David Daniell William Tyndale: A Biography.
Yale University Press, 429 pages, $30

reviewed by C. H. Sisson

We live in an age in which information threatens to overwhelm knowledge—an age which will certainly leave more records of itself than can be digested by posterity. It is sobering, therefore, to look back on a past in which even great and famous figures are inadequately documented. Biographies are now de rigueur for many writers who certainly cannot be said to have left monuments more enduring than bronze, and personal details may be said to have a greater success for their own sake than for any light they throw on the literary quality of what has been written. We should probably be grateful for our ignorance of Shakespeare and Chaucer. But the present superstition is rather that great writers deserve large biographies, and it is no surprise that the quincentenary of William Tyndale, the great...

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