Hundreds of writers in the English-speaking world of the seventeenth-century imagined alternative ideal societies. Sometimes they did so by exploring fanciful territories, such as the world in the moon or the nations of the Antipodes; but sometimes they composed serious disquisitions about the here and now, proposing how England or its nascent colonies could be conceived of as an 'Oceana,' or a New Jerusalem. First published in 2002, this book provides a comprehensive view of the operations of the utopian imagination in literature from 1603 to the 1660s. Appealing to social theorists, literary critics, and political and cultural historians, this volume revises prevailing notions of the languages of hope and social dreaming in the making of British modernity during a century of political and intellectual upheaval.

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