Three Early Modern Utopias by Thomas More
Thomas More: Utopia / Francis Bacon: New Atlantis / Henry Neville: The Isle of Pines (Oxford World's Classics)

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A unique edition of three early modern utopian texts, using a contemporary translation of More's Utopia and examining the Renaissance world view as shown by these writers. The edition includes the illustrative material that accompanied early editions of Utopia, full chronologies of the authors, notes, and glossary. - ;Thomas More: Utopia/ Francis Bacon: New Atlantis/Henry Neville: The Isle of Pines
With the publication of Utopia (1516), Thomas More introduced into the English language not only a new word, but a new way of thinking about the gulf between what ought to be and what is. His Utopia is at once a scathing analysis of the shortcomings of his own society, a realistic suggestion for an alternative mode of social organization, and a satire on unrealistic idealism. Enormously influential, it remains a challenging as well as a playful text. This edition reprints
Ralph Robinson's 1556 translation from More's original Latin together with letters and illustrations that accompanied early editions of Utopia.

Utopia was only one of many early modern treatments of other worlds. This edition also includes two other, hitherto less accessible, utopian narratives. New Atlantis (1627) offers a fictional illustration of Francis Bacon's visionary ideal of the role that science should play in the modern society. Henry Neville's The Isle of Pines (1668), a precursor of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, engages with some of the sexual, racial, and colonialist anxieties of the end
of the early modern period. Together these texts illustrate the diversity of the early modern utopian imagination, as well as the different purposes to which it could be put. -

About Thomas More

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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.
Published November 4, 1999 by Oxford University Press, UK. 320 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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