Finely Bound Copy of Sir Thomas More's Masterpiece Utopia
More, Sir Thomas.$350.00
Item Number: 70039
New York: The Heritage Press, 1935.
Quarto, bound in full morocco, gilt titles to the spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Translated from the Latin by Ralph Robynson. In fine condition.
Written while Thomas More was a London lawyer, Utopia “inveighs against the new statesmanship of all-powerful autocracy and the new economics of large enclosures and the destruction of the old common-field agriculture, just as it pleads for religious tolerance and universal education… More had been born and brought up in the law, the most traditional and the most English of all professions: to him, human institutes were not a matter for radical, theoretical reform, but were organic things to which change came slowly. In Utopia More is concerned to show that the old, medieval institutes, if freed from abuse, are the best; not the new theoretic reforms, which he justly feared… Utopia is not, as often imagined, More’s ideal state: it exemplifies only the virtues of wisdom, fortitude, temperance and justice. It reflects the moral poverty of the states which More knew, whose Christian rulers should possess also the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity” (PMM 47). Through its invention of the word ‘utopia,’ a Greek pun meaning ‘no place’, “Moore’s Utopia has given its name to a whole genre of literature—Utopian literature—as well as to a way of thinking” (Bronowski & Mazlish, 44).