Sir Thomas More Utopia Bibliography

A Bibliography of Thomas More's Utopia
Romuald Ian Lakowski

Main Document: Lakowski, R. I. "A Bibliography of Thomas More's Utopia." Early Modern Literary Studies 1.2 (1995): 6.1-10 <URL:>.

Table of Contents


Table of Abbreviations


I. Editions and Translations

I.a. Editions, Concordances and Bibliographies:

I.b. Translations of Utopia

II. Studies of Utopia

II.a. General Studies:

II.b. Genre, Composition, Parerga, Book I and Conclusion:

II.c. Literary Studies

II.d. Geography in Utopia

II.e. Humanism, Ethics, Philosophy and Religion

II.f. Classical and Medieval Sources and Analogues

II.g. Utopia Through the Ages

  • More, Bacon and Campanella 498
  • More, Castiglione and Sidney 506
  • More and Erasmus 509
  • More, Machiavelli, Seyssel and Bodin 519
  • Elyot, Milton, Shakespeare, and Webster 533
  • More, Rabelais and Montaigne 542
  • More and Swift 549
  • More and Vives 558
  • More, Bartolomé de Las Casas and Vasco de Quiroga 560
  • Utopia, Spain, New Spain and America 576
  • Utopia in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries 589
  • Utopia in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 616
  • Utopia and Some Modern Utopian Novels 625
  • Utopia in General Studies of Utopian Literature 632
  • Summaries and General Essays on More's Utopia 648
  • Utopia in Eastern Europe 662

II.h. Marxism and Literary Theory

Unclassified articles and Dissertations

Index of Names


I. Editions and Translations

I.a. Editions, Concordances and Bibliographies:

Modern Editions of Utopia

  • 1.
  • Delcourt, M., ed. L'Utopie ou le traité de la meilleure forme de gouvernement. Les classiques de la pensée politique 13. Paris: E. Droz, 1936. Rpt. Geneva: Droz, 1983. [Rev.: A. Prévost, ("Une rétrospective: Le facsimilé de l'Utopie éditée par Marie Delcourt,") Moreana 85 (1985): 67--82; J. Schlumberger, Nouvelle revue française 24 (Jan. 1936): 116--17. Latin text. The reprint includes M. Delcourt's 1966 French translation. See also [84].]

    2. Logan, G. M., R. M. Adams, and C. H. Miller, eds. Utopia. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995.

    3. Lupton, J. H., ed. The Utopia of Sir Thomas More. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1895. [Rev.: J. Gairdner, EHR 11 (1896): 369--71. Prints text of March 1518 Latin edition, together with Ralph Robynson's 1551 English translation. Main emphasis is on Robynson's translation which is printed at the top of the page in larger print, with the Latin underneath.] (cf. [53].)

    4. Michels, V., and T. Ziegler, eds. Utopia. Vol. 11 in Lateinische Litteraturdenkmäler des XV. und XVI Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Weidmann, 1895. [Based on 1516 edition with emendations from March 1518.]

    5. Prévost, A., ed. L'Utopie de Thomas More: Présentation, Texte Original, Apparat Critique, Exégèse, Traduction et Notes. Paris: Mame, 1978. [Rev.: J. Gury, Moreana 61 (1979): 13--18. Facsimile of November 1518 Froben Latin edition with a modern French translation. Extensive notes and commentary (~800 pages).] (cf. [86].)

    6. Sampson, G., and A. Guthkelch, eds. Utopia. London: Bell, 1910. [Contains an edition of the 1556 revised edition of Robynson's translation, together with the Latin text of the 1516 edition in an appendix. Also includes Roper's Life and some Letters.]

    7. Surtz, E., and J. H. Hexter, eds. Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More. New Haven: Yale UP, 1965. [Hereafter abbreviated as CW4. For reviews see Reviews of the Yale Edition of Utopia.]

    8.Utopia [1516]: A Scolar Press Facsimile. Leeds: Scolar P, 1966. [Facsimile reproduction of the first edition of 1516 published by Thierry Maartens in Antwerp.]


Reviews of the Yale Edition of Utopia

  • 9.
  • Barker, A. E. "Clavis Moreana: The Yale Edition of Thomas More." JEGP 65 (1966): 318--30. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 215--28, 616. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 11 (1966): 94--95. A review article on the Utopia and Richard III.]

    10. Bush, D. Rev. of Utopia.Moreana 7 (1965): 85--92.

    11. Delcourt, M. "Utopiana." Latomus 25 (1966): 305--09.

    12. Ferguson, A. F. "Review." JHI 29 (1968): 303--10.

    13. Gawlick, G. Rev. (Germ.) of Utopia.Anglia 85 (1967): 95--99.

    14. Itkonen-Kaila, M. "Translating Utopia: 2. Four English Translations of Utopia: Four Different Styles." Moreana 34 (1972): 42--45. [On the translations of Robynson, Surtz, Turner and Marshall.]

    15. Manuel, F. E. Rev. of Utopia.History and Theory 6 (1967): 127--30. [On Hexter's and Surtz's introductions.]

    16. Marc'hadour, G. "Father Surtz' Utopia in the Wake of C. G. Richards." Moreana 118/119 (1994): 154--68. [Summ.: pp. 297--98. On Surtz's revisions to Richards's 1923 translation as evidenced from Surtz's annotations preserved in the Surtz Archive at Loyola University, Chicago.]

    17. Miller, C. H. Rev. of Utopia.ELN 3 (1965/66): 303--09. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 11 (1966): 100--101.]

    18. Miller, C. H. "The English Translation in the Yale Utopia: Some Corrections." Moreana 9 (1966): 57--64.

    19. Sirluck, E. Rev. of Utopia.SEL 6 (1966): 173.

    20. Skinner, Q. "More's Utopia." P&P 38 (1967): 154--68. (cf. [188],[198].)

    21. Thomson, P. Rev. of Utopia.N&Q ns 13 (1966): 72--73.

    22. Trapp, J. B. Rev. of Utopia.RenN 19 (1966): 373--75.

    23. Zandvoort, R. W. Rev. of Utopia.English Studies 47 (1966): 219.

    24. Zandvoort, R. W. "On Translating Utopia." Moreana 15/16 (1967): 137--40. [Compares G. C. Richards' translation, used in the Yale edition, unfavorably with Paul Turner's translation in the Penguin Classics. See [75].]

    See CW4 ([7]), and Selected Works ([73]).


Concordances, and Supplements to the Yale Edition, etc.

  • 25.
  • Bolchazy, L. J., G. Gichan, and F. Theobald, eds. A Concordance to the Utopia of St. Thomas More and a Frequency Word List. Alpha-Omega, Reihe B, Indizes, Konkordanzen, statistische studien zur mittelateinischen Philologie, 2. Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1978. [Rev.: W. W. Wooden, Computers and the Humanities 17 (1983): 28--29. A concordance of the Latin text keyed (page/line number) to the Yale Edition.]

    26. Marc'hadour, G. "Froben et Thomas More: en marge de l'édition bâloise de l'Utopie." Moreana 8 (1965): 113--15. [On Froben's epistolary postscript to the edition of More's and Erasmus's Translations of Lucian (1517), and on the Basle edition of Utopia in March 1518.]

    27. Surtz, E. "Sources, Parallels, and Influences: Supplementary to the Yale Utopia." Moreana 9 (1966): 5--11. [Some additions to Surtz's introductory matter in the Yale edition. Suggests that Hythloday has some of the features of Erasmus.]

    28. Surtz, E. "The Illustrations in the Yale Utopia." Moreana 10 (1966): 55--73. [Contains detailed descriptions of the Plates in the Yale Edition.]

    29. White, T. I. "An Index Verborum to the Yale Utopia." Moreana 52 (1976): 5--17.


Locations of Early Editions

  • 30.
  • Brooks, P. "Notes on Rare Books." New York Time Book Review 27 July 1941: 19. [On Tunstall's copy of Utopia.]

    31. Gee, J. A. "Cuthbert Tunstall's Copy of the First Edition of Utopia." Yale University Library Gazette 7 (1933): 87--88. [On More's friendship with Tunstall, the head of the 1515 "Utopian" Mission, and on Tunstall's copy of the 1516 edition of Utopia acquired by Yale.]

    32. Gee, J. A. "The Second Edition of the Utopia, Paris, 1517." Yale University Library Gazette 15 (1941): 77--83. [On the Yale copy of the 1517 edition of Utopia.]

    33. Gibson, R. W. "Section I: Utopia, Nos. 1--44." St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography of His Works and of Moreana to the Year 1750, Compiled by R. W. Gibson, With a Bibliography of Utopiana by R. W. Gibson and J. Max Patrick. New Haven: Yale UP, 1961. 1--57.

    34. Kronenberg, M. E. "Some Notes on the First Edition of the Utopia." Moreana 15/16 (1967): 134--36. [Lists locations of 22 copies of the First Edition. See also C. Smith "Additional Locations for Thomas More's Utopia."]

    35. Marc'hadour, G. "L'Utopie à 80.000 Livres sterling." Moreana 113 (1993): 82. [On the sale of a copy of the 1516 First Edition for 80,000 pounds in 1992.]

    36. Smith, C. "Additional Locations for Thomas More's Utopia." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 261--62. [An "Updating" of R. W. Gibson's St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography.]

    37. Smith, C. "Locations for the Updated Gibson [Nos. 1--44]." An Updating of R. W. Gibson's St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography. Sixteenth Century Bibliography 20. St. Louis: Center for Reformation Research, 1981. 20--29.


Some Bibliographies of Secondary Scholarship

  • 38.
  • Brouwer, P. W. "Les Pay-Bas Utopiens." Moreana 97 (1988): 73--76.

    39. Gibson, R. W., and J. M. Patrick. "Section IX: Utopias and Dystopias, 1500--1750, Nos. 602--859," and "Section X: Utopian Addresses, Nos. 860--877." St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography of His Works and of Moreana to the Year 1750, Compiled by R. W. Gibson, With a Bibliography of Utopiana by R. W. Gibson and J. Max Patrick. New Haven: Yale UP, 1961. 291--419.

