Thomas More. Utopia.Basel, 1518.

Thomas More. Utopia.Basel, 1518.

Renaissance humanist Sir Thomas More (1478- 1535), coined the word "utopia" - a name he gave to the  imaginary island nation whose political system he described in the present work, first published in 1516.  More refused to acknowledge Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England, for which he was imprisoned, tried and executed for treason by beheading. Despite modern connotations of the word "utopia," it is generally accepted that More did not simply seek to present his vision of an ideal world, but rather he wished to use the contrast between the imaginary land's unusual political ideas and the chaotic politics of his own day as a platform from which to discuss social issues in Europe.

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