MORE (THOMAS) A fruteful and pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and of the newe yle called Utopia; written in Latine by Syr Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englyshe by Raphe Robynson, at the procurement, and earnest request of George Tadlowe citezein [and] haberdassher of the same citie, FIRST ENGLISH EDITION

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Lot 189
MORE (THOMAS)
A fruteful and pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and of the newe yle called Utopia; written in Latine by Syr Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englyshe by Raphe Robynson, at the procurement, and earnest request of George Tadlowe citezein [and] haberdassher of the same citie, FIRST ENGLISH EDITION

Sold for £ 62,400 (US$ 78,150) inc. premium
MORE (THOMAS)
A fruteful and pleasaunt worke of the beste state of a publyque weale, and of the newe yle called Utopia; written in Latine by Syr Thomas More knyght, and translated into Englyshe by Raphe Robynson, at the procurement, and earnest request of George Tadlowe citezein [and] haberdassher of the same citie, FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, black letter, woodcut initials and ornaments, title lightly soiled with small piece torn away from upper fore-corner and inscription shaved, 2 small wormholes in upper margin of opening 4 leaves, one continuing to f4, a few small wormholes in lower forecorner after k4, first gathering loose, eighteenth century calf, rebacked, upper cover near detached [STC 8094; cf. PMM 47], 8vo (135 x 87mm.), Abraham Vele, dwelling in Pauls churcheyarde at the sygne of the Lambe, 1551

Footnotes

  • THE EXTREMELY SCARCE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF THOMAS MORE'S UTOPIA, and the first edition printed in England. More's celebrated description of an ideal commonwealth and "quintessential humanist dialogue" (ODNB) was written in Latin and first published in Louvain in 1516 for a European audience. It was "a tract for the times, to rub in the lesson of Erasmus; it inveighs against the new statemanship of all-powerful autocracy and the new economics of large enclosures and the destruction of the old common-field agriculture, just as it pleads for religious tolerance and universal education" (PMM).

    Provenance: early inscription on title "sum ex dono Edmundi Pitti"; Alfred White, with nineteenth century bookplate; sold for the benefit of the Capuchin Province of Great Britain.
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