Other Englands: Utopia, Capital, and Empire in an Age of Transition 9781503606135

This book examines the rise of the early English utopia in the context of emergent capitalism, one that foreshadows the

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OTH E R E N G L AN DS Utopia, Capital, and Empire in an Age of Transition



Stanford University Press Stanford, California © 2018 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of Stanford University Press. Printed in the United States of America on acid-­free, archival-­quality paper Library of Congress Cataloging-­in-­Publication Data Names: Hogan, Sarah (Professor of English), author. Title: Other Englands : utopia, capital, and empire in an age of transition / Sarah Hogan. Description: Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017050813 | ISBN 9781503605169 (cloth : alk. paper) | ISBN 9781503606135 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: English fiction—Early modern, 1500-1700—History and criticism. | Utopias—England—History—16th century. | Utopias—England—History—17th century. | Utopias in literature. | Capitalism in literature. | Imperialism in literature. Classification: LCC PR830.U7 H64 2018 | DDC 823.009/372—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017050813 Cover design: Bruce Lundquist Cover image: Detail from John Speed, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine: Presenting an Exact Geography of the Kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland,... (1611–12).

To Matt, my fellow traveler

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Introduction: Origin Stories


1 Thomas More’s “Peninsula Made an Island”


2 Uneven Development in Bacon’s New Atlantis 71 3 Utopia, Ireland, and the Tudor Shock Doctrine 4 Dispossession and Women’s Poetry of Place

92 122

5 Reforming Utopia in Macaria and Areopagitica 146 Conclusion






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This book would not exist if not for two utopian scholars and educators of desire with whom I was fortunate to study. More than a decade ago, Crystal Bartolovich first planted the seeds of my interest in utopian literature and thought, in a memorably rigorous seminar at Syracuse University. Later, at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), I was also lucky to study the tradition with James Holstun, who proved to be an ideal mentor to cultivate this interest. Jim and Crystal remain for me critical utopians, and moreover, models of engaged, activist-­ oriented Marxist scholarship and pedagogy to which I can only hope to aspire. Institutional support, from many sources, brought this project to fruition. I am grateful, principally, to all my colleagues in the English department at Wake Forest University who have encouraged and debated these ideas at many turns, and especially to Jessica Richard, Dean Franco, Olga Valbuena, Susan Harlan, Joanna Ruocco, Omaar Hena, Amy Catanzano, Judith Madera, Gale Sigal, Gillian Overing, and Ryan Shirey. In recent years, no one has supported this project and my career more than my senior colleague Herman Rapaport, who offered probing feedback on every page of this manuscript. I would like to thank, too, several institutional bodies at Wake Forest University, especially the Dean’s and Provost’s Offices, the Humanities Institute, and the Reynolds Fund for generously supporting the research at the heart of this book, in the form of Archie, Faculty Development, Faculty Publication, and Summer Writing grants, and also through a Junior Research Leave. I also owe a world of gratitude to the diligent, patient staff at Stanford University Press, especially to


Emily-­Jane Cohen, who was willing to gamble on a first book, and also to Faith Wilson Stein and Elspeth MacHattie. Utopias are usually arrived at through the vehicle of discourse, and often in the company of friends. This study is no exception. Many of these chapters have benefited from stimulating, spirited conversations at the annual meetings of the Society for Utopian Studies, and from participation in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2016 seminar on More’s Utopia. I know this project to be improved by the suggestions, questions, and original ideas offered by fellow scholars in search of utopia, especially Christopher Kendrick, Phillip Wegner, Antonis Balasopoulos, Cathy Curtis, Zoë Hristova-­Sutherland, Jude Welburn, and the late, loved Nicole LaRose. Former professors Randy Schiff, Andrew Stott, and Scott Stevens, and my former colleagues and dear friends in the English Department at Drake University, were also knowledgeable sources of support early in this research pursuit. Several friends—­but especially Amy O’Shaughnessy, Benjamin Gardner, Guy Witzel, J. J. Butts, Amy Licht, Erik Waterkotte, Aimee Mepham, and Leah Benedict—­have talked me through the more challenging moments of this labor, while their good company daily reminds me of the better nature of humankind. In countless dérives around the side streets of Winston-­Salem, Joanna Ruocco has proven to be the best interlocutor for exploring and imagining other worlds. My large, loud, affectionate families—­Hogans, Garites, Gunthers, Cocuzzis, Piers, and Wolfes—­have also provided encouragement and kindness in more ways than I can possibly acknowledge here. In particular, the treasured friendship of my three sisters, Amy, Betsy, and Catherine, and their weekly pep talks, saw this project through from its infancy to its completion. And to my wise, loving parents, Jack and Mary Hogan, thank you for always believing in the minds of your daughters and supporting their aspirations. This book is dedicated to Matt Garite, a bibliophile, psychonaut, flower-­ punk, ecotopian, and editor extraordinaire, whose companionship, I’m convinced, remains the very best state of being.


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In 1609, Robert Gray, an Anglican preacher and a propagandist for the Virginia Company, writing from the comfort of his home in London, would recruit overseas adventurers by promising them “all happie and prosperous successe, which may either augment your glorie, or increase your wealth, or purchase your eternitie.”1 This was the same year the Sea Venture wrecked on the coast of Bermuda, while Jamestown’s settlers, faced with the prospect of starvation, were forced to resort to cannibalism. But like the children of Joseph, assured of a new homeland by Joshua, Gray’s readers were instructed to “flie out and looke abroad” for a kingdom providentially bestowed upon a great people, if only they were willing to cross seas, level mountains, and vanquish America’s “brutish savages.” His readers’ happiness had been discovered and rhetorically envisioned; now they would need only to realize it.2 Though recent ages in England had felt no urgent need for expansion, or so Gray asserts, “multitude,” or what we would now call overpopulation, occasions his biblically framed injunction to emigrate. Behind his vision of the New World as New Canaan is then a vision of an implied present gone wrong, or at the very least, a less than utopian England. Indeed, Good Speed to Virginia, like so many sermons advocating for early seventeenth-­century settlement, overoptimistically imagines the early English colony as a solution or “remedie” to England’s demographic and social crises, particularly unemployment and dispossession.3 Gray describes the English body politic’s illness and ailments as follows:


Our multitudes like too much bloud in the body, infect our countrey with plague and pouertie, our land hath brought foorth, but it hath not milke sufficient in the breast thereof to nourish all those children which it hath brought forth, it affordeth neither employment nor preferment for those that depend vpon it: And hereupon it is, that many seruiceable men giue themselues to lewd courses, as to robbing by the high way, theft, & cosoning, sharking vpon the land, piracie vpon the Sea, and so are cut off by shamefull and vntimely death: others liue prophanely, riotously, and idely, to the great dishonour of Almightie God, the detriment of the commonwealth.4

There are echoes of Thomas More’s near-­sociological correlation of unemployment with crime here, yet in Gray’s tract, the country’s not-­too-­distant past—­like Nova Britannia—­might also be said to be an alterae terrae, or a more Golden Age, since this plagued nation once “yéelded vnto all that were in it a surplussage of all necessities” when the “Commons of our Country lay free and open for the poore Commons to inioy, . . . [and] there was roome enough in the land for euery man, so that no man néeded to encroch or inclose from another.”5 Contrasted with a contemporary England that has birthed more children than it can rear, an imaginary, romanticized, and irrevocably lost past offers a second fiction to counterbalance Virginia’s redemptive plantation. Gray gestures both backward to a feudal commons and outward to a land of limitless property (because not yet claimed) in order to envision a more peaceful, plentiful future commonwealth that will immortalize its settlers, purge England of its excesses and crimes, and all the while, “increase” the nation’s collective wealth. I do not start with this tract because it offers a novel colonial or nationalist fiction, but because it might be said to exemplify the rhetorical rule. In the propaganda of early empire, idealized fictions of an English past and future belie an England made strange to itself—­historically as well as geographically. Caught in the purgatorial limbo of its self-­generated mythical histories and its fictions of millennial-­colonial destiny, sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century England is represented in a state of transitional indeterminacy. Gray is not alone in this regard; as Andrew Escobedo—­building on Walter Benjamin’s, Benedict Anderson’s, Michel Foucault’s, and Michel de Certeau’s theories of homogeneous time—­has explained, “Renaissance writers often find the national present eerily empty, temporally isolated from both past and future,” and consequently, they evoke “the impression of historical difference,” “temporal provisionality,” and even “anachronism.”6 In other words, for many early modern subjects, just as for Hamlet, their moment seemed a “time out of joint.”7

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This sense of self-­alienation, this perception of difference, has several overdetermined causes that historians and cultural critics of the redubbed “early modern” era have long identified: demographic growth, yes, but also religious reformation, a royal consolidation of power, the epistemic shift occasioned by Atlantic exploration and discovery, and as Gray himself suggests, the economic transformations that marked the end of feudal Britain, like the enclosure of the commons. My concern in this study is mainly with the means by which England’s agrarian, mercantile, and imperial transformations created both crisis and hope, and crucially, an impression of systemic social difference that would generate a future-­oriented historical consciousness articulated through fictions of state. This experience of the present as Other, as transitional and provisional because both territorially and historically estranged from an English past, I will suggest, prompted writers to compose totalizing, utopian fictions of difference and economic improvement, both ambivalent and earnest. This is to say, the personal experience of social transformation—­as loss or gain—­need not only have triggered nostalgia; living memory often combined with a proleptic, worldly curiosity and, just as often, a violent will to make history anew. For every nostalgic writer like John Stow, who summoned “up the ghost of a past world to redress the unequal balance of the new,”8 there were also those who sought solutions in sites beyond London’s ruins, and others, still, who actively welcomed a changeable world, willfully leaving the known one behind. Colonial and/or utopian discourses like Gray’s sermon are a case in point: here, the New World is cast as a chance for both England and its subjects to begin again. What this suggests is that for promoters of exploration and expansion, time had a spatial character, and thus, the representation of other worlds could be put to use in the ideological construction of the future or as a means for unmaking the present. In an effort to encourage mass migration and new social experiments abroad, the future was often projected beyond the shores of the British Isles. Utopian fictions, like the travel and colonial writing they discursively mimicked, begin with this spatio-­temporal conceptualization, playfully posing the possibility of an England that is and is not yet, and while nowhere, it is simultaneously here and elsewhere. This book will argue, then, that the spatial irony of early English utopias formally and ideologically registers the transitional, indeterminate present of what would become a capitalist world economy. And moreover, that the novelty of early modern utopias—­specifically, their tendency to privilege the systemic reform of institutions as the means for


(re)forming both individuals and communities—­must be understood as a representational engagement with historical change in the abstract as well as the felt, experiential sense. Historicizing Utopia In Archaeologies of the Future, Fredric Jameson defines utopia as a “representational meditation on radical difference, radical otherness, and the systemic nature of the social totality.”9 Jameson’s definition aptly captures what distinguishes most early modern utopias from previous traditions of the ideal society—­namely, the emphasis on social systems as opposed to either philosophical idealism or prelapsarian myths—­while still leaving the term utopia open enough to account for multivalent, interchangeable meanings as either a literary genre, historical project, mode of thinking, social desire, or even an innate human propensity. As Ruth Levitas has charted, utopia in its diverse incarnations has historically constituted a discursive concept, a literary form, and a social function aimed toward transformation, to which we might add, a communal project actualized in the world.10 While some literary critics have taken a more hard-­line approach to the project of defining utopia, arguing like J. C. Davis for structural understandings of utopia against the “imprecision” of other writers, the “conjunctural,”11 or historical, approach to defining utopia has won out in recent years. Following in the wake of Frank and Fritzie Manuel’s seminal Utopian Thought in the Western World, critics have tended toward historical analyses which recognize the “persistence of symbolic and residual utopian forms, as well as the . . . ‘hot’ motivation generated by immediate socioeconomic” and political factors.12 Because the historical context against which utopias take shape leaves such an indelible imprint on the utopia in question, usually as the social order being reproached (or, as Louis Marin and Jameson have argued, neutralized),13 historical analysis becomes an unavoidable concern. In other words, despite the lingering, popular misconception of utopia as an implausible, other-­worldly discourse, it is in fact a most historical, this-­worldly form. The narratives of Renaissance utopias tend to work by way of socio-­spatial juxtaposition, representing the ideal through a critical interrogation of the real. In the spatial play of two islands or two societies—­sometimes explicitly or sometimes only implicitly evoking the real—­the utopia gives fictive form to an authoring context which Christopher Kendrick has identified as an overde-

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termined economic modality.14 In the case of sixteenth-­century England, this modality involves the coexistence of late feudal and early capitalist productive forces. In fact, a long line of critics, including Karl Kautsky, Louis Marin, Jameson, Richard Halpern, and Kendrick, have noted as much, situating utopias (and Thomas More’s founding work in particular) within moments of historical conjuncture, with special concern for locating the “origins” of the genre—­or at least its rebirth—­in the origins of capitalism.15 This contextualization requires no great stretch of the imagination when one recalls what is arguably the most straightforward passage in More’s playfully ambiguous Utopia: Raphael Hythlodaeus’s attack on the “dispeopling” enclosures of Henrician England.16 In Book One, Hythlodaeus tells the literary personas of More and his humanist companion from Antwerp, Peter Giles, about a past conversation he had with a lawyer at the house of Cardinal Morton. He offers his views on the reputed justice of the English penal system in this dialogue within a dialogue. For Hythlodaeus, the English execution of thieves is not only unjust, it is a facile remedy to the nation’s social ills.17 He instead suggests that rising rates of idleness, vagrancy, and crime in England are the result of peasant dispossession, not moral depravity. He cites the enclosure of arable land for pasture and the gentry’s greed as the real sources of England’s problems. In an ironic reversal that mocks the lawyer’s logic, he charges the sheep of England with an insatiable appetite that is ruining the livelihood of commoners and undermining the commonwealth’s stability: Your sheep . . . that commonly are so meek and eat so little; now, as I hear, they have become so greedy and fierce that they devour men themselves. They devastate and depopulate fields, houses, and towns. For in whatever parts of the land sheep yield the finest and thus the most expensive wool, there the nobility and gentry, yes, and even some abbots though otherwise holy men, are not content with the old rents that the land yielded to their predecessors. Living in idleness and luxury without doing society any good no longer satisfies them; they have to do positive evil. For they leave no land free for the plough: they enclose every acre for pasture; they destroy houses and abolish towns, keeping only the churches—­and those for sheep barns.18

There is a quick slippage here from England’s voracious sheep—­who consume both the commonwealth and its populace—­to a nobility that breeds overconsumption and acts according to an unnatural desire for ever-­increasing profits. The carnivorous sheep of Book One stand in for enclosing—­and metaphori-


cally, cannibalistic—­landlords and the idle rich of More’s England, who embody the moral corruption, religious error, and legal injustice of Tudor society. Hythlodaeus goes on to explain that as pales and hedges are thrown up by landlords, husbandmen are “thrust out on their own.”19 In what we would now identify as a systemic account of crime, More explains how necessity compels the dispossessed to wander, beg, or steal for their daily bread—­regardless of the threat of capital punishment. Despite the humor and ambiguity that characterizes More’s humanist book, Hythlodaeus’s indictment seems to escape the ambiguous conceit of the work to present a moment of irrefutable critique. In contrast, the Utopian island’s state of near full employment and communal property—­as described in the second book of More’s Utopia (which was, famously, composed before the first)—­quite explicitly outlines a society where theft is not only prevented, it is ostensibly not possible, given the absence of private property. In this way, More subtracts European practices from his imaginary island, and repurposes the masses of dispossessed English whom he discusses in Book One. As such, the fictional society of Utopia offers a vantage point from which to view the injustices of England itself, suggesting that to at least some extent, the utopian form emerges as a critical interrogation of what Marx would later call primitive accumulation—­the historical theft of land that initiates the capitalist wage relation. Indeed, Marx himself would cite More’s satire on sheep in his chapter on “so-­called primitive accumulation” in Capital.20 For Kendrick, whose work is strongly influenced by Marin’s Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces, and by Jameson’s own extensions of Marin’s poststructuralist, psychoanalytical work, passages like the one above suggest that the liminal, quasi-­feudal, and quasi-­capitalist social relations of sixteenth-­ century England enable More to imagine “modes of production . . . in their interrelation.”21 Richard Halpern, too, in The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, examines Utopia as an expression of capitalism’s preconditions, a context he describes throughout his book as a structural “decoding” and deterritorializing crisis of dispossession and “chronological dislocation,” which had not yet settled into a system of accumulation generated by the wage relation.22 In all of these accounts, More’s moment is one of conjuncture and overdetermination, in which a late feudal, relatively localized structure of production is increasingly defamiliarized and abstracted as the result of the rise of centralized monarchical rule, monetarization, commodity production, and the dispossession of petty producers.23 These readings of More’s book, then, highlight the spatial

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play of islands as a “neutralization” of sociohistorical contradictions—­as opposed to an ideological resolution of them—­that is, at least in part, a figuration and a reaction to an English transitional context that was both a moment of loss and “progress.” To locate the origins of More’s Utopia in the context of capitalism’s original moments is by now a well-­rehearsed argument, especially among Marxist literary scholars and theorists. However, while Marin, Jameson, Kendrick, and Halpern serve as important, ground-­clearing precursors to this study, they have by no means exhausted this position in their sophisticated, theoretical insights into the mechanism of Utopia and its conditions of possibility. Other Englands will expand on this tradition in at least three specific ways: first, as a genuine genre study of early modern utopias that looks beyond More to consider a fuller range of sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century utopian responses to capitalism’s uneven development—­including utopian works that represent more marginalized viewpoints on such changes; second, by looking beyond Marx and engaging throughout with competing histories of proto-­capitalism offered (and disputed) by twentieth-­and twenty-­first-­century British Marxist historians, world-­systems theorists, and materialist feminists; and third, by thinking of the early modern utopian tradition and capitalism as always already implicated in an imperial imaginary that seeks outside solutions and spatial fixes to domestic crises. After all, the island and Atlantic imaginaries of most early modern utopian fiction suggests that even as early as 1516, domestic problems provoked oceanic explorations for solutions, as well as global alternatives and perspectives. In terms of methodology, then, this study will borrow from postcolonial, feminist, geocritical, and cultural materialist frameworks, in an effort to extend the Jamesonian utopia-­in-­transition thesis to a developing, dialogical tradition of utopian literature. In many Marxist readings, More’s book is treated as both the exception and the rule, which may explain why it remains for a survey of the genre of early English utopias to test out the transition thesis; Utopia is at one and the same time both the most brilliant because ambiguous and original English utopia and the example that establishes a pattern to be adapted by nearly every other work in the tradition. While the novelty of More’s Utopia—­a main point of consideration in the first chapter of this study—­partially explains our tendency to privilege it in discussions of the discourse, genre-­defining exercises and historical studies obviously require a comparative approach, both to reveal enduring trends and interrogate assumptions of uniformity. Consequently, I examine


the idiosyncrasies in the form and content of each alternative social model, and approach utopia as a genre that is dialogically constructed in each intertextual iteration.24 Indeed, as capitalist practices of production, exchange, and expansion became more commonplace by the early seventeenth century, the concerns and forms of utopian literature also alter, often more explicitly aligning with an emerging ideology of improvement. Raymond Williams’s Keywords explains the sixteenth-­century association of improvement with “profitable operations in connection with land,” but likewise notes that by the seventeenth century, the word was taking on a more general meaning of “making something better”25—­a definition that tellingly suggests emergent capitalism’s own developing utopian rhetoric. In this comparison, the idealization and reorganization of labor and property will be shown to be a predominant, even primary feature of the early genre—­not just of More’s Utopia—­suggesting that historically pertinent problems like unemployment, dispossession, and the material and ideological crises of emergent capitalism drive the early modern utopian imagination. The very diverse perspectives and aesthetics of the utopian spatial narratives by Thomas More, Edmund Spenser, Isabella Whitney, Aemelia Lanyer, Francis Bacon, Gabriel Plattes, and John Milton that are examined in this study all reinvent systems of labor and property, while productive forces are shown to create possibilities for new collectivities—­whether these solidarities are national, regional, class-­based, occupational, gendered, or religious. Early English utopias, I will seek to demonstrate, were uniquely systemic narratives, reimagining the socioeconomic changes witnessed by their authors. While the mechanism of utopia is crucial to this inquiry (in terms of elucidating the cultural work utopia performs by asserting the possibility of difference), a materialist approach to the tradition seems to require more attention to the imaginary societies as they are schematized and charted in each text. The blueprint utopia, however, has been a favorite whipping boy in the twentieth-­ century turn against utopia—­in anarchic and liberal critiques as much as in the anti-­communist, Cold War variety. Russell Jacoby makes precisely this point in his study of Hannah Arendt’s, Karl Popper’s, and Isaiah Berlin’s writings on democracy, where the model orders of early utopias are often equated with a will to domination; utopianism here becoming virtually synonymous with national socialism or Marxist totalitarianism.26 In twenty-­first-­century recuperations of utopia, such as Jameson’s Archaeologies of the Future and Jacoby’s two books on the topic, The End of Utopia27 and Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-­Utopian Age, this equation between utopianism and authoritarianism is

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identified as a major obstacle to radical social movements and Leftist thought. Thus, Jameson and Jacoby rally the Left back to utopian thought by way of a strategic redefinition. Utopia is instead resuscitated by what Jameson—­in the tradition of Jean-­Paul Sartre—­dialectically calls an “anti-­anti-­utopianism,”28 and what Jacoby refers to as “iconoclastic utopianism,”29 a mode of utopian thinking or an impulse he traces to Frankfurt School intellectuals like Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and (perhaps more convincingly) Ernst Bloch and Herbert Marcuse. In Jacoby’s account, in particular, the reputation of utopia has been sullied by the “blueprint utopian tradition,” a static, self-­limiting style of utopianism that strives for social engineering. Writing on the failures of this tradition, Jacoby states: [B]lueprints not only appear repressive, they also rapidly become dated. Even with the best of wills, they rapidly tether the future to the past. In outfitting utopia, they order from the catalog of their day. With their schedules and seating arrangements, their utopias stand condemned not by their capaciousness, but by their narrowness, not by their extravagance but their poverty. History soon eclipses them.30

Jameson, as a literary critic, does not share in Jacoby’s wholesale dismissal of the blueprint form—­after all, Archaeologies of the Future concerns the history of utopian science fiction—­but his concern is precisely with the way in which all utopian thought is eclipsed by history and tethered to the present. In this failure to imagine a wholly Other future, or in our poverty of imagination, Jameson finds a utopian impulse nonetheless. By calling attention to the limits on the thinkable or the representable, he argues that utopia “can serve the negative purpose of making us more aware of our mental and ideological imprisonment.”31 No contemporary thinker has done more for Utopian Studies than Fredric Jameson, but I will suggest here that the diminishment of blueprint utopias seems to risk erasing the imaginative power of literary utopias—­especially early examples from the genre—­and to overlook the remarkably sociological and systemic perspective of utopian fictions, peculiar especially to those authored in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. To ignore the specificity of utopian plans is to overlook was what so novel about the early modern tradition: the idea that life is profoundly shaped by institutional formations and that scholars, poets, and dramatists might themselves reimagine centers of power, community formations, or geopolitical identity. I would add that descriptive utopian


fictions, however dated or impoverished they may now appear, from our vantage point of hindsight, often uncannily schemed worlds that were to come—­an assertion that the following readings of Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis (chapter 2), Edmund Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland (chapter 3), and Gabriel Plattes’s Macaria (chapter 5) hope to bear out. As such, these works, along with more truly radical blueprints like Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom, seem to possess a practical, historical function that hints not just at the limits of the possible or the epistemological but at a future in the making. But just as importantly, I will also explore how early English fictions of alterity demonstrate a range of subjective and class responses to the lived experience of emergent capitalism, from ambivalent or staunch critiques to anxious anticipations of a more extensive, complete expansion of capitalist policies like enclosure, colonial dispossession, free trade, the division of labor, and the gendering of labor and property. This is an insight that Marxist critics of utopia have tended to repress, preferring instead to cast utopia as an inherently anticapitalist form, spirit, or praxis.32 In viewing utopia as the antithesis of ideology (as Karl Mannheim does) or as the communal, compensatory mechanism that pairs with ideology in all cultural works (as Bloch and Jameson have argued), utopia is often conflated with a longing for communism.33 But as Marina Leslie points out, one of the defining characteristics of utopian literature is the tendency for each subsequent work within the genre to fashion itself as “an explicit or implicit rejection of the model offered by every other utopia,” meaning that utopias give expression to diverse and competing dreams for a better world.34 Indeed, a close look at the early tradition of utopian writing also stands as a reminder that capitalism has historically required its own utopias, if for nothing else than the winning of subjects’ consent to its cause.35 Especially in a moment of capitalism’s genesis, an “improving,” mercantile or imperial vision of another Britain possesses a kind of anticipatory power that puts literary innovation at the service of an emergent social order. This is not to claim, as was once the fashion, that Renaissance utopias possess a prophetic power, but instead to argue that culture possesses a social function that intervenes in historical praxis just as much as it represents it. One need only consider Vasco de Quiroga’s settlement in New Spain, or Oliver Cromwell’s campaign against the Irish, or the founding of the Royal Society to recognize that writers like More, Spenser, and Bacon exerted their own kind of influence. This study, then, will focus predominantly on the early history of capitalist utopias, and in some chapters, examine utopian fictions as a literary counterpart to early political economy and colonial propaganda.

