Title: Utopia, or The Happy Republic, to which is added The New Atlantis by Lord Bacon with a preliminary discourse containing an analysis of Plato’s Republic and copious notes.
Author: Thomas More, Francis Bacon, J. A. St John Esq (ed)
Publisher: Henry G. Bohn, 1850
Condition: Leather spine with raised bands and gilt, interesting marbled cover. Marbled edges and end papers. Some wear to cover and spine, particularly the edges, but otherwise excellent for its age. Clean text, firm binding. A small book.
About Utopia by Thomas More (from Wikipedia):
Utopia (Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia) is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More (1478–1535) published in 1516 in Latin. The book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs.
Most scholars see it as some kind of comment or criticism of contemporary European society, for the evils of More’s day are laid out in Book I and in many ways apparently solved in Book II. Indeed, Utopia has many of the characteristics of satire, and there are many jokes and satirical asides such as how honest people are in Europe, but these are usually contrasted with the simple, uncomplicated society of the Utopians.
Yet, the puzzle is that some of the practices and institutions of the Utopians, such as the ease of divorce, euthanasia and both married priests and female priests, seem to be polar opposites of More’s beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church of which he was a devout member. Another often cited apparent contradiction is that of the religious toleration of Utopia contrasted with his persecution of Protestants as Lord Chancellor. Similarly, the criticism of lawyers comes from a writer who, as Lord Chancellor, was arguably the most influential lawyer in England. However, it can be answered that as a pagan society Utopians had the best ethics that could be reached through reason alone, or that More changed from his early life to his later when he was Lord Chancellor.
About The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon (from Wikipedia):
New Atlantis is an incomplete utopian novel by Sir Francis Bacon, published in 1627. In this work, Bacon portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge, expressing his aspirations and ideals for humankind. The novel depicts the creation of a utopian land where “generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendour, piety and public spirit” are the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of the mythical Bensalem. The plan and organisation of his ideal college, Salomon’s House (or Solomon’s House), envisioned the modern research university in both applied and pure sciences.
The novel depicts a mythical island, Bensalem, which is discovered by the crew of a European ship after they are lost in the Pacific Ocean somewhere west of Peru. The minimal plot serves the gradual unfolding of the island, its customs, but most importantly, its state-sponsored scientific institution, Salomon’s House, “which house or college … is the very eye of this kingdom.”