UtopiaPaperback Penguin Classics
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- Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
- Format: Paperback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 191mm x 13mm | 136g
- Publication date: 6 May 2003
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0140449108
- ISBN 13: 9780140449105
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Illustrations note: chronology, further reading, glossary, notes
- Sales rank: 11,776
In "Utopia", More paints a vision of the customs and practices of a distant island, but Utopia means 'no place' and his narrator's name, Hythlodaeus, translates as 'dispenser of nonsense'. This fantastical tale masks what is a serious and subversive analysis of the failings of More's society. Advocating instead a world in which there is religious tolerance, provision for the aged, and state ownership of land, "Utopia" has been variously claimed as a Catholic tract or an argument for communism and it still invites each generation to make its own interpretation.
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Thomas More was born in 1478. He succeeded Wolsey as Lord Chancellor of England, but came into conflict with the king, Henry VIII, by refusing to acknowledge him as sole head of the church. Charged with high treason, More steadfastly refused to takean oath impugning the pope's authority or upholding the king's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He was beheaded in 1535. Paul Turner was educated at Winchester and King's College, Cambridge, and became an Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford.