This was the first full-length biography in ninety years of Reginald Pole (1500-1558), one of the most important international figures of the sixteenth century, and the first ever to give equal attention to all phases of his career. It was based on painstaking and extensive archival research, above all in Italy and among the archives of the Inquisition. Pole spent much of his life writing, especially about himself. This book attempted to expose the tension between the 'life as lived' and the 'life as written' in order to see Pole whole rather than as a plaster saint - or devil. Pole's career is followed as protégé and then harshest critic of Henry VIII, as cardinal and papal diplomat, legate of Viterbo, a nearly successful candidate for pope, and finally as legate to England, archbishop of Canterbury, architect of the English Counter-Reformation, and victim of both pope Paul IV and of himself.