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Raymond Williams’s cultural materialist scheme is therefore an important source for this study of early English utopias. While Williams defends the importance of epochal analysis, he also insists that cultural critics must recognize not only “‘stages’ and ‘variations’ but the internal dynamic relations of any actual process.”36 In discussing the role of culture within social formations, Williams argues that “no mode of production and therefore no dominant social order and therefore no dominant culture ever in reality includes or exhausts all human practice, human energy, and human intention.”37 In other words, culture is composed not only of dominant ideologies but also of oppositional or alternative experiences, meanings, desires, and beliefs. In Williams’s account, counter-­hegemonic possibilities include the residual ways of living and thinking held over from past societies, as well as “emergent” forms or values. Williams’s concept of structures of feeling is therefore particularly useful for the study of utopia, especially when one considers Bloch’s theory of utopia as a form of “anticipatory consciousness.”38 Like Bloch, Williams complicates old notions of ideology, which even in twentieth-­century redeployments too readily collapse culture, politics, and belief into a reflective expression of class position. Williams, however, recognizes modes of production as historical formations in process, and just as crucially, he identifies culture as a site of social struggle in which existing contradictions can be contested or torn asunder just as easily as resolved. While works of art are “explicit and finished forms,” Williams explains that “art itself is never in the past tense” because it belongs to a historically specific moment that is only ever experienced in process.39 Thus, he cautions that the literary critic should be careful not to assume the primacy of art either as an ideological, fixed form or as a purely subjective or idiosyncratic aesthetic. He argues instead that art, language, and literature are “inalienable elements of a social material process,” and that they are active agents in constituting practical consciousness. The plurality of structures is significant, for as Williams defines them, structures of feeling concern “meanings and values as they are actively lived and felt, and the relations between these and formal or systematic beliefs are in practice variable (including historically variable), over a range from formal assent to private dissent.”40 In this sense, cultural works can possess an anticipatory impulse; they need not belong to an already established, solidified social formation with its congealed ideologies, but can function as a kind of “pre-­emergence,” as meanings that press the limits of consciousness and semantic possibility.41 According to Williams, it is in moments of dynamic


historical transformation that structures of feeling proliferate, and culture becomes a site for working through these upheavals. Utopia, as a genre of and about social transformation, then, seems to be a privileged site for exploring the way in which early modern subjects represented and responded to the social, religious, ethical, and geopolitical changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We might even say that early modern utopias, as fictional blueprints, expressions of longing, spatial fantasies, or social criticisms, are structures of feeling par excellence. Though utopias often appear as static, fixed forms, they may be better understood as origin stories; utopias project new worlds, and each of these worlds registers its own historical situation as one of novelty, conjuncture, rupture, estrangement, contradiction, struggle, and renewal. Consequently, an inquiry into the economic transformations and instabilities of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries can help us explain the defining characteristics of the then young literary-­fictional genre now half a millennium old. In what follows here, and in the ensuing chapters, I will orchestrate a dialogue between theoretical, hermeneutic traditions of Marxist literary criticism and their empiricist, historicist siblings, thus bringing the transition debate to bear on the utopia-­in-­transition thesis, so as to expand the scope of both the contextualization and character of the emergent literary form. Primitive Accumulation and the Transition Debate The new world, which is painfully rising in so many English villages, is a tiny mirror of the new world which, on a mightier stage, is ushering modern history in amid storms and convulsions. R. H. Tawney, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century, 408.

A debate among economic—­and mainly Marxist—­historians over the conditions and defining characteristics of capitalism’s earliest moments has long concerned the question of whether or not capitalism began in the English countryside or on a “mightier stage.” The transition debate, as it is often called, can be traced back to Adam Smith’s and Karl Marx’s competing understandings of what they, respectively, called “prior accumulation” and “primitive accumulation.” In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith had proposed that capitalism’s beginnings lay in a stockpile of wealth accumulated through individual acts of thrift, frugality, and ultimately, self-­interest. In Smith’s optimistic and rather

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hypothetical account,42 accumulated wealth would generate trade and a specialization of the labor force that, in turn, would fuel capitalist economic development. Marx, however, interrogates Smith’s account, in the postscript to volume one of Capital, by historicizing “so-­called primitive accumulation,” or the extra-­economic form of accumulation that precedes capitalist accumulation proper. For our present purposes, Marx’s definition of the preconditions for capitalist development can be generally summarized as the transformation of communal property into private property, and un-­free, usually serf labor into wage labor. What this entailed (and in some instances, continues to entail) is the expropriation of the masses from their means of production, and thus, their conversion into a class of wage laborers, dispossessed of land and no longer direct producers of their own subsistence. Principal instances of this in early modern England, according to Marx, included the enclosure movement and the dissolution of the monasteries, but also colonial projects, which served as “the basis of the capitalist mode of production” in his discussion.43 In the colonies, according to Marx, an entire surplus population was also created, forcibly removed from the soil and their own labor power, then resting in the hands of a small body of capitalists backed by a mother country.44 Importantly, in Marx’s account, force—­not frugality—­plays a pivotal role in the transformation of land into property and of peasants and natives into tenants, wage laborers, and in the case of the colonies, slaves. The difference between Marx’s and Smith’s theories of capitalism’s origins, then, has as much to do with geographical scope and empirical method as with their overall competing assessments of capitalist economic development.45 The debate about capitalism’s origins then found new form in the mid-­ twentieth century; this time among Marxists themselves. In 1950, the American economist and co-­founder of the Monthly Review Paul Sweezy published a critique in the journal Science and Society of Maurice Dobb’s then recent book Studies in the Development of Capitalism. Dobb’s book offered a neoclassical, Marxist account of the transition in England, proposing that capitalism’s beginnings required the internal collapse of feudalism itself. In a dialectical argument, Dobb saw contradictions within the existing mode of production—­in other words, class struggle—­as the engine of historical change. What he was essentially critiquing was the commonplace assumption that capitalism was a product of increasing trade and urbanism—­a theory that later voices in the transition debate would refer to as the commercialization model.46 For Dobb, the widening of the market was not a “sufficient condition” for the decline of


feudalism and the rise of capitalism;47 instead, he sought an explanation in “internal relationships” which stemmed from the “inefficiency of Feudalism as a system of production” for increasing ruling class revenue without exhausting or “squeezing” the labor force.48 Sweezy’s contention was that to understand proto-­capitalism one needed a wider lens whose scope looked beyond Europe to also consider the influence of foreign trade, especially in the Mediterranean but also in the New World and Asia. In essence, what Sweezy proposed was that there was never such a thing as a nationally circumscribed capitalism. For Sweezy, long-­distance trade was “a creative force, bringing into existence a system of production for exchange alongside the old feudal system of production for use.”49 This initial exchange kindled a series of articles, subsequently collected in The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism (1978), in which Sweezy and Dobb, among others, articulated competing accounts that concerned much more than capitalism’s point of origin; despite the empirical emphasis of both writers, what was always at stake in the Sweezy-­Dobb exchange was the ability to predict capitalism’s future demise, or in other words, the transition out of capitalism. Over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-­first centuries, Sweezy and Dobb’s debate has gradually drawn in many Marxist economists and historians, including (but not limited to) Rodney Hilton, Perry Anderson, Robert Brenner, Ellen Meiksins Wood, André Gunder Frank, Immanuel Wallerstein, Silvia Federici, and Jim Blaut. The crux of the debate continues to be the question of capitalism’s prime mover or historical lever.50 Brenner and Wood, for instance, follow Dobb in viewing the transition from feudalism to capitalism as a matter of internal or immanent development, with its beginnings in agrarian England, whereas dependency and world-­systems theorists Frank and Wallerstein have explored the transition as a condition of global productive forces and the transfer of wealth from the south to the north. More than half a century after Sweezy and Dobb’s exchange, the global origins explanation remains a controversial position, owing mainly to the intervention of Brenner in the late 1970s. When Brenner published “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-­Industrial Europe” in Past and Present in 1976 and, fast on its heels a year later, “The Origins of Capitalist Development: A Critique of Neo-­Smithian Marxism” in the New Left Review, the popularity of Third World theory was on the rise.51 The Vietnam War had recently ended and theorists like Frantz Fanon, Che Guevara, and Mao Zedong attracted radical thought to the study of social development, to some ex-

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tent displacing Eurocentric views of social causation and historical progress. 52 Frank, for instance, challenged the tendency of development theory to portray modernization as a process of capitalist incorporation. He did so by examining underdevelopment, predominantly in Latin America, as the legacy of conquest and the result of the “structural inequality and temporal unevenness of capital accumulation.”53 Frank and Wallerstein challenged dualist conceptions of the developed and undeveloped world, arguing that the discoveries of 1492 had played a crucial role in beginning a process, however uneven, of world integration under an increasingly totalizing system of production and exchange. In their accounts, capitalism is recognized as possessing geographic centers of concentration and transfers of surplus, along with unequal productive relations that aim toward profit maximization. Here, capitalism depends on a global commercial network, where, in Frank’s scheme, the “satellite’s” internal economy serves the “metropolis,” or in Wallerstein’s terminology, the “periphery’s” surplus supports the “core.”54 Brenner, however, was to challenge, and quite provocatively so, these macroscopic studies of commercial circulation and imperialism as the mainsprings of capitalist social relations. Advancing a neo-­Dobbian position, Brenner located a crucial confusion in the commercial models of transition. He argued that even though the work of Sweezy, Frank, and Wallerstein reversed Smith’s positive appraisal of trade by highlighting how “growth” also depended structurally on backward economic change in the colonies, these theorists nevertheless retained an emphasis on trade as the defining characteristic of a capitalist economy. Brenner took issue with this characterization, claiming that it emphasized “productive forces” (or the means of capital accumulation) over “social relations of production,” which Marx, in his later writings, such as the Grundrisse, prioritized as the fundamental characteristic of capitalism.55 The primary category here is class; capitalism’s fundamental character is its organization of class power that, Brenner explains, entails both a relation to property and a relationship of surplus-­extraction.56 As he quite rightly points out in his studies, accumulation does not inevitably produce capital, for trade, slavery, and plunder long predated the changes of early modernity, and thus, it cannot serve as an adequate definition of a capitalist economy.57 Brenner’s claim, then, is that if we understand capitalism as a set of social relations, its origins must be located in a historically specific region where labor first became a commodity. For him, this recognition gives further support to Dobb’s claim that capitalism was the consequence of agrarian dispossession in early modern Western Europe, and particularly England, begin-


ning in the late fifteenth century. Following the lead of Marx in Capital, it is the three-­tiered English landlord, tenant farmer, and free wage laborer class organization that he sees as the earliest instantiation of capitalist social relations, whereby the middle class of yeomanry, in particular, is positioned as a driving force of capitalist innovation.58 In Brenner’s account of primitive accumulation, therefore, his concern is mainly with the centuries-­long disintegration of feudalism, a process that resulted from internal contradictions, class struggle, and the extra-­economic force inherent to a coercive organization of labor. There are several levels of distinction, then, between the position of Brenner and the historical narratives of Sweezy, Frank, and Wallerstein. In Brenner’s account, capitalism is fundamentally an internal consequence of feudalism rather than an external pressure that disrupts it. Dobb’s and Brenner’s views also represent capitalism as a social structure particular to England, and agrarian in its first form rather than of an immediately transnational or urban character.59 As many have noted, Marx himself was not very clear on this matter. For example, in chapter 26 of Capital, Marx states that “the starting-­point of the development that gave rise both to the wage-­labourer and to the capitalist was the enslavement of the worker. The advance made consisted in a change in the form of this servitude, in the transformation of feudal exploitation into capitalist exploitation.”60 This casts primitive accumulation as a process of proletarianization in the transition from feudalism to capitalism, but chapter 31 provides another account, and one of Marx’s most forceful: The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of blackskins, are all things which characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation.61

Here Marx suggests that capitalism chiefly depends on the commercial and imperial outcomes of the Age of Discovery, not singularly in the emergence of accumulation by expropriation in England. This study does not propose to solve these debates or to locate a precise, singular origin of capitalism, if such a thing is even possible. Yet it will suggest that to explore primitive accumulation as an internal process is to tell only half of the story. Simply put, there is something wanting in Dobb’s and Brenner’s accounts of capitalism’s origin: that something likely emerging from a deduc-

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tive reasoning that privileges Marx’s theoretical definition of capitalism above a messy history of uneven and gradual economic struggle. England was comparatively late to engage in colonial ventures, and thus, the social relations of capitalism were likely first experienced there as internal acts of dispossession, such as the privatization of the commons and the enclosure of copyhold land, but the accelerated development of these property changes indisputably required external zones of expropriation and the exploitation of non-­English populations in order to become a mode of production. Stuart Hall has also challenged exclusively European accounts of what he describes as “organic transformation,” given that in many places the “profound integument of capitalist society, economy, and culture had been imposed by conquest and colonization.”62 And as Crystal Bartolovich explains, if “the ‘England first’ position continues to have considerable purchase in debates about the emergence of capitalism, problems remain when we attempt to determine an absolute distinction (much less priority) of ‘domestic’ over what we might call the ‘oceanic’—­or global—­ aspects of this process.”63 There is also an incompleteness in the focus on the agrarian origin of early capitalism that has as much to do with our contemporary vantage point—­that of a capitalism more globalized than ever and highly dependent on state force for its expansion by expropriation—­as it does with Brenner’s tendency to find the prime mover at the expense of other economic changes that were (as even Brenner acknowledges) preconditions, attendants, and drivers of capitalist accumulation proper. Although Brenner’s account of emergent capitalism posits the dispossession of the English peasantry as capitalism’s fundamental starting point, we are still plagued with a nagging question that Brenner must partially skirt in order to preserve the “Marxism” of his position: what causes gave rise to this transformation in class relations? In fact, to answer this question, he finds himself endorsing the demographic model he initially claims to critique, while inevitably, he must acknowledge that the Continental demand for wool encouraged English landlords to lease, enclose, and improve land.64 Moreover, the internal hypothesis might be said to fetishize a Western narrative of progressive development that assumes English capitalism possessed a singular character and that it began in a singular way. This is a problem of narrative that, in fact, almost all Marxists face in the telling of a history determined by past and present events. When one reads Brenner (and to be fair, any other voice in the transition debate, Marx included), origins and ruptures inevitably seem tied to something prior. Every time a historical cause is revealed, new


questions and a new search for origins follow in tandem. The fantasy of a pure origin or a simple rupture has a real attraction for certain participants in the debate (as it does for utopians), as if by locating the precise place and time of capitalism’s conception, one could simply reverse its expansion or never repeat the same process. This is certainly not to trivialize such a search for capitalism’s beginnings, but when Ellen Meiksins Wood insists on the singular “origin of capitalism” in her book with this title,65 one is left wondering: can capitalism be denaturalized only by pointing to its historically specific scene of birth? For this reason, I am also compelled by Giovanni Arrighi’s heterodox history of capitalism’s “systemic cycles of accumulation” and its pluralist forms—­such as state monopoly capitalism and cosmopolitan finance capitalism—­which in his account has many birthplaces (fifteenth-­century Venice and Genoa, especially) and which reoccurs and constantly adapts on the world-­historical scene.66 The value of the transition debate, I will suggest in this study, lies precisely in its form as a debate. As with most bodies of scholarship, the sum is larger than its parts. For anyone interested in the study of early modern culture, this debate covers a context of widespread economic changes—­agrarian, mercantile, and imperial—­while explaining and describing the socially transformative processes that defined the material conditions of cultural production. Taken together, the contributions to the transition debate reveal that late feudal and capitalist histories of development require many narratives and multiple perspectives of narration. Because utopias, too, often adopt the form of fictional debate, and themselves imagine alternative systems of labor and property that emphasize historical and geographical difference, the utopian genre, too, offers special insight into capitalism’s contested, uneven, and displaced origins. I offer this initial brief sketch of this debate (with the promise to elaborate in the coming chapters) because the transition debate has had a relatively minor impact on the discipline of literary studies. This is especially true in the field of early modern cultural criticism, even though it was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that the transition from feudalism to capitalism so crucially played out in England.67 There are a few notable exceptions to this rule,68 but despite the historical turn of cultural criticism in the last three decades and all the intellectual hype surrounding interdisciplinarity, economic history of the Marxist variety still tends to be cast as the Other of a self-­reflexive, synchronically minded literary historiography. To some extent, this is the legacy of New Historicism, which, for all its attention to the “historicity of texts and the textuality of history,”69 has often dismissed Marxist history as a grand nar-

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rative, preferring Jean-­François Lyotard’s petits recits over the macro-­minded, economic studies of Marxist scholarship.70 For instance, although Lisa Jardine’s Worldly Goods considers the impact of what she calls “bravura consumerism” and commercial expansion on the cultural achievements of the European Renaissance, Jardine makes no mention of any Marxist historian writing about this moment, though Fernand Braudel and the Annales school are warmly received.71 Even more pointedly, Halpern’s The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, one of the most important studies to situate early modern English culture within the prehistory of capitalism, still manages practically to ignore the transition debate. Halpern’s study sensibly argues for the “complementarity of Marxist and non-­Marxist approaches,”72 but voices within the debate are noticeably absent from his account, as is a discussion of primitive accumulation beyond the shores of England. Halpern references Dobb’s founding study in just one sentence, only to dismiss it as “reductivist historicism” and an “ill-­advised attempt” to apply Marx’s theoretical model of primitive accumulation to a historical “stage.”73 Differentiating his own understanding of primitive accumulation from “stagist” models, Halpern explains that the really decisive transformation—­that is, the institution of capitalist productive relations—­occurs only in nascent and non-­dominant forms. What does characterize this period is the development of various preconditions for capitalist production—­the spread of markets, the development of merchant’s capital, the creation of a dispossessed class—­within a complex conjuncture that combines both the late mutation and the partial dissolution of the feudal economy.74

As this passage suggests, Halpern prefers Louis Althusser’s concept of overdetermination to explain this moment of nascent capitalism. But one of the intentions of this study is to demonstrate that most historians participating in the transition debate have themselves consistently troubled a neat, supersessionary narrative of historical development, understanding the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as precisely a period of struggle over different modes of production and alternative social possibilities.75 Dobb himself stressed this very point: In our preoccupation with the definition of an economic system, we must not let it be implied that the frontiers between systems are to be drawn across a page of history as a sharp dividing line. As those who distrust all such talk of


epochs have correctly insisted, systems are never in reality to be found in their pure form, and in any period of history elements and characteristics both of preceding and of succeeding periods are to be found, sometimes mingled in extraordinary complexity. Important elements of each new society, although not necessarily the complete embryo of it, are contained within the womb of the old; and relics of an old society survive for long into the new.76

Even for this defendant of the internal hypothesis, “one would be right in talking, not of a single history of Capitalism, and of the general shape which this has, but of a collection of histories of Capitalism.”77 Yet a genuine recognition of capitalism’s overdetermined origins must recognize capitalist social relations as also involving not only many histories of capitalism within England or Europe but also an attendant global division of labor—­an argument Halpern’s seminal study does little to address. Along with trying to correct this tendency, my own study, which is decidedly cultural in orientation, will, then, also consider how early modern subjects represented and reimagined the experience of social transformation, and how the literature of Renaissance England can contribute to our historical understanding of a long history of expropriation, privatization, colonization, and the struggles that resisted these activities. This is to say that culture can also inflect, or speak back to, macro-­histories of economic transition in interesting ways, presenting a more immediate account of the subjective experience of historical change. Indeed, early modern utopian fictions of social difference suggest that early modern subjects were intensely concerned with both the forces and limits of social determinism, or in other words, with the capacity for subjects to reshape the world that shaped them. To examine the ways literature participated in the history of capital and empire, is also, inevitably, to locate another origin for these transformations in the realm of culture.78 Imperialism and the Encounter My hope is that in studying the utopian genre as an expression of sociohistorical transformation, I will also draw more attention to the imperialist origins of both utopian literature and capitalism, thereby considering what a study of fiction has to say to the transition debate. Much of the most innovative work on the genre in the later twentieth and early twenty-­first centuries concerns its formal and epistemic resonances with travel writing from the age of navigation and early colonial Britain, given the spatial displacement of early modern

