n Utopia, More paints a vision of the customs and practices of a distant island, but Utopia means ‘no place’ and his narrator’s name, Hythlodaeus, translates as ‘dispenser of nonsense’. This fantastical tale masks what is a serious and subversive analysis of the failings of More’s society. Advocating instead a world in which there is religious tolerance, provision for the aged, and state ownership of land, Utopia has been variously claimed as a Catholic tract or an argument for communism and it still invites each generation to make its own interpretation.
This revised and updated edition of Paul Turner’s vibrant translation from the original Latin features a new chronology and further reading list. The revised introduction explores the impact of Utopia on subsequent literary generations and highlights the contradiction between More’s beliefs and the propositions put forward in his book.