Basel: Apud Episcopium F., 1563. First collected edition. The first collection of Thomas More's Latin works and the first collected edition to contain Utopia. Small octavo (181 x 111mm) in contemporary limp vellum with yapp edges. Spine lettered in manuscript. Remains of three out of four leather ties. Small 3/4 inch hole at crown of spine. Collating , 530, [45, index], [1, printer's device]: complete, including the full-page woodcut map of Utopia by Ambrosius Holbein on page 53. Faint dampstain in the lower gutter of several gatherings. Small ink spot on page 459 affecting several letters. A truly excellent copy housed in a custom red cloth clamshell.
Sir Thomas More -- the English humanist, statesman, chancellor, and martyr -- remains among the most influential of English early modern thinkers. A prolific writer, he is most remembered for his book Utopia. "A Greek name of More's coining, from ou-topos ("no place) and a pun on eu-topos ("good place"), More's Utopia describes a pagan and communist style city-state in which the institutions and policies are entirely governed by reason. The order and dignity of such a state provided a notable contrast to the unreasonable polity of Christian Europe, divided by self interest and greed for power and riches...Among the topics tackled in Utopia were penology, state controlled education, religious pluralism, divorce, euthanasia, and women's rights" (Britannica). In this volume, Utopia was published for the first time alongside More's other influential treatises and letters written in defense of other contemporary thinkers. (Item #4519)