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Utopia: With Erasmus's The Sileni of Alcibiades

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Overview

Wootton's translation brings out the liveliness of More's work and offers an accurate and reliable version of a masterpiece of social theory. His edition is further distinguished by the inclusion of a translation of Erasmus's 'The Sileni of Alcibiades,' a work very close in sentiment to Utopia, and one immensely influential in the sixteenth century. This attractive combination suits the edition especially well for use in Renaissance and Reformation courses as well as as for Western Civilization survey courses. Wootton’s Introduction simultaneously provides a remarkably useful guide to anyone’s first reading of More’s mysterious work and advances an original argument on the origins and purposes of Utopia which no one interested in sixteenth-century social theory will want to miss.

Since its publication in 1516, Utopia has provoked a hailstorm of debate. The minute details More ascribed to his "perfect world" make Utopia still a work of the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In addition to its elegant and precise translation of Utopia, this edition offers the prefatory material and postscripts from the 1518 edition, and More's letter to Giles form the 1517 edition. Mr. Wootton has also added Erasmus's 'The Sileni of Alcibiades,' which is crucial for the interpretation he gives in his Introduction of the many ambiguities and contradictions in More's text as well as his life. The Introduction is a most valuable guide for understanding this man who was a proponent of toleration and a persecutor of heretics, a courtier full of worldly ambition ending as a fearless martyr. The contradictions of the man translated into a complicated and contradictory historiography to which Mr. Wootton's Introduction is a most intelligent guide. A welcome addition to the More literature. -J. W. Smit, Professor of History, Columbia University

Every serious reader of Utopia, friends and foes alike of Thomas More, will be enlightened by Wootton's essay. Combining it with his translations of More and Erasmus works well. This is a delightfully fine piece of scholarship, even down to the notes on the illustrations. --Donald J. Millus, Sixteenth Century Journal

Like his Introduction, which says much, both directly and indirectly, about the complexity of More's language and mentality, David Wootton's translation of the Utopia is a thoughtful and careful one. Wootton has been particularly scrupulous in his handling of marginal annotations. . . notes are economical but helpful. Students interested in 16th century humanism and/or developments in early modern Europe will find this edition especially appealing, as will everyone interested in interpretations of More's Utopia, here fruitfully juxtaposed with Erasmus’ philosophy and perspective on the world as these are represented by his adage on ‘The Sileni of Alcibiades.' --Elizabeth McCutcheon, Utopian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872203778
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Series: Classics Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 8.69 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History, University of York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Further Reading 35
A Note on the Text 36
More's Utopia 39
Prefatory Materials in the Authoritative 1518 Edition:
Erasmus to Froben (1518) 40
Bude to Lupset (1517) 42
Poems on Utopia (1516) 48
Giles to Busleyden (1516) 49
More to Giles (1516) 52
Book 1 56
Book 2 90
Postscripts in the 1518 Edition:
Busleyden to More (1516) 161
Geldenhouwer on Utopia (1516) 164
De Schrijver on Utopia (1516) 165
From the 1517 Edition: More to Giles (1517) 166
Erasmus's "The Sileni of Alcibiades" (1515) 169
Illustrations 193
Index 199
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 101 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2003

    Misunderstanding

    It is a fool who reads Utopia and thinks More a devoted communist. Analyze the names of those involved, the problems of Utopia, and More's as well as Erasmus' humanistic works and it becomes an analysis of the nature of man. The structure of poverty, the effects of property and patronage all create a cycle of despair. Most important of all, his relation to Plato's Republic. Does the philosopher advise the king, or is that a futile endeavor of compromise and corruption. Decide for yourself, but realize that Utopia is a staggering and insightful work, full of wit and humor. It should be read by all philosophers, historians and interested readers.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Don't miss the point

    I loved this book from begining to end. It is such an insightful look at the human spirt and desires. Moore wrights of a perfect world that is in truth, not perfect. Those that missed the point of the story, that this is a satire of human life, need to reread the story and discuss it with others. The point of the story is to show that even in a perfect world there are inperfections, and no matter how we justify them, someone will always be unhappy. Loved the book, definetly a story high school seniors need to read.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    Wonderfully Written

    In Utopia Thomas More inspired me in his descriptions of a perfect society, and how he later influenced such thinkers as Karl Marx and the Utopian socialist of the 19th century. It is my belief that some thinkers may have mis-interpreted Utopia as somthing it isn't, what it certainly is not, is an outline for goverment, and More attempts to tell us that with his outlandish names for the main characters. If u are not sure on weather or not to buy Utopia i highly reccomend it, for it tells us a story about a place we will never see, but i still dominates our imaginations.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Wrong book

    This is not Utopia!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    A book to turn America communistic.

    An excellent book for one who wishes to surrender their mind and body.

    1 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2000

    Dreaming Utopia

    The first half of 'Utopia' is but a history lesson - teaching us 16th-17th century English laws and its obsurdities. The second half of 'Utopia' talks about... Utopia! A world where an idealist lives and an existenlist goes insane (again). To call 'Utopia' the 'best philosophical work ever written', as some other reviewers of this title did; I can't but wonder how many 'philosophical works' has this person actually read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Great book!

    Filled with plenty of scenarios that force you to ponder ethical dilemmas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    BOGUS - NOT UTOPIA? RATHER IT IS KANT ON POLITICS

    Kant is like gagging on a hair ball when expecting St Thomas More!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Not utopia book :(

    I was not happy with this book. I was hoping to read a great book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2002

    Utopia

    I didn't like the entire first book but the second book was exactly what I was looking for. I'd like to move there.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2000

    Nice Book to Dream About

    I had to read this book for one of my English classes. Just by reading the title I knew the book would be something I would enjoy reading. Our professor shared with us that Book 2 of this book was written before Book 1 after we finished reading Book 1. So I thought that was very interesting. A Utopia is the kind of 'perfect world.' But even by the book, it is not a place I would like to live in. The author really does captures the imagination of his characters. When you want to really escape the world, you would want to enter this book 'Utopia' it really helps.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

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