download data is not yet available.


Allen, P. S. and H. M. Allen. (eds.) 1922. Opvs Epistolarvm Des. Erasmi Roterodami, vol. 4. Oxonii in Typographeo Clarendoniano.

Allen, P. S. and H. M. Allen. (eds.) 1924. Opvs Epistolarvm Des. Erasmi Roterodami, vol. 5. Oxonii in Typographeo Clarendoniano.

Allen, P. S. and H. M. Allen. (eds.) 1934. Opvs Epistolarvm Des. Erasmi Roterodami, vol. 8. Oxonii in Typographeo Clarendoniano.

Ballard, George. 1752. Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain Who Have Been Celebrated for their Writings or Skill in the Learned Languages, Arts, and Sciences. Oxford: W. Jackson.

Bennett, H.S. 1969. English Books and Readers, 1475 to 1557: Being a Study in the History of the Book Trade from Caxton to the Incorporation of the Stationers’ Company, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.

Betteridge, Thomas. 2013. Writing Faith and Telling Tales: Literature, Politics, and Religion in the Work of Thomas More. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press.

Bowker , Margaret. 2017. “Roper [née More], Margaret”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford: Oxford U.P. <>. Accessed May 3, 2023.

Catalogue méthodique des imprimés de la Bibliothèque publique de Douai, avec une notice historique. Droit. 1869. Douai: Imprimerie Dechristé.

Caudle , James J. 2018. “Affleck Generations: The Libraries of the Boswells of Auchinleck, 1695- 1825”. In Roberts, Kyle B. and Mark Towsey (eds.) Before the Public Library: Reading, Community, and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850. Leiden: Brill: 98-122.

Clericus, Johannes. (ed.) 1703. Desiderii Erasmi Roterodami Opera omnia emendatiora et auctiora, ad optimas editiones. Vol. 3.2. Lugduni Batavorum: Curâ and impensis Petri Vander Aa.

Coke, John. 1550. The debate betwene the heraldes of Englande and Fraunce, compyled by Iohn

Coke, clarke of the kynges recognysaunce. London: Imprynted by me [Robert Wyer, for] Rycharde Wyer.

Curtrig ht, Travis. 2019. “Thomas More as Author of Margaret Roper’s Letter to Alice Alington”. Moreana 56 (1): 1-27.

Dalzell, Alexander and James M. Estes . (eds.) 2015. The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 2204 to 2356: August 1529 – July 1530. Collected Works of Erasmus, vol. 16. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Demers, Patricia. 2022. “Margaret Roper and Erasmus: The Relationship of Translator and Source”. In Gentrup, William and Elizabeth McCutcheon (eds.): 158-171.

Duthilloeul , H.R. 1851. “Livre ayant appartenu à Thomas Morus, chancelier d’Angleterre”. Bulletin de Bibliophile 5-10th series: 254-256.

Fantazzi , Charles and Constantinus Mat heeussen. (eds.) 1996-1998. De Institutione Feminae Christianae, 2 vols. Leiden: Brill.

Foley, Stephen M. 2022. “Virtual and Absolute: The Voices of ‘The Letter to Alington’”. In Gentrup, William and Elizabeth McCutcheon (eds.): 222-252.

Fuller, Thomas. (1662) 1952. The Worthies of England. Ed. J. Freeman. London: George Allen and Unwin.

Gentrup , William and Elizabeth McCutcheon. (eds.) 2022. A Companion to Margaret More Roper Studies: Life Records, Essential Texts, and Critical Essays. Washington: The Catholic University Press of America.

Goodrich, Jaime. 2010. “The Dedicatory Preface to Mary Roper Clarke Basset’s Translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History”. English Literary Renaissance 40 (3): 301-328.

Gratet -Duplessis , Pierre Alexandre. 1838. “Testament religieux de Thomas Morus, Chancelier d’Angleterre, et de Jean Fisher, Evêque de Rochester”. Bulletin de Bibliophile 10-3rd series: 459-464.

Guy, John. 2008. A Daughter’s Love: Thomas and Margaret More. London: Fourth Estate.

Hall, Edward. 1809. Hall’s Chronicle, Containing the History of England during the Reign of Henry the Fourth, and the Succeeding Monarchs, to the End of the Reign of Henry the Eighth. Ed. Henry Ellis. London: printed for J. Johnston et al.

Harpsfield, Nicholas. (1557) 1963. The Life and Death of Sir Thomas More: Knight, Sometime Lord High Chancellor of England. Ed. E.V. Hitchcock. London: Oxford U.P.

Henderson, Judith Rice. 2002. “Humanist Letter Writing: Private Conversation or Public Forum?” In Houdt, Toon van, Jan Papy, Gilbert Tournoy and Constant Matheeussen (eds.) Self-Presentation and Social Identification: The Rhetoric and Pragmatics of Letter-Writing in Early Modern Times. Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia 18. Leuven: Leuven U.P.: 17-38.

Hitchcock, Elsie Vaughan, Philip E. Hallett and A.W. Reed. (eds.) (1945) 1950. The Lyfe of Syr Thomas More, Somtymes Lord Chancellour of England. By Ro: Ba:. Early English Text Society 222. London: Oxford U.P.

Lakowski , Romauld. 2013. “Two Neglected Poems of Thomas More and a Poem of Margaret Roper’s”. Moreana 50 (191-192): 285-290.

Lakowski , Romuald. 2016. “Another Poem by Margaret More Roper?” Moreana 53 (203-204): 293-294.

