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Utopia:

Written in Latin by Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England: Translated into English.

Stock Code 111398

London, Printed for Richard Chiswell at the Rose and Crown in St Paul's Church-Yard, 1684

Original price $3,155.00 - Original price $3,155.00
Original price $0.00
$3,155.00
$3,155.00 - $3,155.00
Current price $3,155.00
Rare early English edition. The first edition of this translation by Gilbert Burnet of Thomas More's most important contribution to political philosophy, Utopia. An enigmatic work which continues to defy simple interpretation.

As Burnet (1643-1715) noted in his preface, 'I do not think... More himself went in heartily to that which is the chief Basis of his Utopia, the taking away of all Property, and the levelling of the World; but that he only intended to set many Notions in his Reader's way; and that he might not seem too much in earnest, he went so far out of all Roads to do it the less suspected'.

The tale begins when More encounters the fictional character Raphael Hythloday, a traveller who has just returned from voyages with Amerigo Vespucci. Hythloday tells More of a distant island called Utopia, where all property is held in common and gold and silver are used not as currency but as the material for making shackles and chamber pots. However, all is not as it seems, and the paradoxes in the names of Hythloday ('the nonsense speaker') and Utopia ('nowhere') reveal a more complex story.

Burnet's translation was completed in 1684 during in a low period of his life when he was out of royal favour. He found in More an unlikely ally; a fellow victim of political circumstance, who was 'one of the greatest Men that this Island has produced' (Preface).

'This translation, though not so frequently reprinted... is, in some respects, much superior, and certainly presents a more readable text' (Pforzheimer).

First edition of the Burnet translation; small 8vo (18.5 x 12 cm); old MS price in pen to front free endpaper recto, woodcut headpieces; contemporary mottled calf ruled in blind, expertly rebacked to style, contrasting red morocco title-piece to spine, internally clean, very good; [24], 206, [2]pp.

ESTC R7176; Wing M2691; Gibson 30; Sabin 50546; Pforzheimer 742; cf.PMM 47.
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Utopia:

MORE, Sir Thomas; [BURNET, Gilbert (translator)].

Stock code: 111398

$3,155.00

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