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ICONIC TEXTS: Dr Joanne Paul on ‘Utopia’ by Thomas More

Illustration for the 1516 first edition of Utopia.
Illustration for the 1516 first edition of Utopia.

 

In the third installment of our new series of podcasts, Dr Joanne Paul explores a text written by one of the most prominent players of the Tudor court. Sir Thomas More’s Utopia – conceived while the author was on a diplomatic mission for Henry VIII – was first published in Latin in 1516 and translated into English in 1551 (years after More’s execution). It gave rise to a new literary genre and has remained one of the most enigmatic texts in the English language. But why did More write such a text? What does the text reveal about its author? And, how has it impacted on the wider history of political thought?  Here, we unravel our third ICONIC TEXT.

Dr Joanne Paul is a Lecturer in History at the New College of the Humanities. She has published previously on political theory in the Tudor period (in her edited volume Governing Diversities: Democracy, Diversity and Human Nature, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) and her work on the Renaissance revival of kairos will be published in Renaissance Quarterly spring 2014. She is currently revising her thesis on the discourse of counsel in England from 1485 to 1651 for publication.

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