    40. Haschak, P. G. "Utopia." Utopian/Dystopian Literature: A Bibliography of Literary Criticism. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow P, 1994. 174--84.

    41. Rousseau, M.-C., and P. Delendick. "Utopiana in Moreana." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 301--02 + 69 (1981): 163--65 + 83/84 (1984): 143--44 + 95/96 (1987): 177 + 101/102 (1990): 146 + 110 (1992): 64 + 115/116 (1993): 46. [Lists only articles (not reviews) until issue 82 (1984).]

    42. Samaan, A. B. "Utopias and Utopian Novels: 1516--1949, A Preliminary Bibliography." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 281--93.

    43. Sargent, L. T. "Secondary Works on Utopian Literature." British and American Utopian Literature, 1516--1975: An Annotated Bibliography. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall & Co., 1979. 167--290. Rev. ed.? as British and American Utopian Literature, 1516--1985: An Annotated, Chronological Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1988. [Rev.: A. B. Samaan, Moreana 110 (1992): 51--54. Many citations for More's Utopia.]


I.b. Translations of Utopia

Editions of Robynson's English Translation (1551)

  • 44.
  • Andrews, C. M., ed. "Sir Thomas More's Utopia." Famous Utopias: Being the Complete Text of Rousseau's Social Contract, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis and Campanella's City of the Sun. New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1901. 129--232. [Modernization of Robynson?]

    45. Campbell, M., ed. The Utopia of Sir Thomas More. A Classics Club College Edition Published by arrangement with Walter J. Black. Toronto and New York and London: D. Van Nostrand, 1947. 3--182. [A modernized version of Robynson's translation.]

    46. Collins, J. C., ed. Sir Thomas More's Utopia. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1904. Rpt. 1963. [An edition of Robynson's translation. Includes extensive notes and glossary. See also Lumby and Lupton.]

    47. Dibdin, T. F., ed. Utopia. Boston, Lincs.: R. Roberts, 1878.

    48. Eliot, W., ed. Utopia.Machiavelli, More, Luther. Vol. 36 of The Harvard Classics. 50 vols. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1910. 135--243. [Modern spelling version of Robynson's translation. Omits parerga.]

    49. Gallagher, L., ed. "Utopia by Thomas More." More's Utopia and its Critics. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1964. 1--90. [A modernized edition.]

    50. Goitein, H., ed. Utopia. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1925.

    51. Hallett, P. E., ed. Utopia. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1937. [Modern Spelling version of Robynson's translation.]

    52. Lumby, J. R., ed. More's Utopia. Cambridge: Cambridge UP (Pitt Press Series), 1879. Rpt. 1956. [An edition of Robynson's translation. Includes extensive notes and glossary. See also Collins and Lupton.]

    53. Lupton, J. H., ed. The Utopia of Sir Thomas More.See[3].

    54. Milligan, B. A., intro. "Utopia: Sir Thomas More." Three Renaissance Classics: The Prince, Utopia, The Courtier. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953. 105--239, 620--22. [A reprint of Ralph Robynson's 1551 translation.]

    55. Morley, H., ed. "Sir Thomas More's Utopia." Ideal Commonwealths: Plutarch's Lycurgus, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and a fragment of Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1885. 53--167. Rev. ed. in Ideal Commonwealths: More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and Harrington's Oceana. New York: Colonial P, 1901. 3--99. [Modernization of Robynson.]

    56. Morris, William, intro. Utopia. Hammersmith, Kelmscott P, 1893.

    57. Robynson, Ralph, trans. A fruteful and pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and the newe yle called Utopia. By Sir Thomas More. London: A. Vele, 1551. Rpt. (The English Experience 108) Amsterdam : Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1969. [Reprint of STC 18094.]

    58. Warrington, J., ed. "Utopia." More's Utopia and A Dialogue of Comfort. Everyman's Library 461. London: Dent, 1910. Rev. ed. with modernized spelling, 1951. 1--142. [A modern spelling version of Robynson's translation.]

    59. White, F. R., ed. "Utopia." Famous Utopias of the Renaissance. New York: Packard and Company, 1946; Rpt. Hendricks House, 1955. 3--117. [Modernization of Robynson's translation.]

    There are also many other modernizations of Robynson's translation not listed here.


Excerpts From Robynson's Translation

  • 60.
  • Harris, M. et al., ed. "Thomas More: Utopia." Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West. 2 vols. New York: Columbia UP, 3rd ed. rev. 1960. I: 647--76. [A substantial excerpt from Robynson's translation in modernized spelling.]

    61. Nugent, E. M., ed. "Sir Thomas More: Utopia." in The Thought and Culture of the English Renaissance: An Anthology of Tudor Prose, 1481--1555. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1956. 217--25.

    62. Mates, J., and E. Cantelupe, eds. "Sir Thomas More: Utopia." Renaissance Culture: A New Sense of Order. New York: George Braziler, 1966. 83--85, 368--72. [Two short excerpts from Robynson's translation.]

    63. Negley, G., and J. M. Patrick, eds. "Utopia, 1516: By Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, Saint and Martyr." The Quest for Utopia: An Anthology of Imaginary Societies. New York: Henry Schumann, 1952. 261--84. [Modernization of Robynson: a condensation of Book II.]

    64. Trapp, J. B., ed. "Sir Thomas More: Utopia." The Middle Ages through the Eighteenth Century. Vol. 1 of The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. Ed. J. Hollander and F. Kermode. 2 vols. London: Oxford UP, 1973. 552--69. [One excerpt from Book I, and two from Book II.]


Modern English Translations

  • 65.
  • Adams, R. M., trans. Utopia: A New Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975; 2nd rev. ed. 1992. [Rev.: W. W. Wooden, College Literature 4 (1977): 98--99. A modern translation. The 2nd edition contains a revised translation and several new essays. Several items also listed separately. See also edition of G. M. Logan and R. M. Adams, Utopia (1989).]

    66. Burnet, Gilbert. Utopia. London: Richard Chiswell, 1684, 1685. Rpt. Dublin: R. Reilly, 1737. Rpt. as Utopia or the Happy Republic: A Philosophical Romance, in Two Books. Glasgow: R. Foulis, 1743. Rpt. with a preliminary discourse by J. A. St. John London: J. Rickerby, 1838. [Many other later editions are not listed here.]

    67. Dolan, J. P., trans. "Utopia." The Essential Thomas More. New York: Mentor, 1967. 23--96. [A modern translation. Omits prefatory letter and parerga.]

    68. Logan, G. M., and R. M. Adams, trans. Utopia. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989. [Rev.: D. F. Donnelly, Moreana 110 (1992): 62--63; G. Marc'hadour, Études Anglaises 45 (1992): 202; C. M. Murphy, SCJ 22 (1991): 883--85; R. Zim, N&Q ns 40 (1993): 534. Revised version of the translation in the Norton edition.]

    69. Marshall, P. K., trans. Utopia: A New Translation. Intro. J. A. Scott. New York: Washington Square P, 1965. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 8 (1965): 97--99.]

    70. Ogden, H. V. S., trans. Utopia. New York: Apple-Century-Crofts, 1949. [A modern translation, but sometimes follows wording of Robynson's and Burnet's translations. Omits parerga.]

    71. Richards, C. G., trans. More's Utopia. Oxford: Blackwell, 1923. [Rev.: TLS 19 Apr. 1923: 263. A modern translation---a revised version of which, made by E. Surtz, provided the English text used in the Yale Edition of More's Utopia.]

    72. Sheehan, J., and J. P. Donnelly, trans. Utopia. Intro. and notes by J. P. Donnelly. Milwaukee: Marquette UP, 1984. [Rev.: E. McCutcheon, Moreana 93 (1987): 95--98. A modern translation. Omits parerga.]

    73. Surtz, E., trans. Utopia. Selected Works of St. Thomas More. New Haven: Yale UP, 1964. [Rev.: A. Prévost, Moreana 4 (1964): 93--97; P. Thomson, N&Q ns 12 (1965): 155--56; R. W. Zandvoort, English Studies 47 (1966): 218--19. See also Reviews of the Yale Edition of Utopia. Same translation as in CW4, which in turn is a revised version of C. G. Richard's 1923 translation.]

    74. Surtz, E., trans. "Utopia (abridged): Sir Thomas More." The Great Books Today, 1965. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1965. 372--437. ['Additions to the Great Books Library.' Abridged rpt. of the Yale translation.]

    75. Turner, P., trans. Utopia. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour and E. E. Reynolds, Moreana 8 (1965): 100--01; R. W. Zandvoort, English Studies 47 (1966): 219--20 and Moreana 15/16 (1967): 137--40. A very readable modern translation.] (cf. [24].)

    76. Turner, P., trans. Utopia. Lithographs by E. Bawden. London: Folio Society, 1972. [Same translation as Penguin edition.]


Studies of the English Translations

  • 77.
  • Binder, J. "More's Utopia in English: A Note on Translation." MLN 62 (1947): 370--76. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 229--33, 616. [On Ralph Robynson's 1551 translation.]

    78. Crossett, J. "An Omission in Robynson's Translation of More's Utopia." N&Q ns 7 (1960): 367. [Summ.: J. S. Phillipson, AES 3 (1960): 2671.]

    79. Logan, J. F. "Gilbert Burnet and his Whiggish Utopia." Moreana 46 (1975): 13--20. [On Burnet's translation of Utopia (1684) and his Whiggish treatment of More in his influential History of the Reformation of the Church of England (1679--1715).] (cf. [602].)

    80. McCutcheon, E. "More's Utopia as Commonplaced in Edward Pudsey's 'Booke' (Circa 1600)." See[605].

    81. McCutcheon, E. "Ten English Translations/Editions of Thomas More's Utopia." Utopian Studies 3:2 (1992): 102--20. [Summ.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 118/119 (1994): 266. A "review essay".]

