‘Sory coumfortlesse Orphanes’: The Rastell/Heywood Line

  • Marion Wynne-Davies
Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)


The second branch of the More familial discourse emerges in the Rastell/ Heywood line, beginning with the collection of More’s works brought together by William Rastell and concluding with John Donne’s works with their fraught rejection of his Morean inheritance. The Roper/Bassets were characterised by the singular continuity of a biographical discourse and perpetuation of the familial discourse. The Rastell/Heywoods, on the other hand, represent the way in which the discursive practice of the Mores reached a point of schism in which faith divided rather than united Thomas More’s descendants. There are no women writers in this line of Morean descent, although a comparison of the responses to the familial discourse by John Donne and Gertrude More, discussed in Chapter 3, evidences the way in which schism and assimilation functioned in a gendered context.


Morean Discourse Woman Writer English Work Henry VIII Family Discourse 
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Copyright information

© Marion Wynne-Davies 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Wynne-Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of SurreyUK

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