Utopian Literature of the Renaissance Utopia And Millenarianism - Essay

Utopia And Millenarianism

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Keith Thomas (essay date 1987)

SOURCE: "The Utopian Impulse in Seventeenth-Century England," in Between Dream and Nature: Essays on Utopia and Dystopia, edited by Dominic Baker-Smith and C. C. Barfoot, Rodopi, 1987, pp. 20-46.

[In the following essay, Thomas discusses the Utopian impulse in literature in relation to millenarianism during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.]

At the beginning of the seventeenth century the prevailing orthodoxy in England was profoundly anti-utopian. Official religious teaching was that life was necessarily imperfect. Absolute felicity had been enjoyed by Adam and Eve and would be regained by some of their...

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