Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing 1516-1700

Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing 1516-1700


By (author) J. C. Davis


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  • Format: Paperback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 148mm x 226mm x 32mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521275512
  • ISBN 13: 9780521275514
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

While great interest has been shown recently in the nature of utopian thought and its significance in western development, much of the discussion has been marked by imprecision and generality. This book opens with an attempt to give clarity, substance and precision to the definition of utopia by isolating its characteristics in contrast with those of other forms of ideal society. The value of these distinctions is shown in a detailed re-examination of the sixteenth-century European writers who developed the re-emergent form of utopia. As a whole, the book brings the discussion of utopian thought closer to the mainstream concerns of the history of political ideas, and provides a major study for all those working in the fields of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century political and social thought.

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Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. Utopia and the ideal society: in search of a definition; 2. The re-emergence of utopia: Sir Thomas More; 3. The re-emergence of utopia: the European experience 1521-1619; 4. Robert Burton and the anatomy of utopia; 5. Sir Francis Bacon and the ideal society; 6. Samuel Gott's New Jerusalem; 7. Gerrard Winstanley and the Restoration of True Magistracy; 8. James Harrington's Oceana; 9. The Harringtonians; 10. Royalism and utopia; 11. The full-employment utopia of seventeenth-century England; Conclusion; Bibliographies; Index.