He can’t imagine himself reading to his household; he’s not, like Thomas More, some sort of failed priest, a frustrated preacher. He never sees More—a star in another firmament, who acknowledges him with a grim nod—without wanting to ask him, what’s wrong with you? Or what’s wrong with me? Why does everything you know, and everything you’ve learned, confirm in you what you believed before? Whereas in my case, what little I grew up with, and what I thought I believed, is chipped away a little and a little, a fragment then a piece and then a piece more. With every month that passes, the corners are knocked off the certainties of this world: and the next world too. Show me where it says in the Bible, ‘Purgatory’. Show me where it says ‘relics, monks, nuns’. Show me where it says ‘Pope’.
From Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.
“He” is Thomas Cromwell, the first Earl of Essex, a powerful minister to Henry VIII, and the protagonist of this novel. Which is absolutely breathtakingly good. The prose is so beautiful that it makes me want to cry.