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utopias to island territories or colonial sites.79 In conjunction with the revival and translation of such ancient works as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, Lucian’s A True Story, and Cicero’s De Officiis, and with the paradisiacal, millenarian worldviews of Christianity, the texts of New World or Near East explorers generated fantastical imaginings of both new lands and different ways of being in the world. Among others, medieval travel narratives by Marco Polo and the perhaps fictional John Mandeville, and early modern accounts by Amerigo Vespucci, Richard Eden, and Richard Haklyut, offered tales of cross-­cultural encounters and Edenic lands located across the sea that would trigger a fascination not just with the ideal or heavenly societies of classical and Christian discourses but also with the plausibility of other real worlds, or as Bishop Joseph Hall’s traveler, Beroaldus, declares, the idea “that there still remains some land left that is insufficiently concealed by the waves.”80 Early modern utopias, as Chloë Houston argues, frequently use “the concept of the journey as a metaphor for the process by which the ideal society can be reached, or for what it may mean to achieve the ideal society.”81 In fact, a remarkable number of Renaissance utopias evoke Columbus’s “discovery” as a satirical, literary conceit to playfully grant authority to their own imaginary voyages, including the utopian works of More, Hall, Bacon, Francis Godwin, and Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle. For instance, Spenser’s proem to Book Two of The Faerie Queene presents a defense of faery land’s “veritable” allegory by questioning, “Who euer heard of th’Indian Peru? / Or who in venturous vessell measured / The Amazons huge riuer now found trew? / Or fruitfullest Virginia who did euer vew?”82 These fabulous discoveries lead the poet to ponder truths stranger than fiction, while wondering how his readers now receive stories of the unknown and the imagined: “What if within the Moones fayre shining spheare, / What if in euery other starre vnseene / Of other worldes he happily should heare?”83 Three decades later, Francis Godwin forges another analogy between “empirical” travel writing and fictions of other worlds in the Moon. In the prefatory matter to his lunar utopia, The Man in the Moone, Godwin’s prefatory author, E. M., asks the reader not to dismiss the traveler’s tale as mere “fancy,” since it is an “Invention . . . shewed with Judgement.”84 Extrapolating on this claim, E. M. continues: thou hast here a new discovery of a new world, which perchance may finde little better entertainment in thy opinion, than that of Columbus at first, in the esteeme of all men. Yet his than but poore espiall of America, betray’d unto knowl-


edge soe much as hath since encreast into a vaste plantation. And the then unknowne, to be now of as large extent as all other the knowne world.85

This is a remarkable testament to the license Columbus’s “discovery” granted to the early modern imagination, and to the profound shift it created in the West’s epistemological conception of the world and its sciences, but it is by no means an uncommon example. In John Wilkins’s A Discourse Concerning a New World and Another Planet, an earnest tract encouraging England to colonize the Moon (published five months before Godwin’s own lunar voyage was released posthumously), we find a similar statement. Wilkins plies those skeptical readers of his fabulous proposal by exhorting, “How did the incredulous World gaze at Columbus, when hee promised to discover another part of the earth?”86 In Spenser’s, Godwin’s, and Wilkins’s texts, Columbus’s discovery not only lends credibility to the fantastic, it indicates how profoundly unsettling and exciting knowledge of the Americas continued to be more than a hundred years after his return. Indeed, his discovery produces a destabilized worldview that opens up a space for new, and now plausible imaginings about the unknown. William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, perhaps gives clearest expression to this license, praising his wife’s literary creation as surpassing Columbus’s claim to fame in the following prefatory poem to the duchess’s Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World: Columbus then for Navigation fam’d, Found a new World, America ’tis named: Now this new World was found, it was not made, Onely discovered, lying in Times shade. Then what are You, having no Chaos found To make a World, or any such least ground?87

As these examples suggest, the authors of literary utopias often contextualized their own fictions in a historical moment of geographical exploration and transcultural contact, while situating their works within a body of more ostensibly empirical travel writing. Yet the influence also moves the other way: colonial narratives, such as Robert Gray’s sermon, just as frequently invoke idealistic, utopian tropes to describe lands for conquest. Michael Drayton’s ode “To the Virginian Company” (1606) describes Virginia as “Earth’s only paradise” and as being in a

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state of “the golden age” which “Still nature’s laws doth give.”88 John Winthrop, in his famous “A Modell of Christian Charity” sermon, represents his soon-­ to-­be plantation in Massachusetts Bay as an earthly realization of a heavenly “good land” that he and his community of the elect “passe over this vast Sea to possesse.”89 Like travel narratives or colonial works of this kind, utopias often possess a distinct will to domination, as the Manuels, Davis, Holstun, Houston, Jeffrey Knapp, Amy Boesky, and Denise Albanese have already explored.90 If we understand early modern utopias as operating within this discursive and political register, we should also consider how the imperial or global framing of utopian literature intersects with the domestic agendas of these same works. In fact, one of the main assertions of this study will be that as early as the beginnings of the sixteenth century, British writers were unable to imagine an ideal society and a national economy that was insular and self-­sustaining. This study, then, is an attempt to reframe the transition debate within the voices of early modern writers, and simultaneously to suggest that at least one of the literary genres—­perhaps the most systemically and socially minded literary genre of sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century England—­represented the uneven transition from feudalism to capitalism, often rather consciously, as both an internal and external process of transformation and integration. In addition to fostering more conversation between cultural critics and economic historians, Other Englands will also seek to explore how other interpretive methodologies, such as postcolonial studies, feminist literary criticism, and geocriticism, can contribute to our understanding of both early modern utopias and the historical development (and underdevelopment) of capitalism. Specifically, chapter 1, “Thomas More’s ‘Peninsula Made an Island,’” is an inquiry into the problems of conceptualizing historical transition and periodizing cultural innovation, explored through an analysis of More’s genre-­pioneering book. I am especially concerned to show how Utopia adapts late feudal estates satire by combining it with more worldly discourses—­both classical and Atlantic—­in a way that reconceptualizes the social in broadening geopolitical frameworks. Examining the class-­coded character construction in Book One of Utopia and the textual sources for More’s story of the Utopian trench, this chapter maintains that Utopia figures systemic transformation as both immanent and international. On the first score, we see Utopia advancing a nationalist imaginary in which enclosure and dispossession are both satirized and idealized. But, while the book denounces the violence and dispossession of the


English commoner, it ultimately presents a conflicted criticism of primitive accumulation that imagines external sites and systems of exploitation, prefiguring an imperialist will to “vent” England’s poor and unemployed abroad. This case is also supported through a genealogical exploration of Utopia’s origin story, a fiction that reworks previous narratives about England’s own prehistorical condition as a “peninsula made an island,” a topos that reflects the socio-­spatial changes of the early sixteenth century. Utopia’s nationally circumscribed radicalism, I’ll argue, gives testimony to proto-­capitalism’s imperial underpinnings, and reminds critics that the origins of both capitalism and the literary utopia demand immanent and global understandings. Chapter 2, “Uneven Development in Bacon’s New Atlantis,” returns to early modern literature’s fascination with fantastical feats of territorial engineering, developed by considering the companionate topos of the man-­made land bridge, articulated as a dream for continent-­spanning oversight in Doctor Faustus. It considers how these spatial figures—­of the island and the isthmus—­ together negotiate a desire for nationalist sway over an increasingly global marketplace, while also exploring the built-­in limitations of empire itself, or its inability to resolve its own contradictory desires for contact and containment. Ultimately, the chapter aims to explore the recurring symbolic representation of islands and bridges in the utopian social imagination of the period as a figuration for global capital. At the center of the chapter, then, is a study of Bacon’s New Atlantis, the story of an imaginary, insulated island, Bensalem, that simultaneously occupies a privileged position of oversight in the world. I examine the way in which Bacon’s text negotiates anxieties about a burgeoning world system by allowing Bensalem to benefit from global relations without actually participating in them. In its contradictory fantasy of total isolation and global all-­knowing, Bensalem is read as a figure that embodies the symbolic logic of both the bridge and the island, and thus stands in for a capitalist system that relies both on nation-­based exploitation and global uneven development. The subsequent chapters predominantly examine more marginal, less canonically recognized early modern English utopias. Chapter 3, “Utopia, Ireland, and the Tudor Shock Doctrine,” considers two colonial tracts on late sixteenth-­century Ireland, Sir Thomas Smith’s much-­neglected A Letter Sent by I.B. and Edmund Spenser’s infamous A View of the Present State of Ireland. The intention here is to initiate a discussion about the role of Ireland in both the early English utopian imaginary and in the development of capitalism. Focusing in particular on Spenser’s tract, the chapter demonstrates that he advances

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a highly specific kind of colonial project, imagined in terms of moral virtue, but driven by novel kinds of economic motive. Unveiling a plan for a more completely subjugated, economically efficient Ireland, I argue, Spenser’s colonial utopia is brought into being through a horrifyingly violent project of reterritorialization. In essence, the chapter considers Spenser’s Irish utopia as a vision of intensified, accelerated primitive accumulation that positions the colony as a site of social experimentation meant to challenge policy at home. The chapter concludes with a sustained interpretation of Spenser’s dismissal of greed and theft in The Faerie Queene. Throughout his epic, Spenser juxtaposes allegorical depictions of Spanish cruelty and Irish theft with the “rightful” spoils his enterprising knights gain. I examine this as an attempt to morally differentiate English methods of land expropriation from other imperial practices and customary economic relations. Chapter 4, “Dispossession and Women’s Poetry of Place,” grants mourning, loss, and women writers a place in the utopian tradition. In particular, the chapter considers how discourses of death and dispossession in women’s topographical verse gesture toward utopia in its absence. Although Isabella Whitney’s mock “Wyll and Testament,” and Aemelia Lanyer’s country-­house poem turned elegy, “A Description of Cooke-­ham,” have only very recently been interpreted, separately, as utopian poems, a comparison of these two poems, considered in the context of Silvia Fedrici’s Marxist-­feminist intervention into the transition debate, suggests a female counter-­tradition of utopian writing that adopts dispossession as a theme and imagines utopia from an explicitly socio-­spatial vantage point of marginalization. In essence, the chapter makes a case for a more inclusive canon of utopian literature, one that is more open to early women writers, and one that is more attentive to the utopian dimension of poetic discourses. The fifth and final chapter of this study, “Reforming Utopia in Macaria and Areopagitica,” considers Gabriel Plattes’s and John Milton’s utopian visions and attacks on monopoly in a moment of revolutionary crisis. I explore how Plattes’s utopia of cultivation anticipates classical political economy’s defense of free trade and its discourse of “improvement,” while outlining the economic agenda of the parliamentarian Samuel Hartlib, with whose circle Plattes was associated, and Milton more loosely affiliated. At the same time, this chapter concerns the ways in which the early geographical utopian form was coming under criticism in this revolutionary moment. Milton’s pamphlet is shown to interrogate the utopian form for its otherworldliness, yet also adapt it to endorse a


bourgeois call for innovation, dynamism, and labor. Milton’s critical utopianism is thus explored as a compelling attack on the static and homogeneous nature of earlier utopias, but his ambivalence about utopianism is also read as an endorsement of a commercial society—­a case made clearer when one examines a tradition of twentieth-­century liberal, free-­market thinkers citing Areopagitica’s more anti-­utopian passages. Together, these chapters constitute a Marxist and transatlantic study of utopian literature and a cultural study of economic transition. In the early utopia, Other Englands finds new perspective on the transformative geographies and social formations of early global capital.


T H O M A S M O RE ’ S “ PE N I N S U L A M AD E A N I S L A N D ” There is a history in all men’s lives, Figuring the nature of the times deceased, The which observed, a man may prophesy, With a near aim, of the main chance of things As yet not come to life, who in their seeds And weak beginnings lie intreasured. William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, 3.1.80–­85. [T]he suspension of the present form of production relations gives signs of its becoming—­foreshadowings of the future. Karl Marx, Grundrisse, 461.1

In 2006, the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies assembled a special issue titled “Utopias, Medieval and Early Modern.” In the introductory essay, the medievalist Patricia Ingham advances the following statement of purpose: “we are interested in understanding why, despite repeated testimony to those “medieval” inspirations that survive in [Thomas More’s Utopia], the narrative of More’s revolutionary newness still seems to be unassailable.”2 Ingham goes on to question the tendency toward supersessionary thinking within utopian studies, especially the variety that represents the early modern utopia as a newly secular mindset, while caricaturing the medieval as irredeemably religious. Ingham counters this periodization by asserting that invention, play, and worldly wonder—­defining characteristics within her definition of utopia3—­are as common to medieval literature as they are to More’s text. The case for medieval utopianism is made just as emphatically by Karma Lochrie in her contribution to the same journal issue and in her recent book Nowhere in the Middle Ages.4 Lochrie takes aim at the literary tendency to ghet-


toize utopia to the realm of mere genre, calling on Ernst Bloch’s theories to assert the higher purpose of a more timeless utopian function. She claims, “The scholarly master narrative of More as the father of all utopias worries me for its circular way of reinforcing the novelty of More’s work, the epistemic break between the medieval and the early modern, and the narrowest concept of what utopia is and does.”5 As their remarks indicate, Ingham and Lochrie gesture toward larger problems of method than period turf wars: the question of how to define utopia—­as form, content, impulse, or function—­occupies this special journal issue throughout, but their critiques zero in on the narrative approach to literary historiography. In particular, they suggest that the modern and, mainly, Marxist tradition of utopian studies has chronically overemphasized More’s novelty, rupture, and difference at the expense of survivals, seams, and continuities within the history of utopian thought. Lochrie’s and Ingham’s theses should themselves be contextualized within a larger movement in medieval studies that owes a great deal to James Simpson’s influential Reform and Cultural Revolution. Simpson probes the passage from the medieval to the early modern, troubling dominant periodic terms and the contemporary scholar’s tendency to draw too sharp a line between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But if Simpson critiques the “constrained memory” of periodized thought,6 he also to a large extent reproduces it, despite his own venture beyond the frequent chronological rift—­the coronation of Henry VII in 1485. For example, he begins his massive study by advancing the claim that the sixteenth century was not a period of literary innovation so much as one of generic narrowing and simplification. In the introduction, he goes on to maintain that early modern literature was organized by “unity” and “novelty” as measures of cultural worth (a shift in some ways traced to the development of the printing press), as opposed to the heterogeneity and “complication” which characterized medieval cultural production. In Simpson’s account, historians and cultural critics who study early modernity tend to misguidedly reproduce these same neat divides, the same desire for a “cleanness of line” and “original purity” in cultural traditions7—­or in a word, for cultural revolution rather than reformation. When he reckons with More’s fictional society (an imagined commonwealth based on “draconian repression of the body politic in the name of centralized reason”), he treats Utopia rather straightforwardly as a textual fantasy of the “end of history.”8 Simpson here poses a question that arises again in Lochrie’s and in Ingham’s work: “Can More slice across history so cleanly?”9

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The question seems pointed, but in reality, it is loaded; Utopia in all these studies becomes a symbolic text of early modernity. It sets the cultural standard of novelty and revolution (in Simpson) and the generic, utopian literary standard (in both Lochrie and Ingham). Ironically, More’s little book again emerges as a uniquely pivotal, seminal text even as this status is denied it. Here, I’ll argue that Utopia is moored in a transitional moment, looking both backward and ahead, internalizing its transitional, transformative context as content. The work is certainly perturbed by past survivals and adapts older forms, then, but it also signals historically novel circumstances and initiates a culturally novel form. While Ingham and Lochrie offer valuable reminders that a utopian impulse exceeds literary formations and that something akin to utopian wonder or collective dreaming was indisputably present in medieval culture and texts, and while Simpson’s work needs no praise given the influence it exerts, I will here maintain that the study of the genre of utopia demands an approach that is uniquely attentive to historical shifts and departures within its history. The search for origins and ruptures within the study of utopia—­however fraught that project will be—­seems a necessary one, given utopia’s own probing desire for social difference and historical becoming.10 This is certainly not an attempt to fortify disciplinary boundaries, or to shut down conversations between literary critics who have much to glean from each other; instead, it is to defend and join two of the most lively, and to my mind, seminal sites of critical innovation on More’s work in recent decades: the New Historicist and postcolonial influenced strains of More criticism and the Marxist and Freudo-­Marxist set of interpretations. What these two already cross-­pollinated fields share—­in the study of utopias and culture more generally—­is an interdisciplinary concern with culture’s sociohistorical embeddedness. In addition, both strains of criticism suggest that More’s work is definitively “early modern,” shedding light on the historical development of modern institutions, from the nation state and empire to the nuclear family and capitalism. Yet in the end, they arrive at remarkably different conclusions on the political nature of More’s book. In most new historicist, Foucauldian, or post-­structural studies on More, Utopia is less than a radical text, emptied out of its good intentions by its colonial form and policies and its fantasy of instrumental rationality, state power, regulation, and repression. 11 Alternatively, in the Marxist tradition of utopian literary studies—­anchored as it is in Fredric Jameson’s elaborations on Louis Marin’s structuralist study


Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces—­the form of Utopia tends to be celebrated (against the content of King Utopus’s social order) as a challenge to ideological thought.12 In Marin’s and Jameson’s readings, Utopia is a kind of formal thought mechanism, orchestrating a radical play of perspectives that estranges the current social system and thus presents readers with a way of recognizing the limits of ideology and history. The Left, then, is no closer to a consensus on Utopia’s political orientation than it was in the Cold War–­era debate with virulent anti-­communists.13 By some accounts, More’s work is draconian; by others, it is saintly, much like the views in the debate about Thomas More the man. What this chapter will attempt is a kind of reconciliation of these assessments, or a reading that draws from both critical practices to consider the complicated, overdetermined, and certainly multiple origins of Utopia within a historical process that was both regressive and progressive, or as Walter Benjamin would have it, barbaric and civilized.14 As is always the case with More, part of the difficulty of locating his politics is a matter of the book’s dialogue form, its self-­effacing neologisms, and its self-­contradictions and satire. Yet I would like to propose that this difficulty is also a consequence of the book’s effort to reexamine localized social upheavals in their abstract, non-­placed relationship to transnational forces—­a circumstance of deterritorialization15 or displacement that is in tension and also in explicit debate with Utopia’s nation-­ state formations. If, as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari argue, the “problem of the nation is aggravated in the two extreme cases of a land without a people and a people without a land,” (begging the question, “How can a people and a land be made . . . a nation—­a refrain”),16 Utopia, in its dialogical encounter between a “new” continent and a kingdom of vagrants, offers a fiction that aspires to resolve this riddle. Of particular concern in the first half of this chapter will be the combinatory, collisional discourses of late medievalism, humanism, and New World writing that structure More’s book and which formally encourage old and new, as well as internal and international, ways of perceiving land, labor, and community in a moment of class upheaval and continental discovery. Specifically, More’s parodic reworking of the medieval tradition of estates satire, as it combines with the philosophical-­dialogical tradition of the ideal commonwealth and the emergent discourses of Atlantic travel writing, suggest that Utopia is an effort to reexamine England’s place in a new world. Importantly, these literary forms are also narratives of community formation, both true and fic-

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titious, with various socio-­spatial limits: namely, the imaginary polis, the kingdom (as it was and is), and the unknown, expansive, oceanic world. The novel adaptation of the three forms, I’ll suggest, becomes a means for representing diachronic change synchronically and responding to the spatio-­temporal dislocations caused by agrarian, mercantile, and imperial changes to the English polity, in ways that emphasize both continuity and rupture with the past, and that seek out figurative means for representing systemic transformation. In the final section of the chapter, focused mainly on More’s colonial imaginary and Book Two’s story of the island-­forming trench, the concern will be to demonstrate Utopia’s own obsession with spatial, geopolitical, and territorial origins. Moreover, an examination of its socio-­spatial discourses will highlight Utopia’s nationally circumscribed critique of dispossession. The contradictions that emerge in More’s work will be read not only within the context of an emerging agrarian capitalism, then, but also in relation to an emerging world system, for More’s representation of domestic struggles looks beyond England to consider an alternative that lies across the sea. In essence, this study is an effort to join two threads of criticisms by considering Utopia not as a product of a capitalist and an imperialist moment, but as a genre-­pioneering work that attempts to narrate the experience of an at once very immediate and very distant transformation that gave rise to capitalist relations within and beyond England. On the Origins of Utopia and the Origins of Capitalism There is a long line of critics of all political and methodological persuasions who treat More’s Utopia as having inaugurated a genre. The most empirical evidence for its ground-­breaking status can be found in the number of subsequent works that were explicitly fashioned after the 1516 text. Utopia inspired a host of explicit imitations by fellow English writers like Bacon, Hall, and Plattes, while beyond Britain’s shores, Tommaso Campanella’s Civitas Solis, Johannes Valentinus Andreae’s Christianopolis, and Voltaire’s Candide also paid tribute to More’s book. Perhaps the strongest evidence of More’s invention can be found in the anxiety of influence expressed by some of his pupils. Robert Burton’s Dutch-­inspired “Utopia of Mine Owne” (in the Anatomy of Melancholy), for instance, parodically proposes that the source of seventeenth-­century England’s troubles is indeed the idleness of commoners.17 Burton nevertheless gives evidence of the paternal pressure More’s text exerted on other writers.18 Interpretive evidence can also be evoked to describe the text’s novelty, from


its neologism that coined the contemporary genre’s namesake to its humanist reworking of classical texts and travel narratives. But what marks Utopia apart from earlier classical, pagan, and Christian traditions of the ideal society (within which it should most certainly be contextualized), is the work’s unusually realistic underpinning. Utopia is not just a mythical otherworld; it is also strangely of its own historical world. Unlike the city in Plato’s Republic, where the city is a “pattern” set in the heavens for a “man who wants to see and found a city within himself on the basis of what he sees,”19 and unlike the lands in those myths of a golden age such as Ovid described, where “springtime lasted all the year”20 and the land could go untilled, the Utopian island is a coeval territory where mankind is flawed and desiring, requiring labor and the regulating institutions of society in order to meet human needs.21 Yet the more recent critical tendency chiefly examines More’s novelty in relation to his historical conjuncture. This assertion emerges from several disciplinary vantage points and interpretive frameworks: in humanist and history of ideas scholarship by Quentin Skinner, Lorraine Stobbart and Thomas Kenyon; in Foucauldian analyses by James Holstun and Marina Leslie; in postcolonial and poststructuralist readings by Jeffrey Knapp and Denise Albanese, among others; and in the (Freudo-­) Marxist interpretations of Richard Halpern, Christopher Kendrick, and Phillip Wegner. As many critics have noted, contemporary reality intervenes more explicitly in More’s textual content and form than it does in many of the ideal societies that predate his. Utopia, after all, is a dialogue set in Flanders during English trade negotiations with Charles V and it directly discusses conditions of political and religious struggle internal to Henry VIII’s realm. As J. H. Hexter argued more than half a century ago, “More’s starting point is not a quest for what would be ideally right in the world but a good working idea of what was actually wrong with it.”22 From the early modernist’s point of view, Utopia, then, is much more than fanciful, otherworldly speculation; historically minded criticism insists on utopian realism. For example, in Robert Appelbaum’s new historicist study on the conjoined history of utopian literature and politics from 1603to 1670, he places utopian texts and impulses “somewhere between politics and literature, somewhere between historical circumstances and the experience of social ideas,” rejecting utopia as mere pie-­in-­the-­sky fantasy and instead asserting that the book embodies a “worldly but idealized hope.”23 Leslie takes this one step further, claiming that “[t]he historical crisis that the literary utopia represents is . . . a crisis of representation.”24 She is therefore not interested in reading utopias “against

