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Out of this World

David Armitage, 16 November 1995

by Thomas More, edited by George Logan, Robert M. Adams and Clarence Miller.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £55, February 1995, 0 521 40318 9
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Utopias of the British Enlightenment 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Cambridge, 305 pp., £35, July 1994, 0 521 43084 4
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... utopianism, and thereby terminate a distracting strain of political theory, he clearly failed. As Gregory Claeys shows in his collection of Utopias of the British Enlightenment, the genre of the ideal commonwealth was alive and well in Whig Britain from before the Augustan age to well beyond the French Revolution. This is in its own way a revelation, for ...

Pretty Much like Ourselves

Terry Eagleton, 4 September 1997

Modern British Utopias 1700-1850 
by Gregory Claeys.
Pickering & Chatto, 4128 pp., £550, March 1997, 1 85196 319 7
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... of our incurable straightness. Utopias from the 18th and early 19th-centuries, of the kind which Gregory Claeys has assembled in this handsome set of volumes, are outlandish precisely because of their ordinariness. What seems ‘utopian’, in the sense of extravagantly unreal, about them is precisely their incapacity to imagine a world significantly ...

Knife and Fork Question

Miles Taylor: The Chartist Movement, 29 November 2001

The Chartist Movement in Britain 1838-50 
edited by Gregory Claeys.
Pickering & Chatto, £495, April 2001, 1 85196 330 8
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... army of noisy demagogues. The ‘soldiers of literature’, as he called them, were on the march. Gregory Claeys’s edition of a hundred or so Chartist tracts, lectures and pamphlets easily surpasses in size (and in price) the principal older collections edited by F.C. Mather and Edward Royle, although for the hardy there remains a less easily available ...

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