    82. Peggram, R. E. "The First French and English Translations of Sir Thomas More's Utopia." MLR 35 (1940): 330--340. [Summ.: M. Itkonen-Kaila, Moreana 34 (1972): 42.] (cf. [92].)


French Translations

  • 83.
  • Blond, Iehan le, trans. La Description de l'isle d'Vtopie ov est comprins le miroer des republicques du monde, & l'exemplaire de vie heureuse.... Paris: Charles l'Angelier, 1550. Rev. by Berthélemy Aneau as La Republique d'Vtopie par Thomas Maure, chancelier d'Angleterre, oevvre grandement utile et profitable, demonstrant le parfait estat d'vne bien ordonnee politique.... Lyon: Jean Saugrain, 1559.

    84. Delcourt, M., ed. L'Utopie ou le traité de la meilleure forme de gouvernement. Brussels: Renaissance du Livre, 1966. Rpt. as L'Utopie, ou Le Traité de la meilleure forme de gouvernement. Notes by S. Goyard-Fabre. Paris: Flammarion, 1987. [Rev.: A. Prévost, Moreana 94 (1987): 71--73. See also [1].]

    85. Gueudeville, Nicolas, trans. L'Utopie de Thomas Morus, Chancelier d'Angleterre; Idee ingenieuse pour remedier au malheur de Hommes; & pour leur procurer une felicite complette.... Leyden: Van der Aa, 1715, 1717. Rpt. as Idée d'une République heureuse ou L'Utopie de Thomas Morus, Chancelier d'Angleterre. Contenant le plan d'une république dont les lois, les usages et les coutumes tendent uniquement à rendre heureuses les sociétés qui les suivront. Amsterdam: F. l'Honoré, 1730.

    86. Prévost, A., ed. L'Utopie de Thomas More.See[5].

    87. Rousseau, Thomas, trans. Tableau du meilleur gouvernement possible ou l'Utopie de Thomas Morus chancelier d'Angleterre.... Paris: Jombert Jeune, 1780. Rpt. as Du meilleur gouvernement possible, ou la nouvelle isle d'Utopie, de Thomas Morus.... Paris: J. Blanchon, 1789.

    88. Stouwenel, V., trans. L'Utopie. Scripta Manent 17. Paris: P. Renouard, 1927. Rpt. Brussels: Éditions Terres Latines, 1944.


Studies of the French Translations

  • 89.
  • Biot, B. "Berthélemy Aneau, Lecteur de l'Utopie.Moreana 121 (1995): 11--28. [Summ.: pp. 117--19. On Aneau's revisions to Leblond's translation of Utopia, and on Aneau's borrowings from Utopia in his own romance Alector.]

    90. Gury, J. "Thomas More traduit par Thomas Rousseau on une Utopie pour le Club des Jacobins." Moreana 49 (1976): 79--86.

    91. Hosington, B. "Early French translations of Thomas More's Utopia: 1550--1730." HL 33 (1984): 116--34.

    92. Peggram, R. E. "The First French and English Translations of Sir Thomas More's Utopia." See[82].


Spanish Translations

  • 93.
  • Alcalá, M., trans. La Utopía. Mexico: Porrua, 1975. 5th ed. 1985. [A Spanish translation.]

    94. Estrada, F. L. "Una temprana traducción española de la Utopiá de Tomás Moro." Hispanic Studies in Honour of Geoffrey Ribbans, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1992. 43--45. Trans. N. A. Cáceres. "Une Traduction espagnole précoce de l'Utopie de Thomas More." Moreana 111/112 (1992): 15--18. [Summ.: p. 197. On an unpublished Castillan translation of Utopia that predates Medillina's edition.]

    95. Estrada, F. L. "La Primera Versión española de la Utopía de Moro, por Jerónimo Antonio de Medinilla (Córdoba, 1637)." Collected Studies in Honour of Américo Castro's Eightieth Year. Ed. M. P. Hornik. The Richard Kronstein Foundation for the Promotion of Jewish and Cognate Studies. Oxford: Lincombe Lodge Research Library, 1965. 291-309. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 10 (1966): 111--13.]

    96. Hunt, L. "The First Spanish Translation of Utopia (1637)." Moreana 105 (1991): 21--41. [Summ.: M.-C. Rousseau (E./Fr.), p.39. On the translation by Medinilla of Book II only of the Utopia.]

    97. Jones, R. O. "Some Notes on More's Utopia in Spain." MLR 45 (1950): 478--82. [On the first Spanish translation of Utopia in 1637, and on the lack of earlier translations.]


Other Translations

  • 98.
  • Hsiang-chang, Kuo, trans. Wu T'o Pang. Taipei: Chen-chung Books, 1966. [Rev.: R. Po-chia Hsia, Moreana 69 (1981): 107--08; P. A. Sawada, Moreana 41 (1974): 25--29. A Chinese translation based on Robynson. See also translation of Liu Lin-sheng.]

    99. Itkonen-Kaila, M., trans. Utopia. Taskutieto 69. Helsinki: Porvoo, 1971. [Rev.: Itkonen-Kaila, M. ("Translating Utopia: 1. Some Aspects from the Finnish Point of View"), Moreana 34 (1972): 39--41, 45. A Finnish translation.]

    100. Kan, A. H., trans. Utopia. Intro. P. W. Brouwer. Rotterdam: Ad. Donker, 9th ed. 1990. [Rev.: I. Bejczy, Moreana 110 (1992): 49--50. A Dutch translation first published in 1950.]

    101. Kardos, T., trans. Utópia. Budapest: Európa Könyvkiadó, Rev. 4th Ed. 1989. [Rev.: P. W. Brouwer, Moreana 111/112 (1992): 158. A Hungarian translation first published in 1947.]

    102. Lin-sheng, Liu, trans. Wu T'o Pang. Shanghai: Shang-Wu Books, 1935. Rpt. Taipei: Taiwan Shang Wu Yin Shu Kuan, 1965. [Rev.: R. Po-chia Hsia, Moreana 69 (1981): 107--08; P. A. Sawada, Moreana 41 (1974): 25--29. A Chinese translation based on Robynson. See also translation of Kuo Hsiang-chang.]

    103. Morvannou, F., trans. An Utopia. Montroules/Morlaix: Special Issue of the Revue Planedenn, 1991. [Summ.: J. Gury, Moreana 108 (1991): 108. Rev.: Y. C. Gélébart, Moreana 115/116 (1993): 117--19. A Breton translation.]

    104. Ritter, G., trans. Utopia. Intro. H. Oncken. in Klassiker der Politik. Ed. F. Meinecke and H. Oncken. Berlin: R. Hobbing, 1922. [A German translation. Mainly important for Oncken's introduction, see [393].] (cf. [395].)

    105. Samaan, A. B., trans. Utopia. Cairo: Dar el-Maaref, 1974. [Rev.: M. A. Manzalaoui, Moreana 46 (1975): 47--60. An Arabic translation.]

    106. Sawada, P. A., trans. Thomas More. Sekai no Meicho [Great Books of the World] 17. Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1969. [Rev.: J. Roggendorf, Moreana 26 (1970): 105--06. The first Japanese translation to be based on the original Latin.]


II. Studies of Utopia

II.a. General Studies:

General Studies of Utopia

  • 107.
  • Adams, R. M., ed. "Criticism." Utopia: A New Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism By Sir Thomas More. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1975. 137--238. Rpt. 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 137--260. [Contains essays by or excerpts from the works of R. W. Chambers, Karl Kautsky, Russell Ames, J. H. Hexter, Robert C. Elliott, Harry Berger, C. S. Lewis, Elizabeth McCutcheon, and others. The 2nd rev. edition reprints some essays from the 1st edition, omits others, and adds five "new" essays. Some items listed separately.]

    108. Baker-Smith, D. More's Utopia. Unwin Critical Library. London: HarperCollinsAcademic, 1991. [Rev.: R, Keen, SCJ 24 (1993): 736--38; G. M. Logan, RES ns 45 (1994): 247--48 and Moreana 118/119 (1994): 222--27; M. M. López, St. Thomas More Gazette 4 (Nov. 1994): 7--10.]

    109. Brockhaus, H. Die Utopia-Schrift des Thomas Morus. Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalters und der Renaissance 37. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1929. [Rev.: Historische Zeitschrift 142 (1930): 276--78.]

    110. Campbell, W. E. More's Utopia and His Social Teaching.See[372].

    111. Donner, H. W. Introduction to Utopia. London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1945. Rpt. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries P, 1969.

    112. Dudok, G. Sir Thomas More and His Utopia. Amsterdam: H. J. Paris, A. J. Kruyt, H. J. Pores, 1923.

    113. Elliott, R. C. "The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre." ELH 30 (1964): 317--34. Rpt. in Sir Thomas More: Utopia. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975. 177--92. Rpt. 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 181--95.

    114. Elliott, R. C. The Shape of Utopia. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1970.

    115. Fox, A. Utopia: An Elusive Vision. Twayne Masterworks Studies 103. New York: Twayne, 1993. [Rev.: I. Bejczy, St. Thomas More Gazette 4 (Nov. 1994): 11--13; G. M. Logan, Moreana 118/119 (1994): 227--33.]

    116. Gallagher, L., ed. "Twentieth-Century Opinion." More's Utopia and its Critics. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1964. 91--170. [Contains essays by or excerpts from the works of Robert Bolt, Karl Kautsky, R. W. Chambers, Edward Surtz, David Bevington, Russell Ames, and others. Some items listed separately.]

    117. Hexter, J. H. "Introduction: Utopia and Its Historical Milieu." Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More.See[181].

    118. Hexter, J. H. More's Utopia: The Biography of an Idea. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1952. Rpt. with an epilogue. New York: Harper, 1965. Rpt. Westport, CT: Greenwood P, 1976. [Rev.: R. J. Schoeck, CHR 38 (1953): 448--49 and MLN 68 (1953): 498--500.]