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history where history serves as utopia’s factual base or extradatum”; rather, her interest lies in how writers like More, Bacon and Cavendish employ fictions to represent the problem of historical transformation and narration.25 Whether utopia is a meta-­historical narrative or an overtly politicized cultural form with a specific social agenda, in most contemporary readings, utopian newness owes something to the historical conditions and problems within which it is produced. While the Marxist interpretation varies in each articulation, a long line of critics, from Karl Kautsky to Christopher Kendrick, have all to some extent argued that More’s text does indeed mark an important turning point in literary and historical formations, not because it demonstrates a wholesale departure from past forms or epistemologies, but because the text is a kind of structural meditation on social determination, made possible—­at least in part—­by the conjunctural, historical circumstances of late feudalism and emergent agrarian capitalism in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Within this account, More’s two-­book structure does not only rework Renaissance exploration narratives or rely on an epistemic paradigm shift that resulted from the “discovery” of the “New World”; the comparative juxtaposition of England and Utopia is also a figuration of the social contradictions within a quasi-­feudal, quasi-­capitalist England. Ironically, Lochrie and Ingham both ignore the question of Utopia’s relationship to this prehistory of capitalism, even though their common reference points are Fredric Jameson’s two seminal essays on More: “Of Islands and Trenches” and “Morus: A Generic View.”26 But their criticisms seem to extend far beyond Jameson’s work to accuse the Marxist approach to genre (and history more generally) of reinforcing sharp disciplinary divides. But to what extent does the Marxist view of history and of Utopia periodize modes of production and cultural movements as sudden, superseding breaks? And what happens to our sense of utopian possibility when we can no longer posit turning points, shifts, or revolutionary moments in literary or lived histories? I think it is safe to say that most Marxists do not approach Utopia with an interest in genre paternity tests or with a desire to sanctify More; instead, they posit a literary beginning with the intent of understanding historical causality and change, both then and now. As Jameson explains in Archaeologies of the Future, the study of utopian production seeks to illuminate its “historical condition of possibility; for it is certainly of the greatest interest for us today to understand why Utopias have flourished in one period and dried up in another.”27 The question that has long driven Marxist studies of More and the


utopian genre is therefore one of motivation and possibility: in other words, Marxists often approach the study of utopia through a realist, or historical lens, intent on understanding how writers reimagined the social both because of and despite their present circumstances. In fact, the fascination with early utopias and More in particular seems occasioned less by a desire to demonstrate how writers threw off the historical chains that bound them than by a need to understand how utopian thought emerges from within hegemonic forces of social determination. The Marxist tradition has followed Jameson’s and Marin’s leads here, considering spatial juxtaposition in More’s work as—­on some level—­a textual representation of the uneven transition from feudalism to capitalism. But if Marxist critics emphasize a narrative of historical conjuncture in histories of capitalism or utopia, theirs is hardly the supersessionary vision of progress denounced by Lochrie and Ingham. In fact, the emphasis on transitions challenges a simple, linear model of historical progress or cultural formation and corrects this model through attentiveness to uneven development. In “Marxism and Historicism,” Jameson explains this distinction between structural and progressive historicisms quite carefully. He begins by asserting that any historicism is necessarily an act of narrative reconstruction, which must choose to emphasize either identity or difference, or in Ingham’s and Lochrie’s terms, survivals or departures, respectively. Jameson explores these “presuppositions” in a range of historicisms and anti-­historicisms, from the antiquarian to the existential and the Nietzschean. A properly Marxist historiography, he argues, is preferable to other forms because it attends to both identity and difference. The mode of production narrative he endorses, replaces the evolutionary or what he calls the “genetic” story of historical origins with a synchronic understanding of the contradictions of history. As opposed to a stagist, bourgeois model of progress, Jameson proposes that “[e]ach . . . mode of production includes the earlier ones, which it has had to suppress in its own emergence. These are therefore sedimented within a mode of production like capitalism.”28 His geological metaphor is not accidental; the past is not entirely obliterated but underlies the stream of change like a river’s bed, buried beneath the currents that transport the existing social structure.29 While Ingham will accuse the mode of production thesis and Jameson’s reading of articulating utopian newness as a “superseding” replacement of the past,30 to do so she glosses over the fascination with temporal discontinuities and residual survivals within most Marxist histories. For instance, Ernst Bloch’s theory of nonsynchronism, captured quickly in his claim that “[n]ot all people exist in the same Now,” and

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Raymond William’s dominant-­residual-­emergent phases of culture are just two of the notable examples of sustained attempts to consider ideological and social lags in the process of history.31 In fact, Marxist studies of utopia that begin with More rarely seem indifferent to classical, religious, and medieval views within his text; on the contrary, they usually recognize that “utopian newness is . . . always perturbed by survivals.”32 Even the most celebratory reader of More, Karl Kautsky, for instance, approaches his 1888 study of the author with the purpose of understanding More’s capacity to imagine something like modern socialism in an absolutist England, but argues for the text’s simultaneously nostalgic character. Kautsky does not deny More’s indebtedness to Plato or his attachment to an “old, feudal, and popular Catholicism,” or what he refers to as More’s “Merry England” sensibility; instead, he argues that humanism, medieval Catholicism, and primitive communism fundamentally inform—­and in certain ways, limit—­More’s vision of an alternative social order.33 Kautsky argues that these multiple determinations converge with More’s professional responsibilities to London’s merchants and the king, and as a result of this confrontation, produce the visionary element of his Utopia. If Kautsky’s model is admittedly more teleological than most contemporary Marxist studies, he still goes to great lengths to demonstrate that More’s socialist “foregleams” relied on More’s memory of the past. More can reproach the particularly disadvantageous position of commoners in the sixteenth century, Kautsky explains, because he can imagine an “anticapitalist commonwealth [built around] handicraft and peasant agriculture” that borrows heavily from the feudal commons, the guild structures, and the monasteries.34 Nor does Kautsky idolize More; he critiques More’s monarchical disdain for rebellions from below and his inability to imagine an international socialism guided by workers’ struggles. Even here, then, More’s newness is seen as an amalgam of converging classical, feudal, capitalist, and proto-­socialist worldviews or contexts; the origin of Utopia in this account has less to do with a clean historical break in period or episteme than with the writer’s place in a highly specific, overdetermined historical juncture that enables the writer to witness massive structural changes and, therefore, to consider the possibility of alternatives. To understand this point, we might turn to Marx’s own account of this key historical juncture before moving to More. Indeed, Marx himself may be the first writer to understand More’s novelty in relation to the historical shifts that spanned his lifetime. At the end of volume one of Capital, Marx presents a


critique and revision of Adam Smith’s notion of “previous accumulation” that seems to echo More’s criticisms of Henrician-­era enclosures. The passage is also of interest to us, though, because it signals Marx’s stance on the practice of narrating history.35 In The Wealth of Nations, Smith proposed that the capitalist division of labor began in a distant past with a frugal, industrious elite who had accumulated a stockpile of wealth and raw materials that would later serve as the necessary preconditions for capitalist production. This stockpile, according to Smith, was both the result of efforts to employ “a multitude of manufacturers” (as opposed to menial, household servantry) and the result of a group of individuals’ personal ethics of “parsimony,” a moral virtue he describes as “the immediate cause of the increase of capital.”36 Smith’s discussion of the accumulation of capital leads into a moralizing juxtaposition of the parsimonious man and the spendthrift. Under early capitalism, he pronounces, “every prodigal appears to be a public enemy, and every frugal man a public benefactor.”37 In Capital, Marx parodies this assertion as nothing other than myth, comparing Smith’s origin story of capitalist improvement with the Judeo-­Christian myth of original sin. If Adam’s fall condemns mankind to live by the sweat of his brow, Smith’s “nursery tale,” attempts to exempt the wealthy from this curse of toil and hardship.38 Yet Marx does not abandon the search for capitalism’s origins; rather, he presents a history of capitalist accumulation, which he argues, began in various acts of conquest and plunder. Understanding capitalism as a set of social relations, he proposes that the separation “from the conditions of living labour as well as from the means of existence” is an essential condition of capitalist production.39 What primitive accumulation entailed (and in some instances, continues to entail), Marx explains, is the forceful expropriation of the masses from their means of production, and thus, their conversion into a class of wage laborers, dispossessed of land and no longer direct producers of their own subsistence. The origins of capitalism lie not in frugality and savings, Marx attests; instead, “capital comes dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”40 The “classic form” of primitive accumulation he focuses on occurs in More’s sixteenth-­century England with the enclosure movement and the dissolution of the monasteries, though Marx will also argue that colonial projects constitute another force of expropriation that serves as “the basis of the capitalist mode of production.”41 By “classic form” he seems more to mean “developed form,” for he juxtaposes the acts of dispossession in the sixteenth-­century English country-

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side with “sporadic traces of capitalist production” that appeared “as early as the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries in certain towns in the Mediterranean.”42 He is also clear that he sees the disappearance of serfdom in late fourteenth-­century England as a necessary prerequisite to capitalist production, though until the late fifteenth century, the continued use of the commons by small peasant proprietors, along with relative urban prosperity, kept most of the “free” from entering the labor market.43 Importantly, Marx’s narrative of origins actually interrogates the simplistic diachronic account; capitalism has a prehistory and a beginning, though its origins are multiple and historically specific. As Halpern has also noted, Marx makes mention of Sir Thomas More in two footnotes and one passing reference in this lengthy chapter, citing the critique voiced by the traveler, Raphael Hythlodaeus, of “dispeopling” enclosures as further evidence of “the impressions made on contemporaries by the revolutions in the relations of production.”44 Arguably, however, Marx’s critique of Smith—­and thus his alternative theory of primitive accumulation, can be read as a rearticulation of Hythlodaeus’s (and thus, More’s) own arguments. After all, in Book One, as the traveler debates the subject of just punishment at Cardinal Morton’s residence, he famously challenges the notion that the poor resort to theft due to idleness, and instead claims that the real thieves are the enclosing landlords and the indolent nobility. Before his well-­known comments on sheep devouring men, Hythlodaeus argues: [T]here are a great number of noblemen who live idly like drones off the labour of others, their tenants whom they bleed white by constantly raising their rents. (This is the only instance of their tight-­fistedness, because they are prodigal in everything else, ready to spend their way to the poor house).45

More here inverts the lawyer’s category of idle poor and frugal rich—­a move Marx will later make as well when demystifying Smith’s moralizing nursery tale. Hythlodaeus will continue to provide a largely structural explanation for the Tudor crisis of impoverishment, vagrancy, and crime in place of the lawyer’s ethical condemnations of the poor, just as Marx later will in his historical redefinition of Smith’s myth. It is not just that More’s account of the suffering commoner gives evidence to Marx’s thesis; rather, Marx explicitly channels Hythlodaeus’s critique of the myth of industrious frugality to narrate a history of primitive accumulation. But despite all that we can gain from Marx’s effort to denaturalize and demystify capitalism, More offers something Marx cannot: a textual negotiation of emergent capitalism in process.


Of course, More’s experience of such a process was certainly partial, limited to the conditions of the English countryside, the London lawyer, and the court ambassador for English trade in the Netherlands. But it is precisely this subjective, embedded perspective that may grant us more of a complex and complete perspective on the lived, vexed experience of capitalism’s prehistory. To understand this point, I would like to consider the way in which Book One of Utopia adopts a dialogical and satirical form, with class-­coded perspectives, that resembles and reworks Medieval literature of the estates. More’s choice of form suggests that he was acutely aware that history is an uneven process, and culture a site of social struggle. Estates Satire and Debate in Book One Although Book One was composed subsequent to Book Two, when More returned to England from his negotiations in Bruges, let us begin with it, for its very lack of necessity, its ostensible separateness, is a sign of its crucial importance. Decades ago, Hexter argued that the Dialogue on Counsel provides an elaborate frame for Hythlodaeus’s description of the island of Utopia in Book Two that recodes just about every minute detail of that society within the context of an argument about whether or not private property is necessary to compel men to labor. Hexter’s interpretation of this structure is pointed, as he observes that More employed a kind of “through-­the-­looking-­glass” logic, where he “tailored” the debate of Book One to fit the “answers” proposed in Book Two.46 As Hexter explains, More “did not set up a straw man in order to knock it down; he actually set up a straw man that he had already not only knocked down but utterly and completely demolished.”47 Book Two, as a result, should be read not just as a fanciful description but as a rhetorical tactic employed against certain English practices. The dialogue structure of the text, however, is even more complicated than this suggests. In fact, the debates in Book One are often compared to a set of Russian matryoshka dolls, in that arguments are nested, recollected, and positioned within the frame of other conversations, with shifting interlocutors, settings, contexts, and concerns.48 Though the primary debate on counsel takes place in the garden in Antwerp among Morus (the author’s literary persona and the first person of the text), his young friend Peter Giles, and the sunburned, Portuguese traveler and scholar, Raphael Hythlodaeus, More cleverly sets this discussion in a biographical and historical frame of stalled trade negotiations,

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before—­in the middle of Book One—­including a lengthy, recollected debate about crime and punishment in England rehearsed by the worldly traveler. Each of these open-­ended conversations requires closer attention, and while critics have often charted the strange slippages between topics, settings, and rhetorics, very little attention has been paid to More’s class-­coded, mixed-­mode construction of character. More’s use of the dialogue form, in fact, is almost always treated as an adaptation of classical sources. Plato, Lucian, Cicero, and Quintilian are the usual suspects in the search for antecedents.49 Bracht Branham demonstrates how Book One’s relatively one-­sided dialogue resembles the rhetorical interplay of Lucian’s Tryannicida (which had been translated by More and Erasmus in the years preceding Utopia), with its dialogue between a loquacious Cynic philosopher and a comparatively quiet authorial persona.50 More’s dialogue is less a Platonic give-­and-­take interrogation, he suggests, and closer to Lucian’s seriocomic, incongruous style, though More’s irony is more idealistic than cynical. Robert Elliott has also demonstrated More’s indebtedness to the satirist-­adversary encounters of Roman verse satire.51 George Logan, in his discussion of the first book’s deliberative rhetoric—­a style of speech for debating choices—­also traces Hythlodaeus’s verbosity to Cicero’s preference for “long set speeches” in his dialogues De Oratore and De Officiis.52 There is no disputing More’s imitation (and adaptation) of classical forms and themes, let alone his profound commitment to the Greek and Latin studia humanitatis; the unparalleled fascination with dialectic and rhetoric during the Renaissance, especially dialogues lacking closure, was first and foremost a matter of classical inheritance.53 Still, I would like to suggest that the medial art of dialogue linking the ancient and the early modern combines with an intermediate tradition with roots more recent and closer to home in Utopia, that of medieval estates satire. More begins the text proper54 by describing his purpose in Flanders: “The most invincible King of England, Henry the Eighth of that name, a prince adorned with the royal virtues beyond any other, had recently some differences of no slight import with Charles, the most serene Prince of Castile, and sent me into Flanders as his spokesman to discuss and settle them.”55 Morus’s situation is not mere fiction; it was this responsibility that provided More-­the-­author with the spare time needed to compose most of his book. The “differences” he refers to between Castile and England began in 1514, when the marriage of the king’s sister to Charles fell through. The following year, Charles assumed the crown in the Netherlands, and Henry, still bitter about a new French be-


trothal, pulled England’s staple commodity of wool from Dutch markets, then the center of the cloth trade. This strain in the relationship was not a desirable one for England’s merchants and landowners, or for the Crown, which was by then accustomed to taxing the wool it exported.56 More, a long-­time member of the Mercers’ Company, like his father before him, was selected as part of the embassy to reopen the channels for trade; in fact, London merchants recommended that he join the ambassadors in Bruges.57 Utopia is set in this intermittent pause, when, as More writes, “certain points remained on which we could not come to an agreement.”58 The diplomats adjourned to Brussels to consult their prince, and both More-­the-­author and Morus (More-­the-­character) escape to the pleasant conversation of Peter Giles in Antwerp.59 The wool trade is then both a context for literary production and a pretext for Hythlodaeus’s report on Utopia, meaning that the focus on the enclosure of land in Book One is far from a coincidental or fanciful topic of discussion; it is of highly topical and personal importance. Very early on, then, the text suggests that this focus is animated by the historical conflict among mercantilist interests, monarchical dictates, and the agrarian commoner’s situation, for thinking ahead to Hythlodaeus’s bitter indictment of England’s ravenous sheep, it was the peasant and smallholder demographic that suffered depopulating enclosures, continued in part by these international negotiations. The primary exchange in Antwerp between the three principal speakers—­ Raphael Hythlodaeus, Morus, and Peter Giles (who is virtually silent)—­centers on two main issues: whether philosophers should serve kings and whether private property creates a stable or crime-­ridden and unjust social order. In these framing, real-­time debates on counsel and property, the positions can be mapped economically, politically, and nationally. Morus, a lawyer and an advocate for trade interests, unsurprisingly defends private property as the basis of national plentitude and social stability, while asserting that philosophers can in fact influence kings for the good of the state. Indeed, when Morus defends private property as the source of plenty, he ends by firmly stating, “I for one cannot conceive of authority existing among men who are equal to one another in every respect.”60 Morus’s defense of private property is then simultaneously his defense of monarchical authority; far from undermining absolutist rule, his political and economic views take it for granted and rather explicitly join under the banner of mercantilist ideology.61 While absolutism in England ultimately constituted a threat to the interests of many landholders and bourgeois merchants under capitalism—­not because it held the potential to eradicate

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private property but because it made property absolute as that owned by the Crown—­in the early sixteenth century, this conflict had not yet come to a head as it would in the middle of the seventeenth.62 As Perry Anderson has argued, the genesis of the industrial capitalist in England actually required a strong centralized state.63 More and Morus’s political ideology, then, need not conflict with More’s obligations to London’s cloth merchants: the author’s literary persona consequently speaks on behalf of England’s monarch and merchants. Hythlodaeus’s critique of English absolutism and his class perspective are harder to map; he is a peripheral figure, more cosmopolitan than Portuguese, more no-­placed than tied to a territory. He is twice also called a “stranger,”64 but revealed to be a Portuguese by birth, and a scholar of Greek and Roman philosophy who has sailed with Amerigo Vespucci on multiple voyages to the New World. Additionally, he is encountered in Antwerp, and as Morus and Peter learn, he has spent a fair share of time in England and in the Middle East. Even Morus seems to recognize his transnationality, for when he advises Hythlodaeus to engage in public service, he recommends that he join “the council of some great prince.”65 Hythlodaeus’s apprehensions about monarchical consolidation are then also implicitly the consequence of his cosmopolitan rootlessness and his status as an outsider, unenclosed by any state. Put another way, he himself represents a positive figure of the displaced and the dispossessed, just as the Utopians will.66 This accounts at least in part for his endorsement of communal property, while it distances him both literally and politically from any state (aside from Utopia perhaps). The interlocutors in Book One—­and their corresponding viewpoints—­are frequently interpreted biographically, and quite understandably so, for More’s self-­referential jesting, and the text’s topicality, make author-­centered readings of this book particularly apt. For example, in Greenblatt’s elegant chapter on More in Renaissance Self-­Fashioning, Utopia’s interlocutors are interpreted as the split between More’s public self, the lawyer and undersheriff—­voiced in the character of Morus—­and his inner-­self, the humanist, Catholic More, struggling to decide whether to serve the Crown, and thus, linking More (the author) with Hythlodaeus.67 But there are also other ways of conceptualizing this interaction between the social and the self. After all, More’s text probes the relationship between the collective and the individual, considering how institutions—­from the legal and economic to the familial and educational—­ regulate personal conduct for better and for worse. Hythlodaeus’s perspective in Book One gives evidence to this more Platonic understanding of the forces


that govern actions when he endorses a more pedagogical approach to social reform: If you don’t try to cure these evils, it is futile to boast of your severity in punishing theft. Your policy may look superficially like justice, but in reality it is neither just nor practical. If you allow young folk to be abominably brought up and their characters corrupted, little by little, from childhood; and then if you punish them as grownups for committing the crimes to which their training has inclined them, what else is this, I ask, but first making thieves and then punishing them for it?68

This is not to say that something like human nature is irrelevant to More; crime persists in Utopia, and therefore, mankind is irreversibly fallen. Still, the structural analysis Hythlodaeus provides suggests that when reading Utopia we should be careful not to enclose the text within the author’s individual subjectivity. Importantly, the various debates in Book One also give voice to an ideological cross-­section of English social class perspectives and literary figurations, clearest—­because most caricatured—­in the episode at Cardinal Morton’s table. Here, a second set of voices and characters are introduced through a formally and historically displaced debate about property and punishment that will further complicate the primary dispute between the mercantilist ambassador and itinerant outsider. Hythlodaeus provides no explanation of why he came to England or how he came to know the Archbishop of Canterbury, though the temporal marker that anchors his memory for this visit of “several months” is that it took place “not long after the revolt of the Cornishmen against the King had been put down with great slaughter of the poor folk involved.”69 He is referring to the Cornish rebellion of 1497, which was a response to Henry VII’s expensive £120,000 war subsidy—­most of which became the burden of the population. This tax was to be used to raise an army against James IV, the Scottish king who had recently received Perkin Warbeck, the impostor claiming rights to the English throne. Cardinal Morton was widely believed to be behind this taxation, and was thus a target of the rebellion’s leaders, such as Thomas Flamank.70 Like many early Tudor rebellions, the Cornish revolt crossed social divides, joining peasants, craftsmen, and some gentry who marched peacefully and orderly to London to confront the Crown. But as Hythlodaeus indicates, the rebellion was crushed later that year near Deptford Bridge. Narrative plausibility seems to stretch, then, to include this nearly twenty-­year-­old conversa-

