Sir Thomas More's Utopia

Sir Thomas More's Utopia

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Sir Thomas More's Utopia

Sir Thomas More's Utopia

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Excerpt

The Utopia is so closely bound up with the personal life and character of More, and with the social and political movements and events immediately preceding and contemporary with its composition, that a sketch of both is a necessary prelude to its study. Thomas More, the second child and eldest son of John More, successively (1503) serjeant of law, (1518) judge in the Court of Common Pleas, and (1520) of the King's Bench; and of Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger, was born February 7, 1478, in Milk Street, London. Of the history of his mother we know nothing. His father, 'of gentle but not noble blood,' is described by his son as 'courteous, affable, innocent, gentle, merciful, just and uncorrupted'; he was also a man of much shrewdness and humour, and all these qualities he bequeathed to his son. Young More received his early education at the school attached to St. Anthony's Hospital in Threadneedle Street, then under the rule of Nicholas Holt, a very competent scholar. But he was removed from school, to be transferred to the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor, before Holt could have done much more for him than to ground him in Latin. When he entered Morton's household he was little more than a child. But while there, he probably received impressions from the conversation of that eminent statesman and ecclesiastic, which were among . . .

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