The "dark" Middle Ages were followed by a time known in art and literature as the Renaissance. The word "renaissance" means "rebirth" in French and was used to denote a phase in the cultural development of Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Thomas More, the first English humanist of the Renaissance, was born in London in 1478. Thomas More wrote in English and in Latin. The humanists of al1 European countries communicated in the Latin language, and their best works were written in Latin.
His style is simple, colloquial end has an unaffected ease. The work by which he is best remembered today is "Utopia" which was written in Latin in the year 1516. It has now been translated into all European languages.
"Utopia" (which in Greek means "nowhere") is the name of a non-existent island. This work is divided into two books.
In the first, the author gives a profound and truthful picture of the people's sufferings and points out the socia1 evils existing, in England at the time.
In the second book more presents his ideal of what the future society should be like.
"The word "utopia" has become a byword and is used in Modern English to denote an unattainable ideal, usually in social and political matters. But the writer H.G. Wells, who wrote an introduction to the latest edition, said that the use of the word "utopia" was far from More's essentia1 quality, whose mind abounded in sound, practical ideas. The book is in reality a very unimaginative work." (Harry Levin, "The Myth of the Golden Age in the Renaissance." 1969.)
Thomas More's "Utopia" was the first literary work in which the ideas of Communism appeared. It was highly esteemed by all the humanists of Europe in More's time and...