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tion, making this passing reference to the rebellion all the more significant. Moreover, More’s biographical connection to Morton offers little concrete explanation for the Cornish reference, since he served at the Cardinal’s table from approximately 1490 to 1492, years before these events took place. More than simply functioning as a historical marking point, then, the reference to the Cornish revolt is included because it sets the subject for debate and grounds the discussion of abstract policy in a scene of British social class conflict. Like the peasant uprising of 1381, which haunts late feudal estates satire, the Cornish rebellion explains the interlocutors’ discussion of social volatility; the reference, in short, suggests that economic upheaval is the context and content that sparks Utopian debate. Just as importantly, Hythlodaeus’s dialogue-­ within-­a-­dialogue adds a new layer of historical memory to the first book of Utopia, one which adapts a familiar form of estates satire to connect the trends of unemployment, vagrancy, and scarcity—­conditions of increased severity in 151671—­to ongoing situations of social and rhetorical contest, staged in a longer context of class transformation. The estates satire of the late Middle Ages, as both Ruth Mohl and Jill Mann have explained, often rested on a nostalgic ideal of a past paradigm, not necessarily a living social reality.72 The individual portraits of each estate—­often further divided by degree, occupation, and urban or agrarian region, as in The Canterbury Tales—­were intended to highlight the moral waywardness of each social class against an older ideal of duty. Estates satire as a form was then itself a product of late feudalism, an economic mode with its own internal dynamics toward both development and dissolution. In fact, the fourteenth century, when estates satire flourished, is usually referred to as a period of “feudal crisis,”73 brought on by the mid-­century population decline caused by the Black Death, the ensuing intensification of arbitrary state taxation, and the more gradual commutation of labor dues to money dues—­all of which began to alter agrarian relations of surplus production and extraction, leading to the end of serfdom and the rise of the wage relation.74 In the shadows of these changes and the uprising of 1381, Chaucer, Langland, and Gower satirized each estate in order to imagine a more stable set of class relations based on the ideal of mutual dependence. The remembered, antedated conversation at Cardinal Morton’s, a vehicle for Hythlodaeus’s satirical critique of dispossession and idleness, revives this late feudal form in its use of socially coded allegorical voices, and its narration of a state-­based social totality marked by a schism of occupational perspec-


tives. If the discourse cleverly satirizes bad English policies, nowhere naming Henry VIII but everywhere implying his abuses, most of More’s characters are familiar, even stock in their portrayal. Various voices at the table are stereotypical objects of humor, such as the babbling, moronic lawyer75 (who is cut off by Morton) and the merry yet touchy friar. In the tradition of anti-­mendicant satire, More’s friar is mocked by the fool, who compares his occupation to that of vagabonds, not unlike Chaucer’s Friar Huberd, who is described in the General Prologue as the “best beggere in his hous.”76 More’s satirical inversions in this exchange also echo the commonplace attack in estates satire on the nobility’s and clergy’s pride, greed, and luxury as the root of social instability. For instance, The Simonie (c. 1321), an anonymously composed complaint considered by Ruth Mohl to be one of the earliest examples of the “literature of the estates,” begins with these lines: Whii werre and wrake in londe and manslauht is i-­come, Whii hungger and derthe on eorthe the pore hath undernome, Whii bestes ben thus storve, whii corn hath ben so dere, Ye that wolen abide, listneth and ye mowen here The skile. I nelle liyen for no man, herkne who so wile.77

Plenty and mirth are downtrodden, the narrator continues, for “pride is risen on heih.”78 Even if Hythlodaeus’s discourse lacks this apocalyptical foreboding, he could well issue these words, especially when one considers how Utopia concludes—­with a diatribe against pride, that “one single monster, the prime plague and begetter of all others.”79 The moral economy of Utopia, in short, finds a precursor in medieval literature of the estates, an established, vernacular language for satirizing English class antagonisms and the immoral excesses of the powerful. Other Tudor reformers like John Heywood, John Rastell, and Sir Thomas Smith would also rejuvenate the tradition, staging fictitious, caricatured intra-­ class debates featuring a merchant, a knight, and a plowman. For example, in Gentleness and Nobility (1525), Heywood and Rastell—­both members of More’s family and inner circle—­feature a plowman who defines nobility through his virtue, “good condition” and self-­sufficiency.80 Like Hythlodaeus,81 this agricultural laborer attributes idleness not to peasants but to private property and squandered inheritances: All possessions began furst of tyranny

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For when people began furst to encrese Some gafe them self all to Idylnes And wold not labour but take by vyolence That other men gat by labour & dylygence Than they that labouryd were fayne to gyfe Them pert of theyr getting in peas of lyfe Or elles for theyr landis money a porcyon So possessyons began by extorcyon And when such extorsyoners had oppressyd The labouryng people than they ordeynyd And made laws meruelous strayte & hard That theyr heyrs myght inioy it afterward So the law of inhetyaunce was furst begon whych is a thyng agayns all good reason That any inherytaunce in the world shuld be.82

The merchant, by contrast, insists that rulers are needed to “dryfe the multitude all . . . to labour to fall,”83 and thus, he adopts a position remarkably close to Morus’s insistence that private property prevents idleness. Yet the plowman in Gentleness dominates the conversation, and articulately adopts “a rhetorical movement toward material conditions that highlight[s] the vital role of peasants in the social and political economy and locate[s] the source of ruling class power in peasant hands.”84 Authored a decade after Utopia, Heywood and Rastell’s Gentleness presents another way of thinking about Book One as an early Tudor reworking of estates dialogue. Yet More is further adapting the late feudal tradition, in that a philosopher and stranger are acting as the source of the smallholders’ complaint, speaking for the dispossessed plowman otherwise absent from the table at Morton’s (and even more crucially, from the historical negotiations on the trade of wool).85 When the lawyer praises the “rigid execution of justice . . . practicised on thieves”86 yet wonders why the threat of capital punishment has not dissuaded more criminals, Hythlodaeus responds with his famous, systemic account of crime as the consequence of depopulating enclosures and unemployment. Hythlodaeus’s worldliness, not his own experience of expropriation, explains his idealistic perspective on agrarian labor, viewing it as both the basis of collective prosperity and the most honest of trades. In a generous reading, we could suggest that More grants greater authority to the plowman’s voice by channeling it through his worldly, Platonic philosopher-­satirist.87 But because


lower-­class agency is strangely absent in the book (or if registered in the Cornish reference, it is marked as a problem more than a transformative force), Hythlodaeus’s relatively persuasive complaint should be understood as part of a general utopian tendency to figure labor, law, policy, and institutions—­not class revolt—­as the basis of social organization and the means for transformation. As Williams argues in The Country and the City, Hythlodaeus’s views offer a “qualified humanism” that occupies two “grounds of complaint,” one against the “speculative rich” and one against the “idle poor.”88 In Williams’s account, the island of Utopia is a “smallholder’s republic” where labor is the organizing principle, to be protected both from the interests of monopolies and the idleness of aristocracy and, on the other end of the spectrum, from the threat of rebellion from below. The passing reference to the Cornish revolt adds fuel to this argument, as do interpretations like Phillip Wegner’s, which read Utopia as the product of “the emergence of a new totalizing organization of social practice that will take place within . . . the nation-­state.”89 Hythlodaeus’s memory may very well suggest a defeatist view of rebellion and a sympathy for the dispossessed and the hungry, but in the end, the reorganization of the state that is proposed is driven by a desire to resist depopulating enclosures and simultaneously to stabilize society in order to promote rationalized labor. After all, in his description of the Polylerites, Hythlodaeus suggests that enslaved, hard labor is a fitting solution to vagabondage, an alternative Wegner has compared to an emerging system of wage labor.90 Reading Book One as an adaptation of estates literature can help also explain that the book’s biting, socially engaged humor extends beyond the legacy of Lucian or the influence of Erasmus.91 After all, the philosopher is, as his surname suggests, a high-­minded fool, and thus, it seems necessary to consider how More’s use of estates satire also complicates the more elevated, truth-­claims voiced by Hythlodaeus—­not to undercut Hythlodaeus’s ideas specifically, so much as to portray all political discourse on a spectrum of foolishness. The seemingly tangential, “silly” interlude92 with the friar and the “parasite” or fool—­a parody that suggests that the only suitable approach to courtly conversation is one of comedy—­offers a metanarrative for Book One’s satire on the English court’s inversion of high and low discourse, a satire that More arguably takes further than his Chaucerian precursors. Here, the hanger-­on is misinterpreted by the friar, who responds with self-­righteous zeal and anger, while the Cardinal, amused by the jest, advises the friar not to spar with a buffoon. Hythlodaeus will end the interlude, and the entire reminiscence about

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the late fifteenth-­century debate, by frustratingly suggesting that the Cardinal has treated his ideas as if they were also merely tolerated foolishness. Yet Hythlodaeus, ironically, owns this foolishness, since he complains that Morton’s flatterers have treated him most unjustly in almost taking his ideas seriously simply because Morton has entertained them, as if courtly retinues were not the target of his very complaint. In other words, the seeming diversion of the anti-­fraternal episode is crucial to Book One because it recodes the preceding conversation on crime, punishment, and vagrancy as a satire between a witty fool, Hythlodaeus, and a wise, good-­natured, open-­minded churchman in such a way that readers are instructed not to take the discourse too seriously, or conversely, to ignore its inherent wisdom. But Hythlodaeus is also rather like the overly sensitive friar in this figuration, a point emphasized in Morus and Hythlodaeus’s late Book One conversation on the only means for counseling kings. Morus actually agrees that Hythlodaeus’s strange views are suitable only for philosophical conversations and if presented at court—­as he has passionately shared them in this ostensibly private conversation—­would indeed fall on deaf ears. Courtly conversations on political action—­no matter the grave circumstances, Morus suggests, are more like a comedy of Plautus, while the traveler’s oration is simply too tragic and forthright. The irony, then, is that Hythlodaeus’s critique of the abuse of the powerful, in discussing serious problems with high mindedness and uncharacteristic severity, is out of tune with English courtly drama, a speech more mad and frivolous, a point already made clear in the comic interlude. Hence, Morus’s famous advice to “influence power indirectly” is specifically rhetorical advice, in which humor and artifice is a necessary cloak for wisdom, lest the wise be dismissed as the most inconsequential of fools. Stately discourse here resembles low comedy, both for better and worse. A literary, Latin dialogue dominated by a fictitious speaker, however, is neither courtly advice nor private conversation, but instead could be said to mediate these spheres and resolve the central dispute between Hythlodaeus and Morus, primarily by seeking another, more open-­minded public audience willing to, like Morton, imagine the merits of untested or foreign ideas.93 Or as Miguel Abensour explains, “the writing of utopia . . . offers itself as an opening toward a possible passage, at least an attempt at one, from the truths spoken in the garden to the opinion that reigns at the court.”94 For Utopia does indeed force strange ideas on readers, but in calling attention to their strangeness, to their nonsensicalness as fictitious talk, More-­the-­author is able to convey seri-


ous, systemic critique and strange ideas precisely through the satirical indirection of an imagined discourse aimed at a readership, rather than the sole audience of a king. Utopia is a fiction like Raphael Hythlodaeus: it is itinerant, foreign, and in search of others willing to listen to more radical, wild speculations about possible law and order. Book One transforms the classical, philosophical tradition of ideal states and verse satires precisely by Anglicizing them, not just in terms of subject and setting but also through comical class caricature, and an identity-­driven play of perspectives. What might be most interesting about More’s cast of characters, then—­ from a literary scholar’s perspective at least—­is his use of multiple types in these debates—­such as the allegorical, the historical, and the overtly fictional. Book One mixes modes of representation, combining aesthetic forms to socially code each character and simultaneously politicize each cultural form, assigning different positions and perspectives to types of speech. The allegorical lawyer expresses rather conservative and customary views; the fictionalized historical personas of Morus and Cardinal Morton are open to Hythlodaeus’s ideas but are also more moderate and monarchically beholden; and the work’s only overtly fictional speaker, a go-­between for Europe, the ancient world, and the New World, is the most radical voice of the lot. In Williams’s schema, we can read these characters as expressing a residual, dominant, and emergent play of perspectives through their uneven cultural forms, as well as their expressed political sentiments.95 Hythlodaeus’s fictitious, worldly identity, then, also seems to imply a futurity and to emphasize the central Utopian challenge: how to articulate newness. Of course, the multiple, ambiguous meaning systems attached to the text’s most vocal character also look backward to philosophical and religious figures, so that again, newness is a matter of adaptation, recombination, and recontextualization. The character’s surname, Hythlodaeus, one of the work’s many Greek neologisms, is usually translated as “expert in trifles” or “speaker of nonsense,”96 a choice that belies the influence of Lucian of Samosata’s self-­effacing narrator in the A True Story.97 This name has long been interpreted as a sign of More’s distance from Hythlodaeus’s views, though such a reading ignores the way “Morus” itself implies moronic foolishness, a nomenclature reinforced by the finally insufficient remarks of the fictional statesman.98 Crucially, Hythlodaeus’s given name, Raphael, links his character also to the patron saint and angel of medicine, who like all angels was a go-­between, a messenger of God’s will. “Like his archangelic prototype,” Elizabeth McCutheon astutely observes,

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“[More’s] Raphael is a prophetic messenger, traveller, and guide, attacking the avarice and pride of a country blindly following the wrong road. As the ‘medicus salutis’ he seeks to cure a sick state; as a ‘pereginator’ to show the right way.”99 In light of his first name, then, it is difficult to trivialize all that Hythlodaeus reports (at least when we consider the views of a devout Christian like More).100 Consequently, the name Raphael Hythlodaeus should be understood dialogically: its bearer embodies a collision and collusion of various discursive traditions and meaning systems that emphasize his foreignness. The Portuguese scholar and sailor who speaks for an imaginary New World island in order to entertain and instruct an English and Dutch audience is also the product of a cultural exchange between Judeo-­Christian and classical knowledge systems. His voice disrupts and jars with the late feudal tradition of estates satire because he has no given or expected role in the drama of English debate. It is precisely, then, Hythlodaeus’s status as a vagrant, worldly outsider which grants him critical distance on English social matters and grants Thomas More, the diplomat overseas, a vantage point from which to launch his estranged critique, while at the same time resolving his statesman’s anxieties about the revolutionary potential of the expropriated. Hythlodaeus is an overdetermined fiction, in other words, whose placelessness embodies the juxtaposition of the Other and England. If More’s Book One dialogue resembles estates satire, the character of Raphael Hythlodaeus suggests that the customary, established, and vernacular ways of allegorically representing the play of class viewpoints leave little room for novel or “strange” thought, to the extent that new cultural forms become necessary as systems and societies alter. In the character of Hythlodaeus, the smallholder’s complaint meets the philosopher’s theory and the traveler’s worldly relativistic perspective, and in this remixing of discourses, More reinvents social satire precisely by seeking a vantage point on England from the outside. In this way, Utopia borrows from the late feudal tradition of estates satire, in representing the changing nation’s crises sardonically and socially, while also transgressing the form by looking elsewhere, beyond the structure of the commonwealth and beyond the representative voices of English society, precisely for a new way of seeing the nation in a more global, transatlantic context.101 This overlay of forms—­the domestic-­historical and abstract-­philosophical—­ can also help to account for the uncannily modern structural analysis voiced in More’s text. Among others, Amy Boeksy has charted the uniquely sociological perspective of More and other utopian authors, demonstrating how early


modern utopias represent “the ideal commonwealth as shaped by institutions rather than individuals, monarchs, or otherwise.”102 Still, we would do well to acknowledge that Hythlodaeus’s sociological, constructivist analysis is saturated with the language of moral conduct, especially as the attack on poverty becomes a critique of wanton luxury, gluttony, and pride. R. H. Tawney has argued that while medieval social theory was based on religiously informed ethics, in which labor was deemed honorable and trade, money-­lending, and excessive wealth, perceived as perilous to the soul, the early modern period saw the genesis of a “naturalist” view of the social, where men would learn to “persuade themselves that greed was enterprise and avarice economy.”103 Hythlodaeus’s critique—­and thus, More’s Utopia—­represents an early confluence of these two competing understandings of the relationship between the individual and society; as Geoff Kennedy has articulated in a brief comparison between More and other Tudor reformers, Utopia possesses a relatively novel “economic conception of the state” but also an “‘enlightened’ social conservatism” based in a medieval moral economy.104 This meeting of moral and systemic perspectives is especially clear in the late conversation in Book One, once the scene returns to the garden in Antwerp and the debate between the humanist thinkers returns to the topic of monarchy, but now with more attention to competing understandings of property as the ultimate basis of their dispute on counsel. Morus here offers a reformer’s perspective not yet voiced in the late-­fifteenth century conversation at Cardinal Morton’s, one which expresses anxieties about idleness and insists that the tempering of monarchical ambitions and wealth must be the source of a commonwealth’s abundance and security. Whereas Hythlodaeus warns of French advisors who instruct monarchs that a “king, even if he wants to, can do no wrong, for all property belongs to the king, and so do his subjects themselves; a man owns nothing but what the king, in his goodness, sees fit to leave him,”105 Morus takes a monarchical view of the body politic for granted, insisting (in another metaphor for top-­down change) that “a people’s welfare or misery flows in a stream from the prince as from a never-­failing spring.”106 More voices a similar moralizing perspective on the currents of change in his Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534), which sympathetically considers the salvation of the poor and the potential damnation of the uncaring rich, yet nevertheless argues that “there never has been nor will be any lack of poor people” and that the eradication of riches would only result in a rise of beggars, since the wealthy are “the wellspring of the livelihood of the poor.” 107

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So too do More’s Latin poems, written in the years preceding Utopia, adopt a more late-­feudal, Catholic approach to the problem of poverty. Though these poems express concern about unchecked tyranny, kingly wealth, and human corruptibility, they nevertheless metaphorically figure the good king as the father, head, and guardian of the flock, or the origin of happy and prosperous subjects.108 And if, as he suggests in poem #198, rule by senate is “the best form of government,” the young Thomas More also interrupts his idealistic musings, dismissing the consideration for its lack of pragmatism, and even its assumption of personal authority: —­but say, what started you on this inquiry anyway? Is there anywhere a people upon whom you yourself, by your own decision, can impose either a king or a senate? If this does lie in your power, you are king. Stop considering to whom you may give power. The prior question is whether it would do any good if you could.109

In other words, in his poetic and philosophical works, More’s tendency is to portray the renewed morality of the elite as the only route to reform, aligning very closely with the views of More-­the-­character in Utopia. In juxtaposition, Hythlodaeus’s systemic account of crime and condemnation of private and absolute property, sees the populace not as mere reflections of a prince’s morality, but as a diverse, divided collectivity of subjects whose behaviors, livelihoods, and consciences are shaped by laws, relations, and policies—­a more institutional framework for envisioning the nation, and one which seems drawn, at least to some degree, from the more decentered, sociological discourse of estates satire. But this tendency to see change as an imposition from above, whether from a king’s renewed morality or from sound policy, is—­as I have been suggesting—­ also an unwillingness to accept a new set of social relations emerging from below, and specifically, from the struggles against rack-­renting, land grabbing, wage repression, and overtaxation that defined late feudalism. The productivity and stability of the commonwealth—­not equality and ease—­is the central objective in Utopia. Even the cosmopolitan, itinerant, radical Hythlodaeus ends up trapped back within a nationalist framework, advocating ironically for the enslavement of vagrants and, in the description of the Macarians, suggesting that one of the few reasons the Crown must maintain modest wealth is for the precise purpose of suppressing rebellions.110 In More’s Utopia, the state is thus viewed as a necessary socioeconomic force to the extent that it must mitigate


and control the uneven, volatile transition from feudalism to capitalism. It is the epistemological boundary on Hythlodaeus’s and More’s ability to imagine systemic change. Nevertheless, Book One, importantly, represents England itself in a state of flux, becoming, and schism; difference is not located merely across the seas. In More’s book, the overdetermined moment of emergent capitalism is characterized by an absent-­present resistance, but also by class-­coded debate. More’s main discursive innovation is to reinvent the ideal polis in the figure of the historically mutable, unstable nation. In Utopia, a synchronic examination of England’s own changing estates joins with a diachronic perspective that looks to the feudal, the ancient, and the Other in order to look ahead. “Alone Among Nations”111 We are all descendants of Columbus, it is with him that our genealogy begins, insofar as the word beginning has a meaning. Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America, 5.112

Book One of Utopia borrows from medieval social theory and the feudal tradition of estates satire. However, the bipartite interaction between the Dialogue and the Discourse, between England and Utopia, presents class formations and communities in a broadening socio-­spatial framework of increasingly indefinite boundaries. The life of a petty producer, once staged in relation to the village or urban economy, is here portrayed in its precarious relation to more abstract levels of international interaction, rivalry, and exchange. As Susan Bruce has suggested, “Everything about Utopia gestures to the rise of the nation, which presupposes and is presupposed by the international environment so deftly sketched in its opening paragraphs.”113 Geopolitical pressure, commercial trade, transatlantic travel, and expansion are all frameworks within which the book immediately situates its satire, and consequently, Tudor agrarian transformations are shown in dialectical interaction with the nation’s foreign policy and forms of accumulation. I would like then, in this final section, to take Mark Netzloff ’s warning seriously, when he states that historians and literary critics have often failed to adequately “trace the mutual construction of ‘domestic’ issues of class and nation and ‘foreign’ concerns of colonialism and empire,” an oversight he traces to “an inability to gauge the economic interdependence of domestic and foreign contexts in relation to emergent forms of capital in the early modern period.”114 In what follows, I will examine how

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Book One’s anxiety about agrarian resistance reemerges in Book Two as a justification for overseas colonial settlement, particularly in the positive rearticulation of enclosure through dispossession—­namely, the figure of the manmade trench. World-­systems theorists and authors of development studies have long maintained that capitalist modernity is “not a phenomenon of Europe as an independent system, but of Europe [at the] center” of a global division of labor and network of trade.115 England, of course, was comparatively slow out of the gates in its exploration and colonization of the New World, but just as ideology need not lag behind policy, so English cultural imaginings of the New World predated the nation’s practical efforts to keep pace with the Spanish, the Portuguese, and the Dutch. More’s text is a case in point. By now, many critics have observed and explained the anticipatory logics of colonialism and imperialism inscribed in both the Utopian polity and the work itself. Utopia has been examined by Jeffrey Knapp as “the first Tudor attempt to elaborate a theory of colonization” and Timothy Sweet as “early modern England’s first theoretical text on colonization”; by Antonis Balasopoulos as a “template” for expansionism in the Americas; by Fredric Jameson as a “prototype” and “forerunner” for imperialism; and by Susan Bruce as an early “ideological justification” for settler colonialism.116 Balasopoulos’s explanation for what Marin would call this “preconceptual” Utopian poetic figuration is particularly compelling, for he argues that “the presence of utopian elements within expansionist ideology [is] . . . dialectically linked to the corresponding persistence of expansionist ideological elements within utopian fantasy.”117 Elaborating, he explains that the shock of the new caused “European explorers and conquerors . . . [to] rely on the ideological fuel provided by the scraps of older wishful topoi and replenished . . . by the imaginative projections of the emerging utopian genre itself.”118 David Beers Quinn has also demonstrated that More’s description of the Utopians’ response to overpopulation, in particular, recovers the Roman model of the colonia,119 and it is this justification—­along with the founding history of the Utopian island—­that outlines a rationale for “improvement” that would become a fixture in English colonial discourse. Tellingly, Hythlodaeus states that “if the population throughout the entire island exceeds the quota, [the Utopians] enrol citizens out of every city and plant a colony under their own laws on the mainland near them, wherever the natives have plenty of unoccupied and uncultivated land.”120 Unlike other descriptions of the terrae nullius, the lands of the Utopians’ neighbors are de-


scribed here as both populated and possessed, though the passage nevertheless negates native presence and customary right by simultaneously describing the land as vacant and void. While David Armitage has attempted to recoup this statement as evidence that the early modern vernacular use of the term colony “carried none of the negative associations with exploitation and cultural domination that are implied by the much later term ‘colonialism,’”121 Hythlodaeus’s description blatantly suggests otherwise: Those natives who want to live with the Utopians are taken in. When such a merger occurs the two peoples gradually and easily blend together, sharing the same way of life and customs, much to the advantage of both. For by their policies the Utopians make the land yield an abundance for all, though previously it had seemed too barren and paltry even to support the natives. But those who refuse to live under their laws the Utopians drive out of the land they claim for themselves; and on those who resist them, they declare war. The Utopians say it’s perfectly justifiable to make war on people who leave their land idle and waste yet forbid the use and possession of it to others who, by the law of nature, ought to be supported from it.122

