de Beer Eb 1684 M
London: Printed for Richard Chiswell
In describing the religious, social and political customs of the Utopians, Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) places the fictional world on an island. Extravagance concerned him and quite early in Book I he argues that ‘all classes of society are recklessly extravagant about clothes and food.’ Indeed, he has the Utopians wear the same sort of clothes ‘without any other distinction, except what is necessary to distinguish the two sexes, and the married and unmarried.’ He also remarked that ‘those fine clothes were once worn by a sheep, and they never turned into anything better than a sheep’. This satirical barb was certainly aimed at the wealthy, fashion-conscious lords and ladies at court ‘who think themselves really the better for having fine Clothes…’. More’s Utopia was published in 1516 in Latin; this is a 1684 English edition.
Thomas More, “Utopia,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed September 24, 2017, http://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/9727.
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