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A frutefull pleasaunt, and wittie worke, of the beste state of a publique weale, & of the newe yle, called Utopia: written in Latine, by the right worthie and famous Syr Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englishe by Raphe Robynson, sometime fellowe of Corpus Christi College in Oxford, citizen & goldsmythe of London, at the procurement, and earnest request of George Tadlowe citizein and haberdassher of the same citie. And now edited by A.W. Reed.

Stock Code 112741

Waltham Saint Lawrence, Reading, The Golden Cockerel Press, 1929

Original price £2,250.00 - Original price £2,250.00
Original price £0.00
£2,250.00 - £2,250.00
Current price £2,250.00
A finely bound example of Thomas More's important contribution to English philosophy which coined the term utopia.

Number 452 from a limited edition of 500 copies printed by The Golden Cockerell Press, which follows the text of the first English translation made by Ralph Robinson (1520-1577) for the private use of his friend, George Tadlow, a City of London haberdasher. A loose rendering, Robinson initially resisted calls for publication before the work was printed in 1551. Nevertheless, his translation is now regarded 'among the treasures of our literature' (Arber) as an imaginative piece of sixteenth-century prose.

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.

Limited edition, number 452 of 500 copies; 4to (27 x 20 cm); bookplate to front free endpaper verso, silk endpapers; brown morocco by Bayntun-Riviere, green leaf frame onlaid to panels within single gilt filet border, gilt spine in 6 compartments, alternating onlaid green leaves and gilt lettering, top-edge gilt, others uncut, enclosed within brown cloth solander box, contrasting green morocco lettering piece to spine, slight spotting to final few ff, otherwise internally clean, near fine; [2], xiii, 137, [3]pp.


Provenance: Captain Richard Campbell, OBE, RN (bookplate).


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MORE, Sir Thomas.

Stock code: 112741



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