Leland, John. 1589. Principum, ac illustrium aliquot & eruditorum in Anglia virorum: encomia, trophaea, genethliaca, et epithalamia. A Ioanne Lelando antiquario conscripta, nunc primùm in lucem edita. Quibus etiam adiuncta sunt, illustrissimorum aliquot herôum, hodiè viuentium, aliorúmq[ue] hinc indè Anglorum, encomia et eulogia: à Thoma Newtono, Cestreshyrio, succisiuis horulis exarata. Londini: Apud Thomam Orwinum, typographum.

“Lines by Sir Thomas More”. 1847. The Catholic Instructor 4 (6): 256.

McCutcheon, Elizabeth. 1987. “Margaret More Roper: The Learned Woman in Tudor England”. In Wilson, K.M. (ed.) Women Writers of the Renaissance and the Reformation. Athens: The University of Georgia Press: 449-480.

McCutcheon, Elizabeth. 2020. “Decoding the Alice Alington-Margaret More Roper Letters”. Moreana 57 (2): 144-170.

Meulon , Henri. 1969. “Un poème inédit de Thomas More?”. Moreana 23 (3): 66-68.

More, Cresacre. 1828. The Life of Sir Thomas More by his Great Grandson Cresacre More. Ed. Joseph Hunter. London: William Pickering, Chancery Lane.

More, Gertrude. 1658. The spiritval exercises of the most vertvovs and religious D. Gertrvde More of the holy order of S. Bennet and English congregation of Our Ladies of Comfort in Cambray she called them Amor ordinem nescit and Ideots deuotions, her only spiritual father and director the ven. Fa. Baker stiled them Confessiones amantis, A lovers confessions. Paris: Printed by Lewis de la Folle.

Mynors, R.A.B. (ed.) 1988. The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 1122 to 1251: 1520-1521. Collected Works of Erasmus, vol. 8. Annotated by Peter G. Bietenholz. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Olivares-Merino, Eugenio M. 2007. “A Month with the Mores: The Meeting of Juan Luis Vives and Margaret More Roper”. English Studies 88 (4): 388-400.

Olivares-Merino, Eugenio M. 2022a. “‘Britanniae Decus’: Life Records and Writings of Margaret More Roper”. In Gentrup, William and Elizabeth McCutcheon (eds.): 3-50.

Olivares-Merino, Eugenio M. 2022b. “Margaret More Roper’s Emendation of a Letter to St. Cyprian and its Textual Afterlife”. In Gentrup, William and Elizabeth McCutcheon (eds.): 253-277.

Rastell , William. 1557. The workes of Sir Thomas More Knyght, sometyme Lorde Chauncellor of England, wrytten by him in the Englysh tonge. London: At the costes and charges of Iohn Cawod, Iohn Waly, and Richarde Tottell.

Reed, A.W. 1926. Early Tudor Drama: Medwall, the Rastells, Heywood, and the More Circle. London: Methuen.

Reynolds, E.E. 1960. Margaret Roper: Eldest Daughter of St. Thomas More. London: Burns and Oates.

Rodgers, Katherine G. 2022. “Dialogic Imagination in ‘The Letter to Alice Alington’”. In Gentrup, William and Elizabeth McCutcheon (eds.): 205-221.

Rogers, Elizabeth F. 1961. St. Thomas More: Selected Letters. New Haven and London: Yale U.P.

Rogers, Elizabeth F. (ed.) 1970. The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More. New York: Books for Libraries Press.

Roper, William. (1626) 1958. The Lyfe of Sir Thomas Moore, knighte. Ed. E.V. Hitchcock. Pub. for the Early English text Society by H. Milford. London: Oxford U.P.

Ross, Sarah C.E. 2009. “A Poem by Margaret More Roper?” Notes and Queries 56: 502-507.

S. H., 1851. “Thomas More and John Fisher”. Notes and Queries 4 (109): 417-418.

Stapleton , Thomas. 1588. Tres Thomae seu: De S. Thomae Apostoli rebus gestis; De S. Thoma [sic] Archiepiscopo Cantuariensi & Martyre; D. Thomae Mori Angliae quomdam Cancellarij vita. Duaci: Ex officina Ioannis Bogardi.

Stapleton , Thomas. 1966. The Life and Illustrious Martyrdom of Sir Thomas More. Trans. P. E. Hallett. Ed. E. E. Reynolds. New York: Fordham U.P.

“The Psalter of Thomas More”. 1836. Journal of the Ministry of Public Education 11 (September): 720-721.

Thompson, Craig R. (ed. and trans.) 1997. Colloquies. Collected Works of Erasmus, vols. 39-40. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Weld-Blundell, Edward Benedict. (ed.) 1911. The Inner Life and the Writings of Dame Gertrude More. London: R. and T. Washbourne.

Wordswort h, Christopher. (ed.) 1810. “Sir Thomas More; Now First Published, from a Manuscript in the Lambeth Library, the Author unknown”. By Ro. Ba. In Ecclesiastical Biography, or, Lives of Eminent Men Connected with the History of Religion in England: From the Commencement of the Reformation to the Revolution. Vol 2. London: Francis & John Rivington: 53-232.




How to Cite

Olivares-Merino, E. M. (2023). Margaret More Roper: A Survey of Her Writings. Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies, 68, 145–163.



ARTICLES: Literature, film and cultural studies
Received 2022-10-12
Accepted 2023-10-04
Published 2023-12-19