Thomas More

Utopia
  • Utopia

  • First published in 1516, "Utopia" depicts an imaginary society free of private property, sexual discrimination and religious intolerance. Its radical humanism has had a dramatic effect on modern history and the challenge of its vision is as persistent today as it was in the Renaissance.

Thomas More was born a Londoner in 1477 or 1478. He served as a page, then studied at Oxford, was called to the bar and subsequently had a highly successful career in the City. Sent on an embassy to Flanders in 1515, he began Utopia there and completed it back in London. From 1528 he actively resisted innovation in religious matters and clashed with Henry VIII over his break with the Church. In July 1535, after he refused to accept royal supremacy over the church, he was tried as a traitor at Westminster Hall and beheaded on Tower Hill. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

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