    119. Logan, G. M. "Interpreting Utopia: Ten Recent Studies and the Modern Critical Editions." Moreana 118/119 (1994): 203--58. [A "Review article": reviews also listed separately.]

    120. Johnson, R. S. More's Utopia: Ideal and Illusion. New Haven: Yale UP, 1969. [Rev.: W. Allen, Moreana 25 (1970): 95--97; B. W. Beckingsale, N&Q ns 18 (1971): 232--33.]

    121. Jones, J. P. "The Humanist: Utopia." Thomas More. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall (Twayne), 1979. 59--77, 151--53. [Rev.: R. Griffin, ("Charting More's Utopia"), Science Fiction Studies 9 (1982); 215--16.]

    122. Nelson, W., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Utopia. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968. [Rev.: H. Meulon, Moreana 22 (1968): 18. Contains essays by or excerpts from the works of R. W. Chambers, H. W. Donner, Karl Kautsky, Gerhard Ritter, Russell Ames, J. H. Hexter, C. S. Lewis, Edward Surtz, David Bevington, T. S. Dorsch, and others. Some items listed separately.]

    123. Olin, J. C., ed. Interpreting Thomas More's Utopia. New York: Fordham UP, 1989. [Rev.: D. F. Donnelly, Moreana 100 (1992): 55--62; G. M. Logan, Moreana 118/119 (1994): 205--08; C. M. Murphy, SCJ 22 (1991): 883--84; A. Rabil, Jr., Church History 61 (1992): 406--07. Articles also listed separately.]

    124. Quarta, C. Tommaso Moro: Una reinterpretazione dell' Utopia. Bari: Edizioni Dedalo, 1991. [Rev.: E. Fabrizio, Moreana 121 (1995): 77--82.]

    125. Surtz, E. "Introduction." Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More. Ed. J. H. Hexter and E. Surtz. New Haven: Yale UP, 1965. cxxv--cxciv. [Surtz's introduction deals mainly with the literary art and the sources of Utopia. Complements Hexter's historical introduction (xv--cxxiv).]

    126. Surtz, E. The Praise of Pleasure: Philosophy, Education and Communism in More's Utopia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1957. Pp. 161--74 rpt. as "Humanism and Communism." in Utopia: A Revised Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 169--81. [Rev.: R. P. Adams, RenN 11 (1958): 129--33; R. W. Zandvoort, English Studies 41 (1957): 331--33.]

    127. Surtz, E. The Praise of Wisdom: A Commentary on the Religious and Moral Problems and Backgrounds of St. Thomas More's Utopia. Chicago: Loyola UP, 1957. [Rev.: R. W. Zandvoort, English Studies 41 (1957): 331--33; E. F. Rice, Jr., ARG 57 (1960): 112--13; C. R. Thompson, RenN 12 (1959): 203--08.] (cf. [435].)

    128. Süssmuth, H. Studien zur Utopia des Thomas Morus. Ein Beitrag zur Geistesgeschichte des 16. Jahrhunderts. Reformationsgeschichtliche Studien und Texte 95. Münster: Aschendorff, 1967. [Rev.: H. W. Donner, Moreana 36 (1972): 87--91. Detailed analysis of classical sources and contemporary interpretations of Utopia.]

    129. Trevor-Roper, H. "The Intellectual World of Sir Thomas More." American Scholar 48 (Winter 1978/79): 19--32.

    130. Trevor-Roper, H. "Sir Thomas More and Utopia." Renaissance Essays. London: Secker & Warburg, 1985; Rpt. Fontana Books, 1986. 24--58. [Combines two earlier articles: "The Intellectual World of Sir Thomas More," and another in Atti dei Convegni Lincei (1980).]


II.b. Genre, Composition, Parerga, Book I and Conclusion:

Genre and Interpretation

  • 131.
  • Abrash, M. "Missing the Point in More's Utopia." Extrapolation 19 (1977): 27--38.

    132. Blaim, A. "More's Utopia: Persuasion or Polyphony?" See[224].

    133. Blaim, A. "The Genre Structure of More's Utopia and the Tradition of Carnivalized Literature." Revista canaria de estudios ingleses 6 (1983): 1--14. [Blaim first emphasizes the polyphony of different genre conventions, but then locates Utopia within the tradition of mennipean satire and carnivalesque literature.] (cf. [252].)

    134. Brann, E. "An Exquisite Platform: Utopia." Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy 3 (1972): 1--26.

    135. Chambers, R. W. "The Meaning of Utopia," and "Utopia and the Problems of 1516." Thomas More. London: Jonathan Cape, 1935. 125--44. Rpt. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 1958. Rpt. London: Penguin Books in Association with Jonathan Cape (A Peregrine Book), 1963. 118--37. Pp. 125--32, 135--37, 143--44 rpt. in Utopia: A New Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1975. 148--59. Rpt. 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 137--47. [Chambers argues that the virtues of the pagan Utopians show up the vices of Christian Europe, and that the "underlying thought of Utopia always is, With nothing save Reason to guide them, the Utopians do this; and yet we Christian Englishmen, we Europeans...."]

    136. Coles, P. "The Interpretation of More's Utopia." HibbertJ 56 (1958): 365--70. [Summ.: J. O. Waller, AES 1 (1958): 1773. Literature vs. politics: Coles opts for politics.]

    137. Donner, H. W. "The Interpretation of Utopia." Studia Neophilologica 15 (1943): 43--48. [Donner follows Chambers: The First Book offers practical suggestions for reform, the Second Book is ironical.]

    138. Fox, A. "In Search of the Real Thomas More: An Approach to Utopia." Thomas More: The Rhetoric of Character. Ed. A. Fox and P. Leech. Dunedin: U of Otago (A University Extension Publication), 1979. 17--34, 103--06. [Summ.: P. Leech, ibid., pp. 6--8; A. J. Geritz, ELR 22 (1992): 123.]

    139. Fox, A. "The Morean Synthesis: Utopia." Thomas More: History and Providence. New Haven: Yale UP, 1983. 50--75. Pp. 53--75 rpt. without most of Fox's notes as "[An Intricate, Intimate Compromise.]" in Utopia: A Revised Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 154--69. [Rev.: W. G. Palmer, Southern Humanities Review 19 (1985): 354--55.]

    140. Hay, D. "Sir Thomas More's Utopia: Literature or Politics." Rendiconti dell' Academia Nazionale dei Lincei 175 (1972): 3--17. Rpt. in Renaissance Essays. London: Hambledon P, 1988. 249--63. (cf. [180].)

    141. Hexter, J. H. "Das 'dritte Moment' der Utopia und seine Bedeutung." Utopieforschung: Interdisziplinäre Studien zur neuzeitlichen Utopie. Ed. W. Voßkamp. 3 vols. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1982. 2: 151--67.

    142. Lewis, C. S. "[Utopia.]" English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama. Oxford History of English Literature, Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1954. 167--71. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 389--92. Rpt. as "[A Jolly Invention.]" in Utopia: A New Translation, Backgrounds, Criticism. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1975. 217--20. [For Lewis Utopia has more to do with fiction and satire than the history of political thought, it is: "a holiday work, a spontaneous overflow of intellectual high spirits, a revel of debate, paradox, comedy and (above all) of invention".]

    143. Ludwig, H.-W. "Thomas More's Utopia: Historical Setting and Literary Effectiveness." Intellectuals and Writers in Fourteenth-Century Europe: The J. A. W. Bennett Lectures, Perugia, 1984. Ed. P. Boitani and A. Torti. Tübingen: Gunter Narr; Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1986. 244--64. (cf. [190].)

    144. Marius, R. "The Building of Utopia," and "Utopia's Religion and Thomas More's Faith." Thomas More: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. Rpt. Vintage Books, 1985. 152--88, 531. [Rev.: W. G. Palmer, Southern Humanities Review 19 (1985): 356--57.] (cf. [431].)

    145. Palmer, W. G. "Still More on Utopia: A Revival of The Catholic Interpretation? A Review Essay." Southern Humanities Review 19 (1985): 347--58. [Reviews interpretations of Hexter, Fenlon, Bradshaw, Fox and Marius.]

    146. Prévost, A. "L'Utopie: le genre litteraire." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 161--68.

    147. Sanderlin, G. "The Meaning of Thomas More's Utopia." College English 12 (1950/51): 74--77. [Emphasises the literary quality of Utopia.]

    148. Sawada, P. A. "Toward the Definition of Utopia." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 135--46. (cf. [434].)

    149. Sowards, J. K. "Some Factors in the Re-Evaluation of Thomas More's Utopia." Northwest Missouri State College Studies 16 (1952): 31--58.

    150. Surtz, E. L. "Interpretations of Utopia." CHR 38 (1952): 156--74. [On three interpretations of Utopia: a) as a jeu d'esprit, b) as a serious program for action, or c) the "Catholic" interpretation, that Utopia is essentially a document of humanistic reform. Surtz opts for the third.]

    151. Suzuki, Y. "Utopia Reinterpreted." Moreana 67/68 [Thomas More Gazette 2] (1980): 31--34.

    152. Wooden, W. W. "Utopia and Dystopia: The Paradigm of Thomas More's Utopia." Southern Humanities Review 14:2 (1980): 97--110. [Summ.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 69 (1981): 114 + 78 (1983): 29--30.]

    See also Utopia: Book One, Europe, the 'Dialogue of Counsel,' and Reform and Utopia: Social and Political Philosophy


More's Utopian Embassy of 1515 and the Composition of Utopia

  • 153.
  • Hexter, J. H. "Introduction: The Composition of Utopia," and "Appendix A: More's Visit to Antwerp in 1515." Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More. Ed. E. Surtz and J. H. Hexter. New Haven: Yale UP, 1965. xv--xxiii, 571--76. Rpt. as Appendices A and B to Chapter 2: "The Utopian Vision: Thomas More. Utopia and Its Historical Milieux." The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel. New York: Basic Books; London: Allen Lane, 1973. 138--49.

