Thomas More's Utopia in Early Modern Europe: Paratexts and Contexts

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Thomas More's Utopia in Early Modern Europe provides the first complete account of all the editions of Utopia, whether vernacular or Latin, printed before 1650, together with a transcription of all the prefatory materials they contain. The reception of the idea of Utopia in early modern Europe has been studied extensively before: what has been lacking is a composite picture of how Utopia moved by means of translation from culture to culture and of the ways in which particular versions offered themselves to their readers. Part I consists of a series of chapters which provide a contextual and interpretative framework for each national group of translations; in Part II, the substantive paratexts of all the extant translations of Utopia printed between 1524 and 1643 are reproduced both in the original language and in English translation. The book also contains a chapter sketching the fortunes of the Latin paratexts and editions up to 1650, and a transcription of a single Latin paratext which has never, to our knowledge, been printed in modern times. This book will be of interest to specialists in early modern cultural history and history of the book, to graduate students working in these fields, and to anyone for whom the extraordinary success of More's Utopia as a book published on the European market remains a perennial fascination.