Thomas More's Utopia


  • Intro

    Sir Thomas More (1477 - 1535) was the first person to write of a 'utopia', a word used to describe a perfect imaginary world. More's book imagines a complex, self-contained community set on an island, in which people share a common culture and way of life. He coined the word 'utopia' from the Greek ou-topos meaning 'no place' or 'nowhere'. It was a pun - the almost identical Greek word eu-topos means 'a good place'. So at the very heart of the word is a vital question: can a perfect world ever be realised? It is unclear as to whether the book is a serious projection of a better way of life, or a satire that gave More a platform from which to discuss the chaos of European politics. 


    More was an English lawyer, writer, and statesman. He was at one time, one of Henry VIII's most trusted civil servants, becoming Chancellor of England in 1529.

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