    154. O'Brien, B. "J. H. Hexter and the Text of Utopia: A Reappraisal." Moreana 110 (1992): 19--32. [Summ.: p. 32. In opposition to Hexter, O'Brien suggests that More kept revising Book II as he went along, making it less of a political statement, and strengthening the complex ironies of the work.]

    155. Starnes, C. "Appendix: On Hexter's Account of More's Visit to Antwerp in 1515." The New Republic: A Commentary on Book I of More's Utopia Showing Its Relation to Plato's Republic. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 1990. 109--11.

    156. Surtz, E. "St Thomas More and his Utopian Embassy of 1515." CHR 39 (1953/4): 272--97. [The standard account of More's 1515 diplomatic mission.]


Prefatory Letters and Parerga

  • 157.
  • Allen, P. R. "Utopia and European Humanism: the Function of the Prefatory Letters and Verses." SRen 10 (1963): 91--107.

    158. Astell, A. W. "Rhetorical Strategy and the Fiction of Audience in More's Utopia." See[240].

    159. Bleiler, E. F. "Pieter Gillis and More's Utopia." Extrapolation 27 (1986): 304--19. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 97 (1988): 112--14.] (cf. [278].)

    160. Blom, N. van der. "2 x unus = ?? (à propos de l'Utopie 42/5 et de Allen II 467.17)." Moreana 36 (1972): 39--46. [Two notes: 1. Erasmus as 'Bishop of Utopia'; 2. on More's Letter to Erasmus, 20th Sept. 1516 about Utopia.]

    161. Blom, N. van der. "Érasme évêque d'Utopie." Moreana 59/60 (1978): 31--34. [Suggests that Erasmus's "Declamatiuncula" (LB IV: cols. 623--624) is a mock-acceptance speech for the position of Bishop of Utopia. See also G. Marc'hadour, and H. Gibaud, "Election ou ordination?" ([430]).]

    162. Derrett, J. D. M. "The Utopian Alphabet." Moreana 12 (1966): 61--66.

    163. Garanderie, M.-M. de la. "Guillaume Budé lecteur de l'Utopie." Miscellanea Moreana. 327--38. [Summ.: Moreana 98/99 (1988): 161, 255--56.]

    164. Kouskoff, G. "IUS, FAS, AEQUUM: analyse de mots-clés." Moreana 73 (1982): 109--10. [On certain doublets in Budé's Prefatory Letter.]

    165. McCutcheon, E. "Mendacium Dicere and Mentiri: A Utopian Crux." Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Sanctandreani. 449--57.

    166. McCutcheon, E. My Dear Peter: The Ars Poetica and Hermeneutics for More's Utopia. Angers: Éditions Moreana, 1983. [Rev.: J. Gury, Moreana 77 (1983): 49--51; A. F. Kinney, Moreana 78 (1983): 25--28 and RenQ 40 (1987): 121--23.] (cf. [247].)

    167. McKinnon, D. G. "The Marginal Glosses in More's Utopia: The Character of the Commentator." Renaissance Papers, 1970. Ed. D. G. Donovan. Columbus, SC: The Southeastern Renaissance Conference: 1971. 11--19.

    168. O'Grady, W. "A Note on Busleyden's Letter to Thomas More." Moreana 11 (1966): 33--38.

    169. Pons, E. "Les langues imaginaires dans le voyage utopique. Un précurseur: Thomas Morus." See[281].

    170. Schoeck, R. J. "The Ironic and the Prophetic: Towards Reading More's Utopia as a Multidisciplinary Work." Quincentennial Essays. 124--34. Rev. vers. as "More's Utopia and Intertextuality." Intertextuality and Renaissance Texts. Gratia, Bamberger Schriften zur Renaissanceforschung 12. Bamberg: H. Kaiser-Verlag, 1984. 83--105. [Analyses Budé's letter to Lupset in the Utopia parerga.]

    171. Schroeder, K. "Jerome de Busleyden and Thomas More." Moreana 121 (1995): 3--10. [Summ.: p. 117. On More's meeting with Busleyden in 1515, and on Busleyden's prefatory letter to Utopia.]

    172. Surtz, E. "More's Apologia pro Utopia sua." MLQ 19 (1958): 319--24. [Summ.: J. Webber, AES 2 (1959): 907.]

    173. Truchet, S. "The Eutopians." Cahiers Elisabethains 28 (1985): 17--22. [On the Christian Humanist "Eutopian" authors of the Prefatory Letters to Utopia.]

    174. Wooden, W. W. "A Reconsideration of the Parerga of Thomas More's Utopia." Quincentennial Essays. 151--60.

    175. Wooden, W. W., and J. N. Wall. "Thomas More and the Painter's Eye: Visual Perspective and Artistic Purpose in More's Utopia." JMRS 15 (1985): 231--63.


Book One, Europe, the 'Dialogue of Counsel,' and Reform

  • 176.
  • Bradshaw, B. "More on Utopia." HJ 24 (1981): 1--27. [Rev.: W. G. Palmer, Southern Humanities Review 19 (1985): 351--54.] (cf. [198].)

    177. Davis, J. C. "More, Morton, and the Politics of Accommodation." JBS 9:2 (1970): 27--49. [On More's treatment of Morton in Richard III and the Utopia.]

    178. Fenlon, D. B. "England and Europe: Utopia and its Aftermath." TRHS 5th ser. 25 (1975): 115--35. [Rev.: W. G. Palmer, Southern Humanities Review 19 (1985): 349--51. Utopia as part polis, part family and part monastery.]

    179. Hammond, E. R. "Nature---Reason---Justice in Utopia and Gulliver's Travels." See[551].

    180. Hay, D. "Sir Thomas More's Utopia: Literature or Politics." See[140].

    181. Hexter, J. H. "Introduction: Utopia and Its Historical Milieu." Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More. New Haven: Yale UP, 1965. xxiii--cxxiv. Rpt. as "The Utopian Vision: Thomas More. Utopia and Its Historical Milieux." The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel. New York: Basic Books; London, Allen Lane, 1973. 19--107, 117--37. (cf. [117].)

    182. Hexter, J. H. "Thomas More and the Problem of Counsel." Quincentennial Essays. 55--66.

    183. Hexter, J. H. "Utopia and Geneva." Action and Conviction in Early Modern Europe. Ed. T. K. Rabb and J. E. Seigel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1969. 77--89. Rpt. in The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, and Seyssel. New York: Basic Books; London: Allen Lane, 1973. 107--17. [Hexter treats Utopia as a straight-forward program. See Fenlon "England and Europe: Utopia and its aftermath," for a corrective to Hexter's rather simpleminded view of Calvin's Geneva as the embodiment of More's utopian reform program.]

    184. Johnson, R. S. "The Argument for Reform in More's Utopia." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 123--34.

    185. Jones, E. "Commoners and Kings: Book One of More's Utopia." Medieval Studies for J. A. W. Bennett: Aetatis Suae LXX. Ed. P. L. Heyworth. Oxford, Clarendon P, 1981. 255--72. [Summ.: P. Boitani, SAC 5 (1983): 168--69. Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 78 (1983): 31--32.]

    186. Khanna, L. C. "Utopia: The Case for Open-mindedness in the Commonwealth." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 91--105. [The consistent theme of Utopia is the importance of open-mindedness for the improvement of the social order.] (cf. [386].)

    187. Lehmberg, S. E. "English Humanists, the Reformation, and the Problem of Counsel." ARG 52 (1961): 74--91. [More, Elyot and Starkey on the problem of counsel.]

    188. Levine, J. M. "Method in the History of Ideas: More, Machiavelli and Quentin Skinner." Annals of Scholarship 3:4 (1986): 37--60. [Pp. 52--56, 59--60 is a "response" to Skinner's discussion of More in Vol. 1 of Foundations of Political Thought (1978), and Skinner's "review article" on Utopia in Past and Present (1967) (see [20]). Skinner has since reversed some of his earlier positions, see "Sir Thomas More's Utopia and the Language of Renaissance Humanism" ([198]).]

    189. Logan, G. M. "Utopia and Deliberative Rhetoric." Moreana 118/119 (1994): 103--20. [Summ.: pp. 293--94. A detailed examination of Book I and its relation to the topoi of deliberative rhetoric especially honestas and utilitas.] (cf. [246].)

    190. Ludwig, H.-W. "Thomas More's Utopia: Historical Setting and Literary Effectiveness." See[143].

    191. McCutcheon, E. "War Games in Utopia." See[359].

    192. Mason, H. A. "More's Utopia: The Vindication of Christian Humanism." Humanism and Poetry in the Early Tudor Period. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959. 104--40. [A profound and truly seminal meditation on More's Utopia as an expression of the ideals of Christian Humanism. Criticizes Donner's and Chamber's interpretations.]

    193. Norbrook, D. "The Utopia and Radical Humanism." Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. 18--31, 288--91. [Reflects influence of J. G. A. Pocock and Q. Skinner.]

    194. Perlette, J. M. "Of Sites and Parasites: The Centrality of the Marginal Anecdote in Book 1 of More's Utopia." ELH 54 (1987): 231--52.

    195. Quattrocki, E. "Injustice, not Councilorship: The Theme of Book One of Utopia." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 19--28.

    196. Schoeck, R. J. "The Intellectual Milieu of More's Utopia: Some Notes." Moreana 1 (1963): 40--46. [On the 5th Lateran Council, Oxford and Cambridge, St. Anselm's Cur Deus Homo and the English law courts as backgrounds to Utopia.]

    197. Skinner, Q. "Political Philosophy: Sir Thomas More, Utopia and its Context." The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Ed. C. S. Schmitt, Q. Skinner, E. Kessler, and J. Kraye. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 448--52. [Essentially a summary of "Sir Thomas More's Utopia and the Language of Renaissance Humanism."]

