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Thomas More's Magician : A Novel Account of Utopia in Mexico

Thomas More's Magician : A Novel Account of Utopia in Mexico

Author
Toby Green
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  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 340
  • Publication date: 2004
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Weight: 0.72 kg Note that the actual book cover may differ from the picture

In September 1532, eleven years after the Spanish conquest, Mexico is in meltdown. As the conquistadors discover an earthly paradise, its peoples and their Gods are destroyed. This is a time of greed, uncertainty - and idealism. Despairing at his surroundings, Vasco de Quiroga - a new member of the Spanish ruling council - forges a commune on Mexico City's outskirts. Indigenous peoples flock there, and soon a new society exists, complete with a welfare system and a hospital. What distinguishes Quiroga's project is that he uses Thomas More's recently published book, Utopia, as his blueprint. As Toby Green researches Quiroga's biography in Spain and Mexico, he begins to sense an eerie resonance between Quiroga's age and our own. Based on archival research, and rich with vivid reconstructions of 16th-century Spain and Mexico, the narrative becomes a biography not only of Quiroga, but also of utopia as both an idea and a literary form. Toby Green uses this gripping slice of history to enquire into how feasible the utopian ideal is, especially when matched with our contemporary emphasis on the individual. Can the utopian dream exist in the 21st century?