9780140441659

Utopia

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  • ISBN13:

    9780140441659

  • ISBN10:

    0140441654

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/30/1965
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
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Summary

Utopia, written by Sir Thomas More, depicts a fictional island with its own unique religion and customs. Sir Thomas More's work introduces readers into the concept of a perfect society with utopian, or perfect, ideas and beliefs. This timeless classic, originally written in 1516 and heavily influenced by Plato's Republic, is often read in schools as a required reading.

Author Biography

Saint Thomas More, 1478–1535, English statesman and author of Utopia, celebrated as a martyr in the Roman Catholic Church. He received a Latin education in the household of Cardinal Morton and at Oxford. Through his contact with the new learning and his friendships with Colet, Lyly, and Erasmus, More became an ardent humanist. As a successful London lawyer, he attracted the attention of Henry VIII, served him on diplomatic missions, entered the king’s service in 1518, and was knighted in 1521. More held important government offices and, despite his disapproval of Henry’s divorce from Katharine of Aragón, he was made lord chancellor at the fall of Wolsey (1529). He resigned in 1532 because of ill health and probably because of increasing disagreement with Henry’s policies. Because of his refusal to subscribe to the Act of Supremacy, which impugned the pope’s authority and made Henry the head of the English Church, he was imprisoned (1534) in the Tower and finally beheaded on a charge of treason.

A man of noble character and deep, resolute religious conviction, More had great personal charm, unfailing good humor, piercing wit, and a fearlessness that enabled him to jest even on the scaffold. His Utopia (published in Latin, 1516; tr. 1551) is a picture of an ideal state founded entirely on reason. Among his other works in Latin and English are a translation of The Life of John Picus, Earl of Mirandula (1510); a History of Richard III, upon which Shakespeare based his play; a number of polemical tracts against the Lutherans (1528–33); devotional works including A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation (1534) and a Treatise on the Passion (1534); poems; meditations; and prayers. More was beatified (1886) by a decree of Pope Leo XIII, canonized (1935) by Pius XI, and proclaimed (2000) the patron saint of politicians by John Paul II.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: More's Utopia in Historical Perspectivep. 1
Textsp. 3
Literary Conventionsp. 3
Philosophical Convictionsp. 8
Contextsp. 26
Personal Involvementsp. 26
Historical Circumstancesp. 31
Developmentsp. 51
Transitionp. 51
Translationp. 59
Utopiap. 81
The Translator to the Gentle Readerp. 82
The Epistle, Thomas More to Peter Giles Sendeth Greetingp. 83
The First Bookp. 88
The Second Bookp. 127
Letter from Peter Giles to Hierome Buslidep. 202
A Meter of Four Versesp. 205
A Short Meter of Utopiap. 206
Gerard Noviomage of Utopiap. 206
Cornelius Graphey to the Readerp. 207
The Printer to the Readerp. 207
Appendices
Ralph Robynson's Dedicatory Letter to William Cecilp. 209
Selected Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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