    198. Skinner, Q. "Sir Thomas More's Utopia and the Language of Renaissance Humanism." The Languages of Political Theory in Early-Modern Europe. Ed. A. Pagden. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987. 123--57. [Summ.: A. J. Geritz, ELR 22 (1992): 123. Rev.: G. M. Logan, Moreana 118/119 (1994): 208--15. On otium, negotium, true nobility, and 'The Best State of a Commonwealth'. A very tightly argued paper; retracts some of his earlier statements in Foundations of Modern Political Thought and Past and Present (see [20]). See also B. Bradshaw, "More on Utopia" ([176]).] (cf. [188].)

    199. Skinner, Q. "Utopia and the Critique of Humanism." The Foundations of Modern Political Thought. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1978. I: 255--62.

    200. Slavin, A. J. "Consilium et timor mortis: On Speaking, Writing and Silence in Utopia." Ren&Ref 16:3 (1992): 17--30. [Summ.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 118/119 (1994): 268.]

    201. Starnes, C. The New Republic.See[489].

    See also Utopia: Dialogue, Dialectic and Drama and Utopia: Social and Political Philosophy


Raphael Hythloday as Narrator

  • 202.
  • Allen, W. S. "Hythloday and the Root of all Evil." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 51--60.

    203. Coogan, R. "Nunc vivo ut volo." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 29--45.

    204. Gury, J. "Raphaël Hythlodée et Isaïe." Moreana 41 (1974): 107.

    205. Hammond, E. R. "Hythloday's Questions: Clues to his Character? Or Provokers of Thought?" Moreana 70 (1981): 25--27.

    206. McCutcheon, E. "Thomas More, Raphael Hythlodaeus, and the Angel Raphael." SEL 9 (1965): 21--38.

    207. Miller, C. H. "Style and meaning in More's Utopia: Hythloday's Sentences and Diction." Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Hafniensis. 675--83. [Miller argues Hythloday's brief sentences and "universalist" diction in praise of Utopia are indicative of his narrow-mindedness and naiveté (G. M. Logan).]

    208. Mortimer, A. "Hythlodaeus and Persona More: The Narrative Voices of Utopia." Cahiers Elisabethains 28 (1985): 23--35.

    209. Opanasets, N. "More Platonism." Review of Politics 51 (1989): 412--34. [Summ.: p.412. On Raphael Hythloday and Socrates.] (cf. [486].)

    210. Rudat, W. E. H. "More's Raphael Hythloday: Missing the Point in Utopia Once More." Moreana 69 (1981): 41--64.

    211. Rudat, W. E. H. "Thomas More, Hythloday, and Odysseus: An Anatomy of Utopia." American Imago 37 (1980): 38--48. [Summ.: p. 47--48. A psychoanalytic study.]

    212. Seeber, H. U. "Hythloday as Preacher and a Possible Debt to Macrobius." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 71--86.

    213. Surtz, E. "'Like a Fountain Stirred.'" Ed. E. McCutcheon. Moreana 77 (1983): 53--65. [On the role of Hythloday, the 'symbol of the council' and the art of drama in Utopia.] (cf. [236].)

    214. Sylvester, R. S. "'Si Hythlodaeo Credimus': Vision and Revision in Thomas More's Utopia." Soundings 51 (1968): 272--89. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 290--301, 630--31.

    215. Weiner, A. D. "Raphael's Eutopia and More's Utopia: Christian Humanism and the Limits of Reason." HLQ 39 (1975): 1--27.

    216. Wilson, N. G. "The Name Hythlodaeus." See[289].

    217. Wooden, W. W. "Satiric Strategy in More's Utopia: The Case of Raphael Hythloday." See[267].


The Conclusion of Utopia

  • 218.
  • Allen, W. S. "The Tone of More's Farewell to Utopia: A Reply to J. H. Hexter." Moreana 51 (1976): 108--18.

    219. Hexter, J. H. "Intention, Words and Meaning: The Case of More's Utopia." New Literary History 6 (1976) 529--41.

    220. McCabe, R. A. "Ut publica est opinio: An Utopian Irony." Neophilologus 72 (1988): 633--39. (cf. [256].)

    221. Mezciems, J. "Utopia and 'the Thing which is not': More, Swift, and Others Lying Idealists." See[553].

    222. White, T. I. "Festivitas, Utilitas, et Opes: The Concluding Irony and Philosophical Purpose of Thomas More's Utopia." Quincentennial Essays. 134--50. (cf. [265].)


II.c. Literary Studies

Dialogue, Dialectic and Drama

  • 223.
  • Bevington, D. M. "The Dialogue in Utopia: Two Sides of the Question." SP 58 (1961): 496--509. Rpt. in More's Utopia And its Critics. Ed. L. Gallagher. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1964. 160--70. Rpt. as "The Divided Mind." Twentieth Century Interpretations of Utopia. Ed. W. Nelson. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 76--87. [Summ.: W. O. Harris, AES 5 (1962): 1744.]

    224. Blaim, A. "More's Utopia: Persuasion or Polyphony?" Moreana 73 (1982): 5--20. (cf. [132].)

    225. Bertagnoni, M. "Discordia concors: Utopia e Il Dialogo del conforto." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 183--89. [Summ.: G. Marc'hadour, p. 189. More used the dialogue form in both Utopia and the Dialogue of Comfort to dramatise inner conflicts.]

    226. Brückmann, P. "In familiari colloquio: An Intervention in Utopia." Familiar Colloquy: Essays Presented to Arthur Edward Barker. Ed. P. Brückmann. Ottawa, Ont.: Oberon Press (for U of Western Ontario), 1978. 9--14.

    227. Campbell, W. E. "More's Utopia." See[370].

    228. Cavanaugh, J. R. "Utopia: Sound from Somewhere." Moreana 35 (1972): 27--38. [On elements of orality in the text of More's Utopia.]

    229. Crossett, J. "More and Seneca." PQ 40 (1961): 577--80. [Summ.: J. B. Shipley, AES 5 (1962): 1366.] (cf. [463].)

    230. Gordon, W. M. "Dialogue, Myth and More's Utopian Drama." Cithara 25:1 (1985): 19--34.

    231. Grace, D. "Utopia: A Dialectical Interpretation." Miscellanea Moreana. 273--302. [Summ.: Moreana 98/99 (1988): 160, 254--55.]

    232. McLean, A. M. "Thomas More's Utopia as Dialogue and City Encomium." Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Guelpherbytani. 91--97. (cf. [314].)

    233. Perlette, J. M. "Irresolution as Solution: Rhetoric and the Unresolved Debate in Book I of More's Utopia." See[249].

    234. Schoeck, R. J. "'A Nursery of Correct and Useful Institutions': On Reading More's Utopia as Dialogue." Moreana 22 (1969): 19--32. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 281--89, 627--30.

    235. Schaeffer, J. D. "Socratic Method in More's Utopia." See[487].

    236. Surtz, E. "'Like a Fountain Stirred.'" See[213].

    237. Wegemer, G. "The Rhetoric of Opposition in Thomas More's Utopia: Giving Form to Competing Philosophies." See[250].

    238. Williamson, G. "Sir Thomas More's View of Drama." MLN 43 (1928): 294--96.


Rhetoric, Fiction and Poetics

  • 239.
  • Altman, J. B. "Propedeutic for Drama: Questions as Fiction." See[506].

    240. Astell, A. W. "Rhetorical Strategy and the Fiction of Audience in More's Utopia." Centennial Review 29 (1985): 302--19. [On the parerga and on More's contemporary humanist audience.] (cf. [158].)

    241. Baker-Smith, D. "The Location of Utopia: Narrative Devices in a Renaissance Fiction." Addressing Frank Kermode: Essays in Criticism and Interpretation. Ed. M. Tudeau-Clayton and M. Warner. London: MacMillan P, 1991. 109--23. (cf. [318].)

    242. Davis, W. R. "Thomas More's Utopia as Fiction." Centennial Review 24 (1980): 249--68. [Summ.: G. Marc'hadour and H. Gibaud, Moreana 69 (1981): 113 + 79/80 (1983): 143. Utopia as a humanist fiction: "a new way, a hypothetical way, of thinking about life."]

    243. Kinney, A. F. "Encomium Sapientiae: Thomas More and Utopia." Humanist Poetics: Thought, Rhetoric, and Fiction in Sixteenth-century England. Amherst, MA: U of Massachusetts P, 1986. 57--88, 461--68.

    244. Kinney, A. F. Rhetoric and Poetic in Thomas More's Utopia. Malibu: Undena, 1979. [Rev.: E. McCutcheon, Moreana 69 (1981): 111--13.]

    245. Kinney, A. F. "Rhetoric as Poetic: Humanist Fiction in the Renaissance." ELH 43 (1976): 413--43. [On Erasmus' Praise of Folly, More's Utopia and Gasciogne's The Adventures of Master F. J.] (cf. [515].)

    246. Logan, G. M. "Utopia and Deliberative Rhetoric." See[189].

    247. McCutcheon, E. My Dear Peter: The Ars Poetica and Hermeneutics for More's Utopia.See[166].

    248. New, P. Fiction and Purpose in Utopia, Rasselas, The Mill on the Floss and Women in Love. London: MacMillan, 1985. 12--82, 308--10.

    249. Perlette, J. M. "Irresolution as Solution: Rhetoric and the Unresolved Debate in Book I of More's Utopia." TSLL 29 (1987): 28--53. (cf. [233].)

    250. Wegemer, G. "The Rhetoric of Opposition in Thomas More's Utopia: Giving Form to Competing Philosophies." Philosophy and Rhetoric 23 (1990): 288--306. (cf. [237].)


Irony, Paradox, Humour and Satire

  • 251.
  • Barnes, W. G. "Irony and the English Apprehension of Renewal." Queens Quarterly 73 (1966): 357--76. [On irony in More's Utopia and Sidney's Apology.] (cf. [507].)

    252. Blaim, A. "The Genre Structure of More's Utopia and the Tradition of Carnivalized Literature." See[133].

    253. Fox, A. "Paradox Equivocation: The Self-Subversiveness of Thomas More's Utopia." Politics and Literature in the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989. 92--107.

