Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500-1558) was one of the most important international figures of mid-16th century Europe: principal antagonist of Henry VIII, papal diplomat, legate to the council of Trent, and nearly successful candidate for pope. But even more significant than his political actions is that Pole tried to mediate between increasingly rigid religious positions, preserving belief in justification by faith within a charismatically conceived papal church. His writing converted categories of feudal discourse, especially the language of honour, into newer humanist modes as a means of resisting tyranny, whether secular or religious. He also created his own saintly image, as well as much of the historiography of the English Reformation. These studies place him in his English, Italian and European contexts - political, intellectual and religious. They also evaluate his ties to such major intellectual and literary figues as Marco Mantova Benavides and Ludovico Ariosto.