Utopia

Utopia

Paperback Penguin Classics

By (author) Saint Thomas More, Translated by Dominic Baker-Smith

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 18mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 24 December 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141442328
  • ISBN 13: 9780141442327
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 150,679

Product description

'Even if you can't eradicate harmful ideas or remedy established evils, there's no reason to turn your back on the body politic'. In "Utopia", Thomas More gives us a traveller's account of a newly-discovered island where the inhabitants enjoy a social order based on natural reason and justice, and human fulfillment is open to all. As the traveller, Raphael, describes the island to More, a bitter contrast is drawn between this rational society and the custom-driven practices of Europe. So how can the philosopher try to reform his society? In his fictional discussion, More takes up a question first raised by Plato and which is still a challenge in the contemporary world. In the history of political thought few works have been more influential than "Utopia", and few more misunderstood. Dominic Baker-Smith's introduction examines the conflicting voices and perspectives of More's masterpiece and relates them to the European context of his time. This new edition also includes a chronology, notes, appendices, glossary and suggested further reading. It is translated and introduced by Dominic Baker-Smith.

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Author information

Thomas More was born a Londoner in 1477 or 1478. He served as a page, then studied at Oxford, was called to the bar and subsequently had a highly successful career in the City. Sent on an embassy to Flanders in 1515, he began Utopia there and completed it back in London. From 1528 he actively resisted innovation in religious matters and clashed with Henry VIII over his break with the Church. In July 1535, after he refused to accept the royal supremacy over the church, he was tried as a traitor at Westminster Hall and beheaded on Tower Hill. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935. Dominic Baker-Smith has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; Professor of English at University College, Cardiff; and is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam. In addition to various publications on English and Neo-Latin literature he is the author of More's 'Utopia' (1991, 2000) and has edited three volumes in the Toronto Collected Works of Erasmus. He has served as Chairman of the Society for Renaissance Studies and was appointed OBE in 1999.