Sir Thomas More: Utopia

Sir Thomas More: Utopia

London: Thomas Creede, 1597 (Sp Coll BD1-f.11)

Line of text from the final part of the second book of 'Utopia', describing religion in Utopia.

Sir Thomas More completed Utopia in 1516. His original work was written in Latin. It was translated into English by Raphe Robinson and first published in English in 1551. This is the third edition of Robinson's version, printed in 1597.  A more commonly known English translation of the text is that of Gilbert Burnet, produced in 1684; therefore, this text may differ from Utopia encountered by many readers. Gilbert Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, said of Robinson's translation:

'It was once translated into English not long after it was written; and I was once apt to think it might have been done by Sir Thomas More himself: For as it is in the English of his Age, and not unlike his Style; so the Translator has taken a Liberty that seems too great for any but the Author himself, who is Master of his own Book, and so may leave out or alter his Original as he pleases; Which is more than a Translator ought to do, I am sure it is more than I have presumed to do.'

Title page from third, 1597, edition of Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' held by University of Glasgow Library Special Collections.

This volume has decorations (known as 'print ornaments') and woodcut initials at the beginning of each chapter. There are also frequent printed marginal notes throughout the text.

Raphael's description of sciences, crafts and occupations in Utopia.



Other editions of Utopia held in Special Collections:

De Optimo reipub. statu, deque noa insula Utopia libellus vere aureus... (1555) Sp Coll Bl5-l.9
De Optimo reipublicae statu, deque noa insula Utopia, libri duo... (1613) Sp Coll T.C.L. 560
Utopia, translated by Gilbert Burnet (1737) Sp Coll RB 4219

Also by Sir Thomas More and held in Special Collections:

Epigrammata (1520) Sp Coll Bk2-g.1
The supplycacyon of soulys (1529) Sp Coll Hunterian Bv.2.15
A dyaloge of Syr Thomas More, Knyght. Wheryn be treatyd dyuers maters, as of the veneracyon and worhsyp of ymagys and relyques... (1530) Sp Coll Hunterian Bv.2.3
The vvorkes of Sir Thomas More Knyght (1557) Sp Coll Bh8-e.6, Sp Coll Hunterian Cn.1.7-8 and Sp Coll RQ 2079 Vol. 1
Thomae Mori angli, viri eruditionis pariterac virtutis nomine clarissimi... (1565) Sp Coll Turnbull 221
Thomae Mori Epistola, in qua non minus pie quam facete respondet literis cuiusdam Pomerani... (1568) Sp Coll Hunterian Cm.3.35
A dialogve of cumfort against tribulation... (1573) Sp Coll Hunterian Cm.2.8

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