More: Utopia (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)

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9780521345736: More: Utopia (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
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Thomas More's Utopia is one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance humanism. His complex and ironic account of an imaginary communist society has not only given rise to the genre of utopian fiction but has been an inspiration to generations of political reformers. The present edition differs from other English-language editions in that it includes all the ancillary materials that were included, at More's behest, in the early editions (encompassing letters and poems on Utopia by More and several of his humanist associates), in that it presents a new version of the highly-regarded translation by Robert M. Adams, and in that its introductory materials and annotations assimilate important recent scholarship.

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The Life of Thomas More is Peter Ackroyd's biography--from baptism to beheading--of the lawyer who became a saint. More, a noted humanist whose friendship with Erasmus and authorship of Utopia earned him great fame in Europe, succeeded Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor of London at the time of the English Reformation. In 1535, More was martyred for his refusal to support Henry VIII's divorce and break with Rome. Ackroyd's biography is a masterpiece in several senses. Perhaps most importantly, he corrects the mistaken impression that Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons has given two generations of theater and film audiences: More was not, as Bolt's drama would have us believe, a civil disobedient who put his conscience above the law. Ackroyd explains that "conscience was not for More an individual matter." Instead, it was derived from "the laws of God and of reason." If the greatest justice in this book is analytic, however, its greatest joys are descriptive. Ackroyd brings 16th-century London to life for his readers--an exotic world where all of life is enveloped by the church: "As the young More made his way along the lanes and thoroughfares, there was the continual sound of bells." --Michael Joseph Gross

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Thomas More's Utopia is one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance humanism. His complex and ironic account of an imaginary communist society has not only given rise to the genre of utopian fiction but has been an inspiration to generations of political reformers.

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Thomas More
Published by Cambridge University Press (1989)
ISBN 10: 0521345731 ISBN 13: 9780521345736
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