    254. Heiserman, A. R. "Satire in the Utopia." PMLA 78 (1963): 163--74.

    255. Kennedy, W. J. "The Style of Ironic Discourse: More's Utopia." Rhetorical Norms in Renaissance Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 1978. 94--104, 211--12.

    256. McCabe, R. A. "Ut publica est opinio: An Utopian Irony." See[220].

    257. McCutcheon, E. "Puns, Paradoxes, and Heuristic Inquiry: The De Servis Section of More's Utopia." Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Torontensis. 91--99. (cf. [390].)

    258. Nagel, A. F. "Lies and the Limitable Inane: Contradiction in More's Utopia." RenQ 26 (1973): 173--80. (cf. [335].)

    259. Reilly, E. J. "Irony in Gulliver's Travels and Utopia." See[555].

    260. Rossetti, L. "Les paradoxes d'Utopia." Moreana 103 (1990): 41--48. [Summ.: pp. 47--48.]

    261. Rudat, W. E. H. "Classical Allusion and Dissociating Irony in More's Utopia." The Mutual Commerce: Masters of Classical Allusion in English and American Literature. Heidelberg: Winter, 1985. 49--58.

    262. Stevens, I. N. "Aesthetic Distance in the Utopia." Moreana 43/44 (1974): 13--24.

    263. Vickers, B. "The Satiric Structure of Gulliver's Travels and More's Utopia." See[557].

    264. Voisine, J. "Fiction littéraire et satire politique: l'Utopie de Thomas More à l'origine d'un nouveau genre." Cahiers de l'U. E. R. Froissart [Université de Valenciennes] no. 4 (1980): 61--72. [Summ.: J. Gury, Moreana 73 (1982): 61.]

    265. White, T. I. "Festivitas, Utilitas, et Opes: The Concluding Irony and Philosophical Purpose of Thomas More's Utopia." See[222].

    266. Wooden, W. W. "Anti-Scholastic Satire in Sir Thomas More's Utopia." SCJ 8:Supp. (1977): 29--45.

    267. Wooden, W. W. "Satiric Strategy in More's Utopia: The Case of Raphael Hythloday." Renaissance Papers. 1977: 1--9. (cf. [217].)

    268. Wooden, W. W. "Sir Thomas More, Satirist: A Study of the Utopia as Literary Satire." Diss. Vanderbilt U, Nashville, Tennessee, 1971. [DAI 32/2 (1971): 938A.]

    269. Wooden, W. W. "The Wit of Thomas More's Utopia." Studies in the Humanities 7:2 (1979): 43--51.

    270. Wooden, W. W. "Thomas More and Lucian: A Study in Satiric Influence and Technique." See[459].


Latin Style

  • 271.
  • Fyfe, W. H. "Tacitus's Germania and More's Utopia." See[466].

    272. McCutcheon, E. "Denying the Contrary: More's Use of Litotes in the Utopia." Moreana 31/32 (1971): 107--21. Rpt. in Essential Articles. 263--74, 623--5. Pp. 116--21 rpt. in Sir Thomas More: Utopia. Ed. R. M. Adams. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975. 224--30. Rpt. 2nd rev. ed. 1992. 224--29.

    273. McCutcheon, E. "The Language of Utopian Negation: Book II of More's Utopia." Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Bononiensis. 510--19.

    274. Monsuez, R. "Le Latin de Thomas More dans Utopia." Annales publiées par la Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines de Toulouse ns 2/1. Caliban 3 (1966): 35--78. [Rev.: G. Marc'hadour, Moreana 11 (1966): 91--92.]

    275. Surtz, E. "Aspects of More's Latin Style in Utopia." SRen 14 (1967): 93--109.

    276. Surtz, E. "Appendix B: Vocabulary and Diction in Utopia." Utopia. Vol. 4 of The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More. Ed. E. Surtz and J. H. Hexter. New Haven: Yale UP, 1965. 577--82.


Names in Utopia and the Utopian Language

  • 277.
  • Allen, W. "Speculations on St. Thomas More's Use of Hesychius." PQ 46 (1967): 156--66. [On the possible derivations of some Greek names in Utopia from Hesychius's Greek dictionary, and on their Gnostic origins.] (cf. [420].)

    278. Bleiler, E. F. "Pieter Gillis and More's Utopia." See[159].

    279. Hermann, L. L'Utopien et le Lanternois. Les pseudonymes et les cryptogrammes français de Thomas More et de François Rabelais. Paris: Nizet, 1981. [Rev.: E. McCutcheon, Moreana 73 (1982): 41--42; J. Voisine, RLC 57 (1983): 113--14.] (cf. [545].)

    280. Picton, J. A. et al. "Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia.'" N&Q 77 (1888): 101--02, 229--31, 371. [Argument about the origins of the name 'Utopia': 'Eutopia' (Good-place) vs. 'Outopia' (No-place).]

    281. Pons, E. "Les langues imaginaires dans le voyage utopique. Un précurseur: Thomas Morus." RLC 10 (1930): 589--607. [On the names in Utopia, includes an analysis of the Utopian Tetrastich in the parerga.] (cf. [169].)

    282. Preston, R. "The Macarian King and the Eight Beatitudes." Moreana

For other written works, see Utopia (disambiguation).

Utopia (Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia) is a work of fiction and socio-politicalsatire by Thomas More (1478–1535) published in 1516 in Latin. The book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. Many aspects of More's description of Utopia are reminiscent of life in monasteries.[1]


The title De optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia literally translates, "Of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia".

It is variously rendered as any of the following:

On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia
Concerning the Highest State of the Republic and the New Island Utopia
On the Best State of a Commonwealth and on the New Island of Utopia
Concerning the Best Condition of the Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia
On the Best Kind of a Republic and About the New Island of Utopia
About the Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia

The original name was even longer: Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia. This translates, "A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia".

"Utopia" is derived from the Greek prefix "ou-" (οὐ), meaning "not", and topos (τόπος), "place", with the suffix -iā (-ία) that is typical of toponyms; hence the name literally means "nowhere", emphasizing its fictionality. In early modern English, Utopia was spelled "Utopie", which is today rendered Utopy in some editions.[2]

A common misunderstanding has that "Utopia" is derived from eu- (eὐ), "good", and "topos", such that it would literally translate as "good place".[3]

In English, Utopia is pronounced exactly as Eutopia (the latter word, in Greek Εὐτοπία [Eutopiā], meaning “good place,” contains the prefix εὐ- [eu-], "good", with which the οὐ of Utopia has come to be confused in the English pronunciation).[4] This is something that More himself addresses in an addendum to his book Wherfore not Utopie, but rather rightely my name is Eutopie, a place of felicitie.[5]


Preliminary matter[edit]

The first edition contained a woodcut map of the island of Utopia, the Utopian alphabet, verses by Pieter Gillis, Gerard Geldenhouwer, and Cornelius Grapheus, and Thomas More's epistle dedicating the work to Gillis.[6]

Book 1: Dialogue of Counsel[edit]

The work begins with written correspondence between Thomas More and several people he had met on the continent: Peter Gilles, town clerk of Antwerp, and Hieronymus van Busleyden, counselor to Charles V. More chose these letters, which are communications between actual people, to further the plausibility of his fictional land. In the same spirit, these letters also include a specimen of the Utopian alphabet and its poetry. The letters also explain the lack of widespread travel to Utopia; during the first mention of the land, someone had coughed during announcement of the exact longitude and latitude. The first book tells of the traveller Raphael Hythlodaeus, to whom More is introduced in Antwerp, and it also explores the subject of how best to counsel a prince, a popular topic at the time.

The first discussions with Raphael allow him to discuss some of the modern ills affecting Europe such as the tendency of kings to start wars and the subsequent loss of money on fruitless endeavours. He also criticises the use of execution to punish theft, saying thieves might as well murder whom they rob, to remove witnesses, if the punishment is going to be the same. He lays most of the problems of theft on the practice of enclosure—the enclosing of common land—and the subsequent poverty and starvation of people who are denied access to land because of sheep farming.

More tries to convince Raphael that he could find a good job in a royal court, advising monarchs, but Raphael says that his views are too radical and wouldn't be listened to. Raphael sees himself in the tradition of Plato: he knows that for good governance, kings must act philosophically. He, however, points out that:

Plato doubtless did well foresee, unless kings themselves would apply their minds to the study of philosophy, that else they would never thoroughly allow the council of philosophers, being themselves before, even from their tender age, infected and corrupt with perverse and evil opinions.

More seems to contemplate the duty of philosophers to work around and in real situations and, for the sake of political expediency, work within flawed systems to make them better, rather than hoping to start again from first principles.

... for in courts they will not bear with a man's holding his peace or conniving at what others do: a man must barefacedly approve of the worst counsels and consent to the blackest designs, so that he would pass for a spy, or, possibly, for a traitor, that did but coldly approve of such wicked practices

Book 2: Discourse on Utopia[edit]

Utopia is placed in the New World and More links Raphael's travels in with Amerigo Vespucci's real life voyages of discovery. He suggests that Raphael is one of the 24 men Vespucci, in his Four Voyages of 1507, says he left for six months at Cabo Frio, Brazil. Raphael then travels further and finds the island of Utopia, where he spends five years observing the customs of the natives.

According to More, the island of Utopia is

…two hundred miles across in the middle part, where it is widest, and nowhere much narrower than this except towards the two ends, where it gradually tapers. These ends, curved round as if completing a circle five hundred miles in circumference, make the island crescent-shaped, like a new moon.[7]

The island was originally a peninsula but a 15-mile wide channel was dug by the community's founder King Utopos to separate it from the mainland. The island contains 54 cities. Each city is divided into four equal parts. The capital city, Amaurot, is located directly in the middle of the crescent island.