The story of benevolent colonialism, native assimilation, and cultivation quickly slips into an excuse for military aggression, expropriation, and deracinating violence. Armitage’s point is that More, and other early modern writers such as Spenser, do not conceive of a British imperium in the same way postcolonial scholars conceive of it today as an experience of “racial difference, irreducible ‘otherness,’ assertions of hierarchy, and national self-­determination.”123 To some extent, this is true of More (though less so of Spenser), but the anxiety of anachronism also denies the passage’s ready defense of dispossession and domination, not to mention the historical reality that both Roman models of state and natural laws of jurisprudence would be put to the service of empire long after the sixteenth century.124 Sweet argues that More’s expansionist rationale also anticipates the ones used by later promoters of colonization in that he “develops an agrarian theory of the frontier as safety valve, describing colonization as the best solution to overpopulation and thus a means by which an ideal society could be maintained.”125 Richard Hakluyt, for instance, would echo More’s conception of a Utopian colony as a structural response to England’s class crises, in his Discourse of Western Planting (1584). Addressing both his sovereign and a contingent of English investors, Hakluyt describes the Americas as an “ample

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vent” and a “remedy” for England’s domestic problems.126 For him, the promise of Western planting—­still an ideal more than a reality in the late sixteenth century—­could serve private and national ends by creating a new market for England’s wool, free from the customs of foreign princes. Additionally, Hakluyt explains that American colonies could counter (or purge) overpopulation and idleness at home, while spreading the religion of Christ, limiting the dominion of Spain, generating additional revenue for the Crown, and increasing the strength of the navy. In a passage that strongly suggests More’s influence—­ bringing together the discussion of wool, population growth, idleness, and crime—­he speaks of this opportunity:  [W]e are grown more populous than ever heretofore: So that now there are of every art and science so many, that they can hardly live one by another: nay rather they are ready to eat up one another; yea many thousands of idle persons are within this Realm, which having no way to be set on work be either mutinous and seek alteration in the state, or at least very burdensome to the common wealth, and often fall to pilfering and thieving and other lewdness, whereby all the prisons of the land are daily pestered and stuffed full of them, where either they pitifully pine away, or else at length are miserably hanged. . . . [T]hese petty thieves might be condemned for certain years in the western part, especially in Newfound Land in sawing and felling of timber for masts of ships and deal boards, in burning of the fires and pine trees to make pitch, tar, rosin, and soap ashes, in beating and working of hemp for cordage: and in the more southern parts in setting them to work in mines of gold, silver, copper, lead, and iron. . . . In sum this enterprise will minister matter for all sorts and states of men to work upon.127

Certainly, Hakluyt’s penal vision of cheap labor is more extreme than More’s, though perhaps not by much if we consider Hythlodaeus’s praise for the correctional labor of the Polylerites, or Utopia’s ready eagerness to enslave war captives, its own wayward citizens, and those “hard-­working penniless drudges from other nations who voluntarily choose to take service in Utopia.”128 But in both texts, the New World is imagined as the perfect remedy to the economic, penal, and moral woes of England’s systemic and elected idleness. The colonial configuration of Hakluyt’s vision, like Hythlodaeus’s description of the Utopian island, asks readers to imagine a new kind of imperial nation, predicated on a profitable collective division of labor and the productive synthesis of agrarian, mercantilist, and nationalist values, where the dispossessed are displaced


in order to themselves possess and produce.129 The imaginary resolution to England’s class conflicts and moral shortcomings is clear: a land that lies somewhere across the sea might alleviate domestic instability. “As we read along in Raphael’s account of the Utopian side,” Holstun explains, “we find that its initial [promise] begins to fade. The distinction between reason and domination blurs, and we soon find ourselves in a spot disturbingly like that originally opposite our starting point—­here, inside an ideology of imperialist domination.”130 The strange contradiction between Book One’s critique of peasant dispossession and the Utopians’ own tendency to expropriate native land—­whether in the founding conquest of Abraxa or the population-­driven justification for mainland colonies—­is thus a paradox at the heart of More’s book, and one that isolates crucial limits to the text’s critique of emergent capitalism and expansionism, as well as its defense of common property. On the one hand, the episode suggests that Hythlodaeus’s satire on agrarian enclosures is more ambivalent than it initially seems, precisely because it mainly attacks the “wasted” land and labor created through intensified use of pasture and aristocratic idleness. On the other hand, the episode suggests that the creation of an idealized commonwealth itself relies on a process of reterritorializing dispossession, justified by an inherent dis-­identification between English peasants and natives, for More imagines the latter living, preconquest, in a state of nature, without cultivation. This latter point is particularly contradictory, given that Utopians’ day-­to-­ day life—­especially their common property, relative self-­sufficiency, and indifference to gold—­is in many ways modeled on travelers’ reports on New World populations. For instance, it is well established that the commons touted in Utopia owe as much to Vespucci’s accounts of indigenous tribes along the Eastern seaboard of the Americas as they do to Plato’s Republic and to the manorial commons. Consider Vespucci’s report on one of the indigenous groups he encounters: [T]heir manner of living I judge to be Epicurean: their dwellings are in common: and their houses made in the style of huts, but strongly made. . . . [T]hey use no trade, they neither buy or sell. In fine, they live and are contented with that which nature gives them. The wealth that we enjoy in this our Europe and elsewhere, such as gold, jewels, pearls and other riches, they hold as nothing: and although they have them in their own lands, they do not labour to obtain them, nor do they value them. They are liberal in giving, for it is rarely they deny

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you anything: and on the other hand, free in asking, when they shew themselves your friends.131

In Vespucci’s account, of course, these characteristics also make native land ripe for the taking and the New World an ideal marketplace—­evidenced, for instance, in his concern throughout his letters with a region’s abundance or dearth of pearls. Another likely source text, Peter Martyr’s Decades of the New World—­culled from information gathered from interviews and the unpublished letters of Columbus and other explorers—­possesses many of the same basic descriptions, and the same tendency to portray the practices of the peoples of the Americas as a negation of European practices. These chronicles circulated widely on the continent in both Latin and Italian in the years leading up to 1516, including a 1511 Italian edition of the first two decades. During the same year More’s book was released, Decades of the New World, containing eight decades, was published in Latin, and then republished with new material in 1530, twenty-­five years before Richard Eden’s popular English edition was released in 1555.132 Martyr’s report, for instance, describes Columbus’s encounter with the indigenous people of Cuba as follows: It is proven that amongst them the land belongs to everybody, just as does the sun or the water. They know no difference between meum and tuum, that source of all evils. It requires so little to satisfy them, that in that vast region there is always more land to cultivate than is needed. It is indeed a golden age, neither ditches, nor hedges, nor walls to enclose their domains; they live in gardens open to all, without laws and without judges; their conduct is naturally equitable, and whoever injures his neighbour is considered a criminal and an outlaw.133

In both of these excerpts, the descriptions already invoke a juxtaposing comparison with European society, portraying the New World as the absence of the normative infrastructures, institutions, and borders of European civilization (“no trade, they neither buy or sell,” “no difference between meum and tuum,” “neither ditches, nor hedges,” “without laws and without judges,” etc.). If they describe the contours of another way of life, such passages even more clearly communicate the cultural shock of difference, processed as the nonappearance of European custom. In doing so, they also explicitly place natives outside the Christian narrative of the fall, idealizing them but also suggesting an early example of the Eurocentric “denial of coevalness,” which tended to portray indigenous peoples not only as occupying another space but another time.134


Yet for all the inaccuracies and biases of early narratives of encounter like Vespucci’s and Matryr’s, they nevertheless register the existence of drastically different modes of social interaction and property relations that More takes as an imaginative starting point. Much of the novelty and progressive vision of More’s work comes from his global comparison and textual borrowing, for he inverts the explorer’s perspective on the New World, judging the Old World from the vantage point of the New. J. H. Elliott has described this tendency of Renaissance humanists—­More being his chief example—­to project their dreams for Europe onto the New World, but he also explains that this characterization could close “the door to understanding an alien civilization.”135 The descriptions from abroad of natives who went around naked and unashamed, he demonstrates, allowed humanists like More to transpose their myths of the garden of Eden and Arcadia onto the Americas. As Elliott explains, “It was an idyllic picture, and the humanists made the most of it, for it enabled them to express their deep dissatisfaction with European society, and to criticize it by implication. America and Europe became antitheses—­the antithesis of innocence and corruption.”136 What is of interest to us here is also the consequence of such a comparison. Utopia, in its satire, suggests the possibility for radical identification between the English dispossessed and the native populations of the Americas, initiating a parallel between the commons of England and the commons of the New World. The corrupting influence of greed, pride, and avarice, Hythlodaeus claims, “have no place whatever in the Utopian way of life,” for in a condition of plenty without “fear of want,” there is no source for such vices.137 The Utopian way of life throws the moral corruption, bad policies, and aristocratic excesses of England—­articulated in Book One—­into even sharper relief. Yet the early comparison and textual adaptation also reimposes English desires, virtues, and social forms back onto the New World, ironically advocating for a new, more comprehensive system of enclosure, the commons now reinvented by Utopia. Like Vespucci’s and Martyr’s narratives, Utopia describes the overseas, fictional territory as the reversal of European practices, so as to project—­geographically outward and historically forward—­the possible policies and relations of a more rational, labor-­oriented England. To be sure, More imagines the transformation of England, but he also represents the simultaneous transformation of the New World through settlement. Moreover, the betterment of both is inextricably tied to a shared future identity. Bruce has recently examined how the unfortunate, dispossessed indigenes of the lands conquered by Utopia resemble England’s subsistence farmers,

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aligning the Utopians with land-­grabbing aristocrats in a way that destabilizes the book’s pervasive privileging of utility over “waste.”138 Like most Tudor commonwealth men, More imagines agricultural labor as the foundation of a stable, just, and profitable nation, even if it requires an initial act of dispossession.139 Ironically, More is not in the end so resistant to depopulating enclosures or what we might now call primitive accumulation, signaling the class and national politics that underwrite his vision of a utopian commonwealth. Halpern theorizes this uncanny relationship between England and Utopia through a Freudo-­Marxist lens (focusing mainly on Utopia’s treatment of gold), arguing that while “Utopia’s finished form depicts a utopia-­socialist society, this surface conceals an ‘interior’ realm whose primal fantasy and pleasurable substance turn out to be—­the logic of capital itself.”140 Like the slaves of utopia and its expendable foreign mercenaries, New World natives are the surplus population created by Utopia; their lives are valued only to the extent that they are useful. The Utopians’ expansionist solutions parallel Book One’s—­and even Hythlodaeus’s—­anxiety about resistance from below, again privileging the state as an agent of reform and rational organization of increased, collectivized labor as the source of national plentitude and stability. This is to say that if More’s text first appears as a relatively radical, egalitarian critique of domestic dispossession, on closer examination that vision is more ambivalent, primarily because it substitutes a different, more comprehensive form of expropriation in place of that dispossession by figuring Utopia in exclusively nationalist terms. The appeal of this “imagined community,” as Phillip Wegner has demonstrated, is clearest in the image of King Utopus’s island-­ making breach,141 a symbolic and narrative reimagination of enclosure,142 now raised to the level of the nation, a creation story that clearly signals Utopia’s own concern with historical origins of the most pronounced kind. Of Islands and Trenches Few lines of literature have attracted more critical attention than those used by Raphael Hythlodaeus to describe the founding act of King Utopus’s ancient reign, that is, the historical genesis of the island: [The Utopians] say (and the appearance of the place confirms this) that their land was not always an island. But Utopus, who conquered the country and gave it his name (for it had previously been called Abraxa), and who brought its rude, uncouth inhabitants to such a high level of culture and humanity that they


now excel in that regard almost every other people, also changed its geography. After subduing the natives, at his first landing, he promptly cut a channel fifteen miles wide where their land joined the continent, and thus caused the sea to flow around the country. He put not only the natives to work at this task, but all his own soldiers too, so that the vanquished would not think the labour a disgrace. With the work divided among so many hands, the project was finished quickly, and the neighbouring peoples, who at first had laughed at his folly, were struck with wonder and terror at his success.143

As Hythlodaeus tells it, Utopian society originates in a collective labor of spatial detachment, intended to fortify the land, but also to function symbolically as a spectacular sign of the Utopians’ cultural prowess to both the conquered natives and their neighbors. The wonder and terror that the land severance elicits, suggests not so much a closing off of the island as an implied future conquest, later confirmed in Hythlodaeus’s discussion of Utopia’s mainland colonies. A kind of secularized creation story, the fiction of island-­making registers the Utopian concern with migration, conquest, and the resettlement of laborers, as well as geographical and territorial enclosures—­not merely in the English agrarian setting but in the space of the New World. Critics have been consistently interested in Utopia’s peninsular origins, offering various interpretations to explain why the founding of Utopia relies on this violent land separation and why early modern utopias so frequently adopt the form of an island. The most influential readings are metaphorical, seeing the origin story as standing in for the utopian desire for temporal or generic rupture or change. Marin and Jameson provide formalist readings of the episode, linking the geographical transformation to the “radical act of disjunction” that Utopian discourse strives toward in casting itself as the “Other of what is.”144 This is the argument that positions the utopian genre and England itself in a state of what Marin identifies as the spatial and temporal in-­between, or the “neutral,” located at the limit of feudalism and on the brink of early capitalism. “More’s Utopia,” Marin writes, “is neither England nor America, neither the Old nor the New World; it is the in-­between of the contradiction at the beginning of the sixteenth century of the Old and New Worlds.”145 In other words, Marin considers the very conditions or possibility of utopian discourse in a moment of historical and geographical becoming, represented in the spatial play of two simultaneously opposing and analogous worlds: More’s England and More’s Utopia. The great lesson of Marin and Jameson, is that the oth-

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erworldly Utopia is a dislocated representation of England’s own historically changing social reality. Yet the description of King Utopus’s manmade trench must also be understood as an adapted narrative of England’s prehistorical separation from Europe, specifically, a legend that the isle of Britain had once been joined to the continental mainland of France by an isthmus at the Strait of Dover. Anyone who has read Utopia will remember that More’s imaginary island uncannily resembles England, especially in its division into fifty-­four city-­states, referencing England’s own fifty-­three counties plus London. Lesser known is that More’s book draws on ancient and medieval myths of geomorphology, a genealogy that frames Utopia as a rearticulation of England’s own beginnings and historical transformations.146 The shared prehistories of island-­making invite another such juxtapositional comparison between the two nations, one that reimagines the island as a geography of regulated borders, enclosing but also opening England to a world beyond its shores, and looking westward to another continental identity. Today, the theory of continental drift is usually attributed to the German geophysicist Alfred Wegener, whose 1915 The Origins of Continents and Oceans identified and examined resemblances in the fossils, plants, and animals located on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and he would famously hypothesize that the coastlines of South America and Africa were once joined. Pangaea, Greek for “all the earth,” was the scientific and linguistic innovation he used to describe a supercontinent existing approximately three hundred million years ago—­a concept we are now familiar with, but one that was met with much derision and dismissal until geologists began to observe the magnetism of the ocean floor that resulted in seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics emerged as a discipline. Most contemporary histories of continental drift, however, begin in the late Renaissance, the first articulation usually being attributed to the great Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius.147 Ortelius is best known for his 1570 publication Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely understood to be the first modern atlas, given its encyclopedic drive to provide a “universall mappe of the whole world.”148 But it was his later work, the 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus, that offered a theory akin to something like the jigsaw explanation of continental drift, for here he claimed that the Americas had been “torn away from Europe and Africa” by “earth quakes and floods,” a statement based on the rather simple observation that “vestiges of the rupture reveal themselves if someone brings forward a map of the world and considers carefully the coasts of the


three continents.”149 The sixteenth century, a period of exploration—­both for new lands and new global imaginaries—­would certainly generate many novel ideas about how the Americas had come to be or come to be previously lost. These epistemological and utilitarian searches led to watershed developments resulting in a notably more empirical cartography, like Ortelius’s atlas, as well as mythical histories and inquiries into cosmological and terrestrial structures. This oft-­cited history, however, overlooks a long tradition—­mythical, poetic, and scientific—­dating back to the ancients, who with almost predictable frequency represented land formations as inherently unstable. Perhaps the most famous example of such thinking—­certainly among scholars of utopias—­is Plato’s tale of the sunken island of Atlantis in Timaeus and Critias, a fable nestled in the philosopher’s dialogues on changeability. Though in Timaeus, Atlantis is reputed by Critias to be an island, it is also described as a “boundless continent” larger than Africa or Asia, constituting a kind of muddy land bridge the size of the Atlantic Ocean.150 The capricious changeability of land and sea is perhaps most poetically expressed in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, one of the first works printed in England (by William Caxton at the end of the fifteenth century), in which Pythagoras meditates that [nothing] retain[s] its own appearance permanently. Ever-­inventive nature continually produces one shape from another. . . . [N]othing lasts long under the same form. I have seen what once was solid earth now changed into sea, and lands created out of what was once ocean. Seashells lie far away from ocean’s waves, and ancient anchors have been found on mountain tops. What was at one time a level plain has become a valley, thanks to the waters flowing down over it, mountains have been washed away by floods, and levelled into plains.151

Other examples of the unstable watery globe abound in classical writing, framed not only as questionable fictions passed down through hearsay (as is the case with Plato’s rendering of Atlantis) but also in the writings of classical historiographers. The mid-­sixteenth-­century English writer William Fulke would cite several ancients who influenced his belief that Africa was long ago torn from Europe and Asia, and that lands could be lost and made, especially by earthquakes and floods. In 1563, he wrote: “Seneca maketh mention of two Ilandes, Theron and Therea, that in his tyme, first apeared. It should séeme both by Aristotle, and also by Herodotus, that Egypt, in auncient tyme, was a goulphe of the sea, and by earthquake made a drye lande.”152 We know, too, that classical writers like Homer, Virgil, Pliny, Lucan, and Claudian wrote about Sicily’s

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break from the mainland of Italy, a fascination, in part, because the Strait of Messina was the mythological home to Scylla and Charybdis. At least one ancient, the the early fifth-­century Latin grammarian Maurus Servius Honoratus, provides a comment on Virgil’s first Eclogue that advances the belief that the island of England was once joined to a mainland. Virgil’s original text characterizes England as “et penitus toto diuisos orbe Britannos,” translated variously as “Britain—­where all severance is complete,” or, “Britain, from the whole world sundered far.”153 What Virgil suggests, in essence, is that Britain, then an imperial outpost of Rome, was another world, or at least, at the farthest limits of the known, Romanized world. Yet, in his commentaries on Virgil, Servius takes some liberties and extrapolates on this line: “Penitus omnino. Divisos quia olim iuncta fuit orbi terrarum Britannia: est enim insula reposita in Oceano septentrionali, et al poetis alter orbis terrarum dicitur.”154 This can be translated as, “Deeply entirely. Divided, because Britain was at one time joined to the orb of the lands [i.e., the Earth]: for it is an island set in the northern Ocean, and by poets it is called another orb of lands [i.e., the Earth/ the world].”155 Servius’s view of the world owes much to the Greek understanding of the Orbis Terrarum (from which T and O maps take their name), a representation of “The Whole World” as a disk of land surrounded by ocean. The operative word in Virgil is divisos, which Servius takes to mean that Britain was at one time joined to a larger body of land. More was well aware of the original Virgilian line, as Knapp has also observed.156 While More was in Bruges to negotiate a new trade contract with the Holy Roman Empire in 1515, the same occasion that afforded him the time to write Book Two, he wrote a letter (known as the “Letter to Dorp”) in which he describes himself (and his failing negotiations) as “Morus apud toto divisos orbe Britannos,” or “More among the Britons divided from all of the world.” 157 We should also remember that this was More’s first known experience abroad, and he had likely just crossed the Channel for the very first time. There is reason to think, too, that More might have read Servius’s gloss: his commentaries were printed in Florence in 1471 by Bernardo Cennini, a Florentine printer whose texts were popular among Italy’s humanists, including More’s friend Polydore Vergil. Vergil, a humanist and a papal ambassador to England, often referenced Servius’s commentaries—­and we know that More based his Richard III on Polydore’s biography of this same medieval monarch.158 Add to this the Virgilian character of More’s thematic discussions of land confiscation and the Golden Age in Utopia, the subjects of the Roman poet’s first and fourth Eclogues, and


More’s own self-­description, and there is reason to suspect that More might have had familiarity with Servius’s comment on England’s peninsular origins, or at least a similar take on the Virgilian line. What is clear is that by the last half of the sixteenth century, it was a relatively common idea that England was like Sicily: an island torn asunder from the European mainland, specifically France at the Strait of Dover, a belief that geologists at Cambridge University and the Imperial College London have verified just in the last decade.159 Arthur Ferguson has analyzed an early appearance of this isthmus hypothesis in John Twyne’s book on ancient Albion’s history, published posthumously in 1590 but likely authored around the middle of the sixteenth century.160 Other Elizabethans and Jacobeans who make this case include well-­known and widely read historians and mapmakers William Camden, in Brittania, first published in 1586,161 John Norden, in Speculum Britanniae (1593),162 and John Speed, in both his Historie of Great Britain (1611) and his atlas The theatre of the empire of Great Britain (1612).163 These writers all harken back to the same Virgilian passage on Britain discussed above.164 The explanations offered are reserved: most of these writers, like Camden, speculate that the island might have formed as a consequence of Noah’s flood, thus suggesting that the separation was a providential act that commodiously positioned England between Europe and the New World. The desire here is to convert England’s peripheral location and isolation from Europe—­once a sign of its backwardness—­into an imperial, military advantage in a dawning age of New World conquest and nation formation. This is a trend in early modern British literature compellingly analyzed by Knapp, in which he argues that English literature like More’s Utopia emphasized English insularity and otherworldliness as a way of, ironically, making a case for “empire within the very terms of isolationist rhetoric.”165 In a brief footnote, Knapp references the correlation between More’s trench and the isthmus hypothesis, but he attributes first articulations of this theory to the Elizabethans and Jacobeans.166 Certainly, these late sixteenth-­and early seventeenth-­century sources all account for England’s island status in ways that celebrate its remote, sea-­bound Atlantic location as a sign that it is, as Speed declared, a “Fortunate Island,” its shores defining its self-­sovereignty, defending it from foreign invasion, and opening it up to overseas traffic and expansion.167 Fernand Braudel, in the third volume of Civilization and Capitalism, also ironically argues that it was in the sixteenth century that (in his words) “England became an island.”168 He means this purely metaphorically, as a way of explaining how, in the after-

