Thomas More's Utopia in early modern Europe

Paratexts and contexts

Edited by Terence Cave

Thomas More's Utopia in early modern Europe


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8848-3
  • Pages: 310
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: October 2012
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Literature, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Literature: history & criticism, Ireland, PHILOSOPHY / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Humanities / Philosophy, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism


Thomas More's Utopia in Early Modern Europe provides the first complete account of all the editions of Utopia, whether vernacular or Latin, printed before 1650, together with a transcription of all the prefatory materials they contain. The reception of the idea of Utopia in early modern Europe has been studied extensively before: what has been lacking is a composite picture of how Utopia moved by means of translation from culture to culture and of the ways in which particular versions offered themselves to their readers.

Part I consists of a series of chapters which provide a contextual and interpretative framework for each national group of translations; in Part II, the substantive paratexts of all the extant translations of Utopia printed between 1524 and 1643 are reproduced both in the original language and in English translation. The book also contains a chapter sketching the fortunes of the Latin paratexts and editions up to 1650, and a transcription of a single Latin paratext which has never, to our knowledge, been printed in modern times.

This book will be of interest to specialists in early modern cultural history and history of the book, to graduate students working in these fields, and to anyone for whom the extraordinary success of More's Utopia as a book published on the European market remains a perennial fascination.


Part I
1 A Protean text: Utopia in Latin, 1516-1631
2 The German translations: humanist politics and literary journalism
3 The Italian Utopia of Lando, Doni and Sansovino: paradox and politics
4 The French versions of Utopia: Christian and cosmopolitan models
5 The English translation: thinking about the commonwealth
6 The Dutch translation: austerity and pragmatism
7 The Spanish translations: humanism and politics
Part II
Principles and editorial conventions
The German paratexts
The Italian paratexts
The French paratexts
The English paratexts
The Dutch paratexts
The Spanish paratexts
A Latin paratext: Milan 1620
Table: paratexts in the Latin editions


Terence Cave is Emeritus Professor of French, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Research Fellow, St John's College, Oxford

Thomas More's Utopia in early modern Europe

Edited by Terence Cave

Paperback £15.99 / $23.95

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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