Each city has not more 6000 households, each family consisting of between 10 and 16 adults. Thirty households are grouped together and elect a Syphograntus (whom More says is now called a phylarchus). Every ten Syphogranti have an elected Traniborus (more recently called a protophylarchus) ruling over them. The 200 Syphogranti of a city elect a Prince in a secret ballot. The Prince stays for life unless he is deposed or removed for suspicion of tyranny.

People are re-distributed around the households and towns to keep numbers even. If the island suffers from overpopulation, colonies are set up on the mainland. Alternatively, the natives of the mainland are invited to be part of these Utopian colonies, but if they dislike them and no longer wish to stay they may return. In the case of under-population the colonists are re-called.

There is no private property on Utopia, with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, and the houses are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture provides the most important occupation on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimised: the people only have to work six hours a day (although many willingly work for longer). More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens, however, are encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time.

Slavery is a feature of Utopian life and it is reported that every household has two slaves. The slaves are either from other countries or are the Utopian criminals. These criminals are weighed down with chains made out of gold. The gold is part of the community wealth of the country, and fettering criminals with it or using it for shameful things like chamber pots gives the citizens a healthy dislike of it. It also makes it difficult to steal as it is in plain view. The wealth, though, is of little importance and is only good for buying commodities from foreign nations or bribing these nations to fight each other. Slaves are periodically released for good behaviour. Jewels are worn by children, who finally give them up as they mature.

Other significant innovations of Utopia include: a welfare state with free hospitals, euthanasia permissible by the state, priests being allowed to marry, divorce permitted, premarital sex punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy and adultery being punished by enslavement. Meals are taken in community dining halls and the job of feeding the population is given to a different household in turn. Although all are fed the same, Raphael explains that the old and the administrators are given the best of the food. Travel on the island is only permitted with an internal passport and any people found without a passport are, on a first occasion, returned in disgrace, but after a second offence they are placed in slavery. In addition, there are no lawyers and the law is made deliberately simple, as all should understand it and not leave people in any doubt of what is right and wrong.

There are several religions on the island: moon-worshipers, sun-worshipers, planet-worshipers, ancestor-worshipers and monotheists, but each is tolerant of the others. Only atheists are despised (but allowed) in Utopia, as they are seen as representing a danger to the state: since they do not believe in any punishment or reward after this life, they have no reason to share the communistic life of Utopia, and will break the laws for their own gain. They are not banished, but are encouraged to talk out their erroneous beliefs with the priests until they are convinced of their error. Raphael says that through his teachings Christianity was beginning to take hold in Utopia. The toleration of all other religious ideas is enshrined in a universal prayer all the Utopians recite.

...but, if they are mistaken, and if there is either a better government, or a religion more acceptable to God, they implore His goodness to let them know it.

Wives are subject to their husbands and husbands are subject to their wives although women are restricted to conducting household tasks for the most part. Only few widowed women become priests. While all are trained in military arts, women confess their sins to their husbands once a month. Gambling, hunting, makeup and astrology are all discouraged in Utopia. The role allocated to women in Utopia might, however, have been seen as being more liberal from a contemporary point of view.

Utopians do not like to engage in war. If they feel countries friendly to them have been wronged, they will send military aid, but they try to capture, rather than kill, enemies. They are upset if they achieve victory through bloodshed. The main purpose of war is to achieve that which, if they had achieved already, they would not have gone to war over.

Privacy is not regarded as freedom in Utopia; taverns, ale-houses and places for private gatherings are non-existent for the effect of keeping all men in full view, so that they are obliged to behave well.


One of the most troublesome questions about Utopia is Thomas More's reason for writing it.

Most scholars see it a comment or criticism of 16th century Catholicism, for the evils of More's day are laid out in Book I and in many ways apparently solved in Book II.[8] Indeed, Utopia has many of the characteristics of satire, and there are many jokes and satirical asides such as how honest people are in Europe, but these are usually contrasted with the simple, uncomplicated society of the Utopians.

Yet, the puzzle is that some of the practices and institutions of the Utopians, such as the ease of divorce, euthanasia and both married priests and female priests, seem to be polar opposites of More's beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church of which he was a devout member. Another often cited apparent contradiction is that of the religious tolerance of Utopia contrasted with his persecution of Protestants as Lord Chancellor. Similarly, the criticism of lawyers comes from a writer who, as Lord Chancellor, was arguably the most influential lawyer in England. It can be answered, however, that as a pagan society Utopians had the best ethics that could be reached through reason alone, or that More changed from his early life to his later when he was Lord Chancellor.[8]

One highly influential interpretation of Utopia is that of intellectual historianQuentin Skinner.[9] He has argued that More was taking part in the Renaissance humanist debate over true nobility, and that he was writing to prove the perfect commonwealth could not occur with private property. Crucially, Skinner sees Raphael Hythlodaeus as embodying the Platonic view that philosophers should not get involved in politics, while the character of More embodies the more pragmatic Ciceronian view. Thus the society Raphael proposes is the ideal More would want. But without communism, which he saw no possibility of occurring, it was wiser to take a more pragmatic view.

Quentin Skinner's interpretation of Utopia is consistent with the speculation that Stephen Greenblatt made in The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. There, Greenblatt argued that More was under the Epicurean influence of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things and the people that live in Utopia were an example of how pleasure has become their guiding principle of life.[10] Although Greenblatt acknowledged that More's insistence on the existence of an afterlife and punishment for people holding contrary views were inconsistent with the essentially materialist view of Epicureanism, Greenblatt contended that it was the minimum conditions for what the pious More would have considered as necessary to live a happy life.[10]

Another complication comes from the Greek meaning of the names of people and places in the work. Apart from Utopia, meaning "Noplace," several other lands are mentioned: Achora meaning "Nolandia", Polyleritae meaning "Muchnonsense", Macarenses meaning "Happiland," and the river Anydrus meaning "Nowater". Raphael's last name, Hythlodaeus means "dispenser of nonsense" surely implying that the whole of the Utopian text is 'nonsense'. Additionally the Latin rendering of More's name, Morus, is similar to the word for a fool in Greek (μωρός). It is unclear whether More is simply being ironic, an in-joke for those who know Greek, seeing as the place he is talking about does not actually exist or whether there is actually a sense of distancing of Hythlodaeus' and the More's ("Morus") views in the text from his own.

The name Raphael, though, may have been chosen by More to remind his readers of the archangelRaphael who is mentioned in the Book of Tobit (3:17; 5:4, 16; 6:11, 14, 16, 18; also in chs. 7, 8, 9, 11, 12). In that book the angel guides Tobias and later cures his father of his blindness. While Hythlodaeus may suggest his words are not to be trusted, Raphael meaning (in Hebrew) "God has healed" suggests that Raphael may be opening the eyes of the reader to what is true. The suggestion that More may have agreed with the views of Raphael is given weight by the way he dressed; with "his cloak... hanging carelessly about him"; a style which Roger Ascham reports that More himself was wont to adopt. Furthermore, more recent criticism has questioned the reliability of both Gile's annotations and the character of "More" in the text itself. Claims that the book only subverts Utopia and Hythlodaeus are possibly oversimplistic.


Utopia was begun while More was an envoy in the Low Countries in May 1515. More started by writing the introduction and the description of the society which would become the second half of the work and on his return to England he wrote the "dialogue of counsel", completing the work in 1516. In the same year, it was printed in Leuven under Erasmus's editorship and after revisions by More it was printed in Basel in November 1518. It was not until 1551, sixteen years after More's execution, that it was first published in England as an English translation by Ralph Robinson. Gilbert Burnet's translation of 1684 is probably the most commonly cited version.

The work seems to have been popular, if misunderstood: the introduction of More's Epigrams of 1518 mentions a man who did not regard More as a good writer.

The eponymous title Utopia has since eclipsed More's original story and the term is now commonly used to describe an idyllic, imaginary society. Although he may not have directly founded the contemporary notion of what has since become known as Utopian and dystopian fiction, More certainly popularised the idea of imagined parallel realities, and some of the early works which owe a debt to Utopia must include The City of the Sun by Tommaso Campanella, Description of the Republic of Christianopolis by Johannes Valentinus Andreae, New Atlantis by Francis Bacon and Candide by Voltaire.

The politics of Utopia have been seen as influential to the ideas of Anabaptism and communism.[citation needed] While utopian socialism was used to describe the first concepts of socialism, later Marxist theorists tended to see the ideas as too simplistic and not grounded on realistic principles. The religious message in the work and its uncertain, possibly satiric, tone has also alienated some theorists from the work.

An applied example of More's Utopia can be seen in Vasco de Quiroga's implemented society in Michoacán, Mexico, which was directly inspired by More's work.

During the opening scene in the film A Man for all Seasons, Utopia is referenced in a conversation. The alleged amorality of England's priests is compared to that of the more highly principled behaviour of the fictional priests in More's Utopia, when a character observes wryly that "every second person born in England is fathered by a priest."


Further reading[edit]

  • More, Thomas (1516/1967), "Utopia", trans. John P. Dolan, in James J. Greene and John P. Dolan, edd., The Essential Thomas More, New York: New American Library.
  • Sullivan, E. D. S. (editor) (1983) The Utopian Vision: Seven Essays on the Quincentennial of Sir Thomas More San Diego State University Press, San Diego, California, ISBN 0-916304-51-5

External links[edit]

  • The Open Utopia A complete edition (including all of the letters and commendations, as well as the marginal notes, that were included in the first four printings of 1516-18) translated in 2012. Licensed as Creative Commons BY-SA and published in multiple electronic formats (HTML, PDF, TXT, ODF, EPUB, and as a Social Book).
  • English translation of Utopia by Gilbert Burnet at Project Gutenberg
  • Utopia public domain audiobook at LibriVox
  • Thomas More and his Utopia by Karl Kautsky
  • Andre Schuchardt: Freiheit und Knechtschaft. Die dystopische Utopia des Thomas Morus. Eine Kritik am besten Staat
  •  "Utopia". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 
  • Utopia – Images photocopied the 1518 edition of Utopia, from the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Utopia 2016, a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the book centered in London.

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