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math of “the Hundred Years’ War and the recapture of Calais” by the French, England would become “an autonomous unit, distinct from continental Europe,” surrounded by barrier bodies of water like “The Channel, the Strait of Dover and the North Sea,” and being a “floating bulwark” now in a perfect position for trade.169 The popularity of the narrative of peninsular rupture in Tudor and Jacobean times, then, can be traced to England’s efforts to assert its own identity and autonomy from Europe, which would imaginatively and strategically reposition it as an Atlantic island, uniquely situated for a new era of transcontinental contact, commerce, and colonization.170 There are also sources—­before and after More—­that discuss manmade trenches, suggesting it was not merely floods or earthquakes, God or nature that transformed the face of the world. For example, Marc Shell has suggested that the story of Abraxa’s geo-­engineering, changing it from mainland to island, reimagines both classical and fourteenth-­and fifteenth-­century descriptions of the Persian tyrant Xerxes’s efforts to invade Greece by digging a canal around Mount Athos between 480 and 483 BC.171 The most scientific of the tracts on England’s separation from France, Richard Verstegan’s 1605 A restitution of decayed intelligence, while uncertain of the cause of separation, is certain that it did occur; his fourth chapter’s title resolutely declares that England was “Sometime Continent to Gallia.” In this New Science study of rock and fossil similarities in Dover and Calais, Verstegan speculates that the Channel might have long ago been “cut by the labor of man in regard of comoditie by that passage, or . . . [that] the inhabitants of the one syde or the other by occasion of war did cut it; thereby to bee sequestered and freed from their enemies.”172 Verstegan’s work would inspire a whole host of tracts on the topic, such as Peter Heylyn’s Cosmographie (1652) and Aylett Sammes’s skeptical Britannia antiqua illustrata (1676), and even a competition among nineteenth-­century geologists, intent on discovering further evidence for a breach.173 Just as importantly, More’s book was authored in the urban Lowlands, a region known for its manmade waterways. Starting in the twelfth century, elaborate systems of canals had ushered in the Golden Age of Bruges (the “Venice of the North”); and later, Antwerp had followed suit, becoming a crucial maritime hub in the trade of cloth and iron. Canals in both cities also defined and extended city perimeters.174 Not coincidentally, Utopia was begun in planned cities that were to model canal systems for late sixteenth-­century Amsterdam and industrialized London.175 By the 1570s, Francis Drake and his men were also dreaming of a Panama canal, while in the mid-­seventeenth century, the Dutch


trader Jan Van Riebeeck hoped, delusionally, to dig a trench around the Cape of Good Hope, which was to become the first colonial settlement in South Africa, creating a land barrier between the native Khoikhoi and what would, if the trench were completed, be an island trading post.176 In other words, by the early sixteenth century, there was reason to suspect that islands were once peninsular territories, and that natural catastrophe or human effort could account for their insularity. These texts and histories help explain More’s fascination with the ability of human labor to intervene in the construction of geography-­ changing fluvial boundaries and new systems of commerce and transport. All of which is to say that More’s story about Abraxa’s transformation from peninsula to Utopian island should not be seen merely as a metaphor for the Utopian effort to break with the past, remake the world, think Other totalities, or control nature to human advantage. It has all of these self-­referential, symbolic dimensions of course, but the narrative of Utopian origins also has a basis in ancient, medieval, and early modern beliefs about geophysical histories of grand-­scale transformation. Consequently, the similar peninsular prehistories invite another comparison between the natural and manmade geographies of the two islands that gives readers more reason to see England in Utopia and compare their differences—­in other words, to more clearly see what unites and separates these two island formations. Moreover, the story of the trench, as it resonates with a possible geographical history, could remind readers that England’s landed identity was historically unstable, changeable, and likely, increasingly tied to the sea. This is important, in part, because the spatial form of early modern island utopias is often treated as static, but to suggest that even landmasses were moveable and impermanent, or subject to human engineering, is to grant that the speaking picture of spatialized utopias—­and their approach to history—­need not be seen as forever fixed in time. Instead, when England’s geography is itself the product of a history of sudden, disastrous, or intentional transformations, whether by flood or earthquake, drought or discovery, its present state is portrayed as a particular historical formation, its location subject to a rapidly changing world order and cognitive map. Crucially, the tale of island-­making was being resurrected in a moment when England had more reason to consider its geopolitical position in a global imaginary with newly discovered continental bodies, and shifting understandings of the ocean as conduit as much as limit. There is also the suggestion that England ought to embrace its distance from Europe to make itself anew. More was writing Utopia, we should remem-

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ber, in the summer when Henry VIII had momentarily given up his dream of reclaiming the old French territories, when he was finally seeking peace with a new French king, Francis I. In the preceding years, England’s coffers had been emptied by the kingdom’s military involvement with the anti-­French Holy League, with little to show for it. In Book One, Hythlodaeus not so subtly satirizes Henry’s costly continental ambitions when he describes the mini-­Utopia of the Achorians. In adapting the narrative of England’s division from Europe, and particularly France, in a way that portrays isolation as desirable, More’s book could be said to dissuade a young king from further pursuits of military glory or territory in France. Book One’s satire on war and expansionism, in this light, is not in contradiction with Book Two’s remarkably early justification of colonial expansion; England’s possible transatlantic identity replaces the expansionist agenda of the Hundred Years’ War. We should remember, too, that the Utopian origin story is a tale of conquest and imperial spectacle as much as geographical exclusion. This would become something of a pattern in early modern utopias: while on the one hand, the utopian society is almost always circumscribed to an island territory, these intentionally isolated societies simultaneously engage in expansionist agendas that willingly violate their own carefully demarcated boundaries. Utopia’s fifteen-­mile-­wide trench refigures the twenty-­mile-­wide Strait of Dover into a desired geographical partition, but the spatial juxtaposition of the real and imagined islands looks westward in ways that encourage exploration, trade, and colonial settlement. This is, then, to follow Knapp’s lead and read More’s island imaginary not as an endorsement of insularity so much as a prototypical figure for a developing capitalist-­imperialist rationale which, over the course of the sixteenth century, would become a commonplace rhetoric of settlement, improvement, benevolence, and conversion. To suggest that More’s fiction is adapting a historical tale about England’s own geopolitical identity, then, may also provide additional historical evidence to support Marin’s theory about Utopia as a way of figuring England as the in-­between, temporally and spatially located between the Old and New Worlds. This duality of separation and relation becomes especially clear when we examine Hythlodaeus’s description of the island’s topography. As the traveler describes it, everywhere “the landing is so surely fenced by nature and what by workmanship of man’s hands, that a few defenders may drive back many armies.”177 But even if its cliffs, reefs, rocks, and hidden channels function as insurmountable borders, Utopia also becomes, like England, well situated for


global relations because of its island status. The island, after all, as Marin defined it, is a “complex image.”178 It cannot be understood only as an insular, closed geographical body, because its crescent shape creates an inner harbor with a single point of entrance and exit, well guarded by a garrison that regulates sea traffic of all kinds. More’s imaginary island may then help his readers see their historical remoteness differently; the two islands offer parallel and divergent histories—­one which takes advantage of the island status and one which does not. The inherited story of England’s own peninsular rupture also then supports Wegner’s interpretation of Utopia’s trench as a “disjunctive act of territorial inclusion as well as exclusion . . . , as a crucial dimension of the subsequent spatial practices of the modern nation-­state.”179 The duplicated island-­making in More’s text figures the nation-­state’s coming into being through a contradictory relationship with the outside, one that insists upon supremacy and absolute difference, just as it imagines replication and expansion. In other words, the island emerges as a model for national empire, just as England’s self-­image as an island nation would become a motif of “internal unity; military security; global mobility and reach, . . . [and] separation.”180 In More’s text, in particular, it functions as the ultimate structure of feeling, anticipating the spatial practices of capitalism: or, what we would now call uneven geographical development. In a discussion of the geopolitics of capitalism and its spatial forms, David Harvey offers a model for understanding this dynamic, arguing that a “central contradiction exists within capitalism between territorial and capitalistic logics of power.”181 Elaborating, he writes: The tension between fixity and motion in the landscape of capitalism is re-­ emphasized because the state is about fixity rather than motion. But the state, as the lynch-­pin of regionality, is the primary vehicle to assure the production of the collective preconditions for production, exchange and consumption. State administration is always therefore an active agent in capital circulation and accumulation.182

If Utopia is, famously, a state without private property, it is certainly not without this kind of fixed, absolute, and privileged territory centering its outward colonizing motion. More’s dream of island-­making, then, is not only a narrative that emerges in the interstices of feudalism and agrarian capitalism, for it also a topological representation of the place of the bordered, insulated nation with an expansive, imperial reach. His island, in essence, figures the contradiction

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that defines emergent global capitalism; it is a spatial representation that claims inclusiveness, all the while marking out realms of exclusive privilege. Joining with Book One’s revised estates satire, the revised story of England’s geographical break with its European neighbors again suggests that More’s Utopia is fundamentally a book about pronounced socio-­spatial transformations, past, present, and future. Central to its fiction is a worldview of impermanence, destruction, and renewal, and a lasting, deep history of beginnings and breaks. More specifically, the English origins of the Utopian trench more explicitly figure the spatial transition from a comparatively internal set of feudal social relations to a more truly global world system, one in which geographical boundaries must be reimagined precisely because trade, exploration, and conquest had already thrown them into question. If from our contemporary vantage point, the global dynamics of capital appear almost inevitable, More’s text—­especially in its satirical debate form and its figures of geographical transformation—­reminds us of the uneven, and moreover, uncertain development of capitalism that required the suppression of both peasant and native resistance. A perspective that refuses, therefore, to acknowledge More’s innovation may very well risk ignoring his crucial negotiation, and the sense that capitalism was not an inevitability but a social system brought into being by specific actions, events, and circumstances—­both intended and unplanned. To lose sight of More’s novelty risks losing sight of the social upheavals and discoveries that occasioned his systemic understanding of human behavior, and consequently, the opportunity for readers now to understand that capitalism, like utopia, does indeed have a history of formation, and a violent one at that. When read this way, More’s novelty is never purely a matter of literary concern, and it is not motivated by a desire to demarcate historical periods for the sake of casting Medieval culture as wholly Other to the (early) modern. Of course, the critical articulation of difference and revolution remains crucial within Marxism and Marxist studies of utopia because attention to the historical process possesses a fundamentally utopian function. Jameson makes this very point in a passage that owes a great deal to Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” explaining how the study of past events and forms, or an encounter between a reader and a text, should be understood as a confrontation between two different modes of production. “If we do this,” he writes: We will no longer see the past as some inert or dead object which we are called upon to resurrect, or to preserve, or to sustain, in our own living freedom;


rather, the past will itself become an active agent in this process and will begin to come before us as a radically different life form which rises up to call our own form of life into question and to pass judgment on us, and through us on the social formation in which we exist. At this point, the very dynamics of the historical tribunal are unexpectedly and dialectically reversed: it is not we who sit in judgment on the past, but rather the past, the radical difference of other modes of production . . . which judges us, imposing the painful knowledge of what we are not, what we are no longer, what we are not yet.183

Early modern and medieval social relations, though structured on suffering, violence, and inequality much like our own, do indeed possess a utopian function. After all, the study of past periods and forms compels the modern subject to imagine alternative ways of living in the world and the historical processes that gave rise to our global capitalist present. But we risk weakening the utopian impulse that some wish to defend unless we attend to the cultural departures and episodes of transformation that separate one social form from another.


U N E V E N D E V E LO PM E N T I N BAC O N ’ S N E W AT L A N T I S The unequal development between regions and nations is the very essence of capitalism, on the same level as the exploitation of labour by capital. Ernest Mandel, “Capitalism and Regional Disparities,” 43.

In the previous chapter, Utopia’s origin myth and the figure of the island were examined as iconographic images that provided the earliest English readers of More’s Utopia with a worldview that anticipated the social and spatial ideals of capitalist-­imperialist accumulation. I argued—­following Jeffrey Knapp and Antonis Balasopoulos—­that islands, both real and imagined, were not merely figures for insularity; the transoceanic experiences of early modernity granted the island a more complex symbology that simultaneously connoted connectivity and regulated encounter. Indeed, between the years 1400 and 1800, conceptions of the Atlantic Ocean and its islands began to alter drastically. John Gillis explains this phenomenon, arguing that with advancements in shipbuilding and navigation and European “discoveries” of “new” lands, islands came to be seen as connecting, rather than separating continental mainlands.1 Oceans were perceived as gates of access to different places, and islands served as stepping-­stones for merchants traveling across the seas, hence their desirability as the first sites of many early modern colonies. These spaces had the benefit of being easily fortified while remaining accessible to ships navigating the sea. As a result, islands came to represent bodies of land simultaneously touting stable and open, if regulated, borders. As Balasopoulos explains, the island was both the “static image of a bounded totality, of the island as a full stop,” and a figure for “motion and travel, . . . the island as a site of embarkation, adventure, even conquest.”2 In other words, the island topos, so central to sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century utopias,3 would configure the contradictory geographical

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desires of imperial nationhood, identified earlier as uneven geographical development.4 Consequently, the ideal visions of territory, land, and the globe that preoccupy early English utopias register an understanding of what Edward Soja has described as “the spatiality of social life, a practical theoretical consciousness that sees the lifeworld of being creatively located not only in the making of history but also in the construction of human geographies, the social production of space and the restless formation and reformation of geographical landscapes.”5 The creation myths of early modern utopias, as stories of massive land transformation, even suggest a literal reconfiguration of the globe. But early English utopias were not the only literary works to project dreams of territorial engineering, nor was the island the only geographical figure in the emerging capitalist-­imperialist imaginary. Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, a text containing ambiguities not unlike those in More’s Utopia, offers a counterpart spatial form of imperial ambition—­the intercontinental land bridge. Before this representation emerges in Marlowe’s play, the audience has already witnessed Faustus’s will to both know the cosmos and master the globe, suggested by his desire for an Archimedean, godly viewpoint. Faustus’s chief flaw—­that he “didst love the world”6—­is consistently expressed as a desire to detach from, comprehend, navigate, command, and reconfigure the globe. Necromancy’s temptation in this play suggests an early modern longing to understand the universe as both constant and changing, and in particular, to know how and where realms like heaven and hell exist alongside witnessed bodies like the Earth, Moon, and planets. Faustus’s first question for Mephistopheles famously asks about divine astrology, begging to know of hell and of the world’s creator—­to which Lucifer’s agent responds, “Hell hath no limits,”7 dodging the answer to Faustus’s query about the creator. Presumably the question, “who made the world?”8 is twice denied an answer because that answer would empower God, but the play also implies that the question cannot be answered, or that the early modern world is continually being remade, represented, and reimagined. Indeed, this effort to see the world as totality is linked with the desire for global transformation in the play. Faustus’s project commences with an eight-­ day tour of the cosmos, which allows him a totalizing view of heaven, hell, and what he characterizes as an Earth “No bigger than my hand in quantity.”9 The chorus tells of Faustus’s sinful will to know “the secrets of astronomy,” climbing Mount Olympus so he can

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view the clouds, the planets and the stars,

The tropic, zones and quarters of the sky, From the bright circle of the horned moon, Even to the height of the Primum Mobile. And whirling round with this circumference, Within the concave compass of the pole, From east to west his dragons swiftly glide, And in eight days did bring him home again . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But new exploits do hale him out again, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . He now is gone to prove Cosmography, That measures coasts and kingdoms of the earth.10

These heightened powers of sight grant Faustus control over a domain “Not to be won by any conquering prince.”11 As we find in many sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century colonial and scientific narratives and in literary genres like utopias and lunar voyages, knowledge is achieved through an abstracted, Archimedean perspective, resulting in a sense of (or even claim to) possession over the observed, fully encompassed, and newly measured space.12 Marlowe distinguishes this power from the brute military invasion of the conquering prince, yet throughout the play, Faustus’s longing to understand the world also belies an imperial and mercantile ambition to own it and alter it, both in a social and geographical sense.13 As early as the play’s first scene, Faustus dreams of the ability to “fly to India for gold, / Ransack the ocean for orient pearl, / And search all the corners of the new-­found world / For pleasant fruits and princely delicates.”14 The practice of magic not only makes plunder possible here, but also renders the nations of the world obedient to Faustus, “As Indian moors obey their Spanish lords.”15 A commanding perspective over the Earth and its people eventually pairs with a fantasy of global reorganization, in which Faustus dreams of bridging the Strait of Gibraltar and literally solidifying an empire: . . . I’ll be great emperor of the world, And make a bridge through the moving air To pass the ocean. With a band of men I’ll join the hills that bind the Affrick shore, And make the country continent to Spain, And both contributory to my crown.16

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Here we have an image to pair with King Utopus’s built trench around the manmade island of Utopia. Like the island and its spatial imagery, Faustus’s Pangaea figures a socio-­spatial world subject in new ways to human manipulation. And also like an island, Marlowe’s “bridge through the moving air” is a privileged site through which we can locate the somewhat paradoxical desires enabled, not so much by magic, as by imperialism: unrestrained mobility, limitless expansion, the networking of the globe, and possession, exclusion, and containment.17 More’s and Marlowe’s spatial and geographical structures can be seen as tangible, concrete expressions that figure a capitalist-­imperialist ideology before it has been fully conceptualized or realized. The imaginary visions of island-­ making and land-­bridging represented in these respective works offer narratives about man’s desire and ability to remake or reterritorialize the globe. The large-­scale, continental changes figured in these literary islands and bridges cast spatial transformation as the basis for social change and demonstrate simultaneous desires for stable borders and borderless flows. The dreams of land transformation captured in More’s island and Faustus’s land bridge, then, function as a preconceptual figuration of capitalist-­imperialist ideology in the early modern period. If, at first glance, we associate islands with insularity and bridges with interconnectivity, a close examination reveals that both figures are complexly overdetermined, containing a dialectical tension of separation and relation, enclosure and inclusion. Nearly half a century later, John Donne, in his sermon to the Virginia Company, would refer to England itself as “this Iland, which is but as the Suburbs of the old world, a Bridge, a Gallery to the new.”18 Donne’s statement reveals not the incompatibility of the image of the island and the image of the bridge, but a vision of global interrelation dependent on geographies of separation. This discussion of the spatial figure of uneven geographical development is intended to set the stage for a reading of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis. Bacon’s New Science utopia, published posthumously in 1627 as an addendum to his Sylva Sylvarum, is structured around a similar kind of spatial tension—­an island that is both of and apart from the world, or as Bronwen Price describes Bensalem, a society that is “knowing but unknown.”19 In what follows, I will examine Bacon’s representation of the relationship between knowledge production and imperial domination, considering how the New Atlantis negotiates anxieties about a burgeoning world system by allowing Bensalem to benefit from global relations without actually participating in them. In its contradictory fantasy of total isolation and global all-­knowing, Bensalem embodies the

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symbolic logic of both the bridge and the island, and thus stands in for a capitalist system that relies on nation-­based exploitation and accumulation. No Island Is an Island Utopia is an island experimental site that aims eventually to destroy all political, religious and epistemological insularity. James Holstun, A Rational Millennium, 55.

Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno open Dialectic of Enlightenment, their groundbreaking study of the relationship between science and domination, with the following quote from Sir Francis Bacon’s “In Praise of Knowledge”: Therefore no doubt the sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge; wherein many things are reserved, which kings with their treasure cannot buy, nor with their force command, their spials and intelligencers can give no news of them, their seamen and discoverers cannot sail where they grow: now we govern nature in opinions, but we are thrall unto her in necessity: but if we would be led by her in invention, we should command her by action.20

It is no surprise that a reference to Bacon commences this study; Bacon’s oft-­cited aphorism “knowledge is power” is an obvious touchstone for the Frankfurt School thesis that Enlightenment values of reason, positivism, and progress are betrayed by a corollary ideology of domination. The appeal to “Human Empire,” after all, pervades Bacon’s scientific and literary work, and is a central theme of his famous utopian narrative.21 Demonstrating Horkheimer and Adorno’s major claim, the passage above characterizes the empirical acquisition of knowledge as a sovereign, governing, and commanding exertion of power over nature, here juxtaposed with an Aristotelian formal logic (or what amounts to little more than “opinion” in Bacon’s terms). Still, there is a strange silence in Horkheimer and Adorno’s engagement with this portrayal of science as a mastery of nature. Though the Marxist argument of the Dialectic of Enlightenment hinges on the claim that the virtue of reason is “merely an aid to the all-­encompassing economic apparatus”22 of a bourgeois society, the wedge Bacon attempts to drive between the pursuit of knowledge and the mere pursuit of wealth is allowed to stand ignored. Bacon does indeed decouple the pursuit of wealth from the sovereign dominion of knowledge in this statement, but the distinction is hard for even him to sustain. The frontispiece to his Instauratio Magna (1620) perhaps best exem-

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plifies Bacon’s overriding sense that trade and territorial discovery are supplemental, experiential paths to knowledge. The emblem features a shipping vessel at its center, framed in the foreground by the Pillars of Hercules—­a symbolic representation of the farthest limits of the known world, and a sign of ancient learning’s extent. The ship appears to have just passed through these heroic gates at the Strait of Gibraltar, poised on the brink of a historical and geographical transition into the Atlantic Ocean, suggesting a liminal encounter with both new realms and new ideas. Far off in the distance, approaching the horizon in the emblem’s background, another ship cuts a path across the uncharted territory of the sea. Referencing the Book of Daniel, the Latin phrase Multi pertransibunt et augebitur scientia (Many will pass through and knowledge will be increased) is engraved at the base of the plate. The image and epigraph, which Bacon may very well have had a hand in designing, distinctly equate scientific experimentation with the ongoing voyages of exploration in the seventeenth century (and no less, with a religious project).23 Thus, the visual rhetoric draws figurative parallels between the discoveries of the New Science and the New World, despite Bacon’s claim in “In Praise of Knowledge” that kings, military bodies, spies, and seamen do not possess the sovereignty of science. Yet Bacon’s perspective on political and economic forms of empire is complicated, as various critics have noted. Sarah Irving has argued that while Bacon was obviously a proponent of English colonies (indeed, he was a prominent investor in both the Virginia Company and the Newfoundland Colonial Company), he nevertheless expressed anxieties about the practices of colonization throughout his written work.24 His plea against the extirpation—­or “displanting”—­of natives in “Of Plantations,” is perhaps the strongest evidence of this ambivalence.25 In addition to Bacon’s call for a colony “in a pure soil,”26 Irving cites his criticisms of Spanish greed and his arguments for the naturalization of Irish natives as evidence of his “moral,” “epistemic” approach to colonization. Irving claims that documents like Bacon’s 1606 essay “Certain Considerations Touching the Plantation in Ireland” (which also contains praise for a colony “in solo puro, et in area pura”), substantiate his “epistemological anxieties about establishing colonies.”27 According to Irving, Bacon understood English colonialism at its best as “a policy of education and citizenship.”28 Following Richard Serjeantson, she reclaims the New Atlantis from charges of portraying “science as an instrument of colonial expansion” and even argues that the text “presents an ideal of non-­colonial interactions with the New World.”29 Such an assertion, however, downplays other, more overt expressions of ter-

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ritorial domination and intellectual exploitation within the text, and fails to consider other writings (and actions) of Bacon’s that readily endorsed colonial violence. His more obscure An Advertisement Touching an Holy War, written in 1622 after his removal from the position of Lord Chancellor, for instance, presents a call to Holy War that has been read as a “campaign of extirpation and genocide” aimed at various “multitudes,” from West Indian natives to Anabaptists.30 Just as importantly, however, the New Atlantis must be read as a literary representation, not merely a plan of exact action, because it encodes within its imaginative forms a specifically imperial relationship of privilege that prioritizes the needs of Bensalem over those of the rest of the world. If Bensalem does not engage in direct projects of conquest or colonial domination, it is nevertheless a model of imperial exploitation. To claim that Bensalem itself is a non-­colonial society, in other words, does not necessarily mean that the New Atlantis is not an imperial text. Utopia as a genre is always subject to some kind of power differential; it asks readers to weigh competing social systems, to value one society over another. Of course, in a text like More’s, ambiguity is written into this comparison—­in the play of Greek names, in More’s litotes, and in Utopia’s non-­Christian status, for example—­so that the reader must occupy a critical viewpoint in relation to both social forms. Bacon’s invention is to halt this dialectic of comparison. Bensalem is, as William Rawley noted in the earliest edition of the New Atlantis, a “model . . . more vast and high than can possibly be imitated in all things.”31 This exceptionalism accounts for the propagandistic element of the text that many have already explored, usually when they associate Salomon’s House, the institution “dedicated to the study of the Works and Creatures of God,” with the later founding of the Royal Society.32 Bacon’s utopia is a beacon of material and intellectual progress, but it is not a secular society either, and as a religious place, it is represented—­at least on the surface—­as a truly moral, ideal realm.33 Its quasi-­divine, exceptional status within Bacon’s construction, grants the island the privileges of peace, stability, and knowledge, as well as complete control and oversight of the world beyond its shores. Let us consider four aspects of exceptionalism in Bacon’s fable that link early modern science to an omnipotent, social dominion and mark Bacon’s ideal order apart from others:34 Bensalem’s uniquely Christian status; its simultaneous rejection of and reliance upon the outside world; its laws of secrecy and treatment of strangers; and its own (largely gendered) labor hierarchies. These external and internal social relations suggest a very modern imperial dynamic behind Bacon’s vision

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of science. While Bensalem may not overtly model a violent, militarily aggressive empire of direct domination, it is certainly a fantasy of empire where natural knowledge becomes a vehicle for and a product of mercantile exploitation. Bensalem’s utopianism is usually attributed to its scientific and technological progress, but several episodes within the narrative emphasize Bensalem’s Christian exceptionalism as the foundation for its other signs of advancement. From its first introduction, Bensalem is represented as a divine island, uniquely capable of redemption. Sailing from Peru to China, our narrator and his fellow shipmates are thrown off course in a storm, left to drift at sea as their rations diminish. Fearing death, the “lost men”35 pray to God for mercy and for a second Genesis. Within one day, their prayers are answered; the island of Bensalem miraculously appears on the horizon of the South Seas, as if their prayers materialized a new World. When the marooned Spanish sailors are finally allowed onshore, after demonstrating their Christianity, the narrator describes their state of deliverance as “between death and life,” and their location as “beyond both the old world and the new,”36 underscoring the geographical externality of Bensalem. Yet the narrator’s description also associates the House of Strangers to which they are first taken with a place of purgatory, or purification, before the sailors are allowed entrance into the heaven-­like island. Readers are granted further evidence of Bensalem’s divine character when they learn the story of how Bensalem—­a society self-­isolated from the world for some two thousand years—­came to know Christ, an episode David Renaker has characterized as “a miracle to end all miracles” and a Baconian dream of “the rise of modern science in a peaceful Protestant Europe, rather than on a blood-­stained ash heap.”37 The governor of the House of Strangers tells the narrator that some twenty years after Christ’s ascension into heaven, a great pillar of light in the shape of a cross appeared off the coast of their island, spotlighting an ark floating on the sea. One fellow of Salomon’s House, above all others, was allowed to sail out to collect the ark, having testified before God to his faith in divine miracles. The Spanish are told that within the cedar ark were several books of the Old and New Testaments, some of which “were not at the time written,” as well as a letter from the apostle St. Bartholomew promising “salvation and peace and good-­will” to wherever the ark came to land.38 If Bensalem’s first appearance to the shipwrecked Spanish constitutes a second Genesis, its Christianity is a second Pentecost, for the books and the letter, so the Spanish are told, were perfectly readable by all on the island no matter their mother tongue, whether Hebrews, Persians, or natives. This case of “miraculous evan-

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gelism,”39 and not the Bensalemites’ scientific achievements, is the first evidence that sets Bensalem above other nations. This story of divine intervention to some extent constitutes a deus ex machina plot, which signals to readers that Bacon did not perceive faith to be diametrically opposed to reason but rather a foundation of knowledge. If the miracle signals Bacon’s belief that religious controversy obstructs progress in natural philosophy, to the extent that it constitutes a fantasy of revelation without room for misinterpretation, the conversion narrative associates Baconian science with a more perfect Christianity.40 In fact, the end of knowledge for Bacon was an Edenic restoration; as he wrote elsewhere, knowledge of nature could result in a “restitution and reinvesting . . . of man to the sovereignty and power . . . which he had in his first state of creation” prior to the fall. 41 It is a common mistake, as Bacon scholars like Brian Vickers and McKnight have noted time and again, to portray the father of science as a secular modern, or as a figure who completely breaks with medieval and Renaissance traditions—­ religious or intellectual. Rather, his Christian worldview should put us in mind of Holstun’s argument, in A Rational Millennium, that many seventeenth-­ century utopias (especially those of a Puritan persuasion) were “equally comfortable with millennialism and enlightenment, the sacred and secular fantasies of geographical, historical, and epistemological totality.”42 The Great Instauration’s frontispiece is pivotal for Holstun’s argument here because it visibly links the projects of learning, expansion, and salvation—­a shared set of goals that Max Weber famously affiliated in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.43 With its Christian rewriting of the utopian form, the New Atlantis also presents a more model, because chosen society, where salvation serves as a prerequisite to an exalted intellectual state. We might even read the singling out of the wise, devout fellow who collects the ark as a sign of the election of Salomon’s House in particular.44 As Weber writes, “The community of the elect with their God could only take place and be perceptible to them in that God worked . . . through them and that they were conscious of it. That is, their action originated from the faith caused by God’s grace, and this faith in turn justified itself by the quality of that action.”45 In the New Atlantis, the scientists of Salomon’s House rely on God for their discoveries, but their intellectual success can also be read as evidence of their election. Yet Bensalem’s divinity is also stressed through its juxtaposition with the New World, where we begin to see that its religious exceptionalism constitutes an expression of imperial ideology. The second question the Spanish ask of their informant is the one most

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readers presumably want to pose first: why is it Bensalemites possess such thorough knowledge of Europe, but Europe has “never heard any of the least inkling or glimpse of this island?”46 The answer they receive establishes a connection between Bensalem’s divinity and its geopolitical privilege. In response to their question, the Spanish are given a half-­truth; the governor of the House of Strangers admits that he must omit certain particulars, but proceeds to tell of a Golden Age of navigation that took place three thousand years in the past. He describes the ancient period as one of copious interrelation and global exchange, with trade routes extending through China, the Mediterranean, and Carthage all the way to what was known as the “great Atlantis,” the region, he tells us, we now know as the Americas. However, this flourishing era of navigation abruptly ceased, the governor relates, when the kingdoms of Peru and Mexico (then known as Coya and Tyrambel) attempted an unsuccessful invasion of Bensalem.47 Apparently, even before the coming of Christ, Bensalem was marked as a chosen island, for this episode provoked “Divine Revenge” in the form of a second great deluge, submerging almost all of the New World. As a result, only those in the highest elevations survived, and the Americas were returned to a state of “rudeness and ignorance,” becoming a “young people; younger a thousand years at least than the rest of the world.”48 Within Bacon’s narrative, then, we find an origin story that attempts to explain away Europe’s own “ignorance” of the New World as an act of God’s will and as a consequence of a continent’s misguided and “proud enterprises.”49 It would be a mistake, however, to read this passage as anti-­colonial because the violent force of divine retribution targets an empire. Instead, what Bacon’s rewriting of the myth of Atlantis invents is a tale of Christian and cultural exceptionalism that depends upon the wholesale erasure of the foreign Other. While Denise Albanese has argued that this passage suggests that the “New World is not truly ‘new’ at all,”50 it seems important to recognize that the history Bacon grants the Americas is also actually a fantasized negation of history and culture. While he attributes a certain degree of posterity to the ancient Atlantis, the continent post-­flood is represented by the governor as populated by a debased, separate, and infant humanity: For the poor remnant of human seed which remained in their mountains peopled the country again slowly, by little and little; and being simple and savage people (not like Noah and his sons, which was the chief family of the earth), they were not able to leave letters, arts and civility to their posterity.51

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Bacon’s myth of America within the New Atlantis calls on us to reconsider the “pure soil” he imagines in “Of Plantations,” for the America he invents is one already wiped clean. Indeed, Bensalem’s exalted identity is achieved through the oppositional construction of a second, inferior, and alien society. This mythical history, then, is actually the story of the coming into being of the Eurocentric dialectic of both racial and national identity. The utopian society here depends less on a juxtaposition with England or Europe for its radical difference than it does on a denial of the cultures and peoples of the New World. In fact, the text seems to lay out a hierarchy of national bodies, defined by factors such as Christianity, culture, and other forms of “civility,” which locates European society in between the poles of the model Bensalem and an infantilized America. This brings us to the central paradox Bensalem embodies as a knowing but unknown island. God’s defense of Bensalem’s borders, the governor relates, resulted in a cessation of trade and a decline in global intercourse, though not a weakening of Bensalem’s own shipping. More than one thousand years after the flooding of America, King Solamona, a “divine instrument” and the law-­giver of the island, perceiving the “sufficiency” of his island, implemented a policy of protectionism and isolationism in which Bensalem would not depend—­ economically—­on “any aid at all of the foreigner.”52 To emphasize Bensalem’s exceptionalism and make overt the dynamic of cultural exclusion, then, Bacon includes this narrative of chosen insularity. While King Solamona’s mandate does not possess the literalism of King Utopus’s manmade trench (the New Atlantis is already geographically divided from continents and remote in its location after all), it nevertheless suggests that the identity of the ideal society depends on its differentiation from the surrounding world. We might understand this island, insular geography of Bensalem as a seventeenth-­century predecessor to the eighteenth-­century genre of the Robinsonade, with its fetishized portrayal of the isolated man. Insular Bensalem is Bacon’s mythical figure of the individual nation, wholly detached from global relations. But as Marx argued in the Grundrisse, Defoe’s Crusoe was an ideological construction of an epoch defined by increasingly complex social relations. Famously, in his critique of Smith and Ricardo’s celebration of this individualist myth, Marx argues that man is always already a social animal, or, “an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of society.”53 A similar claim can be applied to Bacon’s island, for the territorial nation can only individuate itself through the burgeoning of a world system. Bensalem’s supposed insularity is similarly reliant on an outside Other, because its Christian and natural exceptionalism is

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almost always asserted through geographical and social comparison. In short, Bensalem must be located in the world to be separate from it. This point becomes especially clear when we learn that the kingdom’s manufactured insularity is intentionally compromised. While Bensalem continues to carefully regulate its own boundaries, monitoring those—­like the Spanish “strangers”—­who on a rare occasion are allowed entrance to the island, several Merchants of Light54 are allowed beyond Bensalem’s borders, sent out into the world for twelve years at a time. Like the globe-­trotting explorers of Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun, their mission is one of intellectual reconnaissance, specifically designed to collect, import, and apply the knowledge generated by other kingdoms. The governor explains: When the king had forbidden to all his people navigation into any part that was not under his crown, he made nevertheless this ordinance; That every twelve years there should be set forth out of this kingdom two ships, appointed to several voyages; That in either of these ships there should be a mission of three of the Fellows or Brethren of Salomon’s House; whose errand was only to give us knowledge of the affairs and state of those countries to which they were designed, and especially of the sciences, arts, manufactures and inventions of all the world; and withal to bring unto us books, instruments and patterns in every kind. . . . [T]hus you see we maintain a trade, not for gold, silver, or jewels; nor for silks; nor for spices; nor any other commodity of matter; but only for God’s first creature, which was Light: to have light (I say) of the growth of all parts of the world.55

When abroad the fellows conceal their true identities from those they encounter, meaning the “exchange” of information is exclusively one-­directional. In fact, the governor is even careful not to reveal the destinations of these clandestine voyages to his Spanish guests. Bacon’s myth of isolation begins to unravel at this moment, for the imaginary island essentially becomes a parasite consuming the intellectual labors of other nations, while operating behind a veil of deceit. Indeed, the Merchants of Light have often been read as a network of spies or as agents of “intellectual imperialism.”56 The merchants’ perspective of global all-­knowing and their ability to skillfully navigate the entire globe certainly shares similarities with the imperial ambitions of Faustus rehearsed earlier in this chapter. The crucial difference, though, is that Bacon’s is a celebratory vision of global oversight, whereas Marlowe’s play, at least to some extent, satirizes hubris.

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Like Amy Boesky, I would like to propose that we read Bacon’s “secret service” as a constructed “model for epistemological as well as international relations.”57 Boesky herself emphasizes the denial of reciprocity in Bensalem’s encounter with the outside. While the passage reminds us that science depended on trade relations for its historical development (just as it did on experiments generated in the domestic laboratory), it is also a reminder of the political power intellectual pursuits could procure; hence, Bensalem fears the dissemination of its own discoveries, such as the “[i]nstruments of destruction, as of war and poison,”58 listed in the Magnalia Naturae that concludes Bacon’s utopian narrative. As such, the story of Bensalem’s outward excursions represents Bacon’s ideal paradigm for England’s international and economic presence. Rather than modeling direct domination or colonialism, though, the relationship is one of nation-­based mercantile exploitation. The island’s position within and apart from the world is a spatial fantasy where the highly regulated borders of the island figure a desire for national, absolute territory, and these borders are to be transgressed only for the purpose of accumulation. As the passage on the Merchants of Light reveals, Bacon envisions the production of knowledge as an internal process, yet it is also clearly dependent on a global division of intellectual labor. Here we should recall David Harvey’s description of the mobile and fixed character of a global economy dependent on uneven development and unequal exchange.59 Bensalem, to put it succinctly, embodies the ideal capitalist-­imperialist relation between the nation and the world system. This is primarily a relationship of exploitation, where the development of one region, one sector, or one class appropriates the labor of another geographical entity, industry, or economic body. While the brethren of Salomon’s House consistently refuse the strangers’ efforts to tip them for their service, claiming they are never to be “twice paid,” the narrative of Bensalem gradually reveals that they are rewarded twice over: with the fruits of their own labor and with the unreciprocated, unpaid labor of those abroad.60 Bacon’s intellectual imperialists remind us that the history of science was fraught with such appropriations of both material and immaterial labor. As Ania Loomba has explained, “Western science . . . developed both as an impulse to master the globe, and by incorporating, learning from, as well as aggressively displacing other knowledge systems.”61 While the labor of science is globally distributed within Bacon’s fable, the profits are certainly not. Immanuel Wallerstein has argued that the historical roots of a capitalist world economy lie in the sixteenth century, and he has followed economists

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like Paul Sweezy and other dependency theorists in seeing the history of capitalist development as reliant on external zones of production as much as internal labor relations. This is to stress the frequently regional character of uneven development as much as the uneven concentration of wealth that defines capitalism in classical Marxism (in other words, the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the wage laborer). In Wallerstein’s analysis, a capitalist world system is “marked by an axial division of labor between core-­like production processes and peripheral production processes, which resulted in an unequal exchange favoring those involved in core-­like production processes.”62 This geographical analysis is a crucial intervention into histories of capitalism that are overly concentrated on early capitalism as a primarily European or agrarian phenomenon. Wallerstein’s core-­periphery model, like Frank’s theory of the metropolis-­satellite, elucidates the role of mercantile exploitation in the development (and underdevelopment) of capitalism, by demonstrating that the fundamentally global class divisions of labor and ownership did not need to be exclusively colonial in nature.63 Bacon’s New Atlantis gives testimony to this history, imagining knowledge as the essential commodity to be transferred from periphery to core without any genuine gesture of reciprocation. In this sense, the dream of Bensalem is not merely a model for an institution of science but also a model for an English core, overseeing the workings of a then burgeoning world economy. Why then does Bacon’s model order ostensibly refuse commodity trade and other worldly goods? In “Of Empire,” Bacon himself explains the importance of mercantilism, describing merchants as “the vena porta [the gate vein]” of the nation, and adding that if merchants “flourish not, a kingdom may have good limbs, but will have empty veins and nourish little.”64 On the island, however, the Spanish merchants find no market for their pistolets and reams of crimson velvet; knowledge appears to be the commodity exclusively consumed and produced in this realm. Illustrating Bacon’s assertion, quoted earlier, that “the sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge,” Bensalem elevates natural knowledge over material pursuits, a sign of the kingdom’s moral superiority. The profits the Spanish gain in Bensalem, the narrator tells us, far exceed those they would have acquired if they had reached their intended destination of China. Yet what Irving praises as Bacon’s epistemic denial of greed is also a moralistic, rhetorical construction intended to differentiate an English brand of colonialism from Spanish projects of conquest—­by claiming a higher purpose than gold. For this reason, it is difficult to accept Bacon’s representation of a model society as one

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England should mirror. Instead, in Bacon’s fiction, knowledge is the vehicle of profit, and that which defines a nation’s class and political hierarchies. “Light” behaves like capital: it depends upon a certain degree of appropriated surplus value, for the purpose of further investment and growth.65 It is also a commodity, possessed, concentrated, and rigorously guarded by its patriarchal “owners.” The Father of Salomon’s House tells the narrator, for example, that the goal of their scientific endeavors is an “enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire,” though he later adds that the fathers must all take an “oath of secrecy” as well.66 In fact, the fellows do not conceal discoveries from just the Spanish but also from the other inhabitants of Bensalem. As many have already explained before, the New Atlantis certainly models scientific advancement, yet the humanitarian benefits are contained in one carefully bounded space, and specifically within the elite class of Salomon’s House, the panoptic “eye of the kingdom.”67 It is tempting to read the text itself as the reciprocal gesture of exchange, since it is an account of Bensalem’s great scientific and (to a lesser extent) social innovations. Toward the end of the narrative, the Father does indeed gift our narrator with a long discussion of the island’s many inventions, from medical discoveries of waters that prolong life to mechanical innovations that presage submarines and airplanes. While the Father has spoken with only a single representative of the marooned ship (our narrator), suggesting that the information is still a secret of sorts, he does conclude his account by saying, “‘God bless thee, my son, and God bless this relation which I have made. I give thee leave to publish it for the good of other nations; for we here are in God’s bosom, a land unknown.”68 Yet the narrative ends here, “not perfected” as Rawley notes.69 Rawley’s phrase refers to the text’s unfinished state, but these words also suggest that while the ends of knowledge are shared, the actual means to accomplish these ends are not. Price makes note of this point, explaining that, while the narrator’s discourse claims authenticity, it is fragmentary and “not necessarily accompanied with understanding.”70 The fictive conceits of utopia also distance the fable from the empirical knowledge Bacon so famously promotes. Any knowledge readers gain is heavily mediated and, arguably, hearsay. The text’s account of these utopian inventions relies on the tale of a Spanish narrator whose only evidence of the inventions’ existence is the word of another mysterious man.71 Indeed, the conclusion to Bacon’s utopian narrative feels constrained by the dialogical conventions of the young utopian genre. Rather than taking the narrator or the audience on a tour through the lower, middle, and upper regions of the scientocracy (a distinct possibility given the first-­person frame

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of the text), Bacon opts for description over narration. At this point, readers are rather removed from a knowledge constituted by observation and empiricism, and the tale of Bensalem’s magnificent inventions is more awe-­inspiring, more spectacular, than it is reproducible. News of the island’s great achievements is available for dissemination then, but the inventions themselves remain exclusive to Bensalem: in effect, creating an audience for only its exceptionalism. In its concluding gesture of outreach, the society seals itself off from the rest of the world; after all, in God’s bosom, the island remains a carefully guarded secret, and in the world beyond, the wealth of Salomon’s House remains only a fable. Bensalem’s Internal Colonies In the bright light of retrospection, both inclusion and exclusion can be seen to have had their function in the making of the modern nation-­state. Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood, 11.72

The laws and topography of Bacon’s island are thus governed by a desire for highly controlled contact with the outside world, where borders are a mandatory structure for international dialogue and exchange. This contradictory desire for both global inclusion and national exclusion also arguably registers in the domestic policies of cultural differentiation in Bensalem—­in terms of ethnicity, religion, gender, and class. Strict social divisions continue to exist in Bacon’s utopian state, to the point that Bensalem resembles early seventeenth-­ century England more than it fundamentally reimagines it. Indeed, the text supports Mark Netzloff ’s assertion that colonial relations were often employed as models for disciplining and controlling the body politic of England itself.73 Nowhere is this dynamic of internal colonialism more apparent than in the quarantining of the shipwrecked Spanish strangers, who spend the first three days of their stay secluded in the Strangers’ House. In fact, the sailors are only reluctantly admitted to the island’s shore. As the governor explains, King Solamona long ago prohibited the entrance of strangers, except those in distress, fearing “novelties . . . and commixture of manners.”74 Yet Solamona’s law (unlike the “curious, ignorant, fearful, foolish nation” of China), readers are told, was intended to “join humanity and policy together” by granting admittance to strangers who posed no danger to Bensalem.75 On the one hand, Solamona’s ban and his fear of “commixture” suggests a desire for homogeneity, insularity, and cultural stasis, especially when joined with the slight against China. But on the other hand, Bensalem itself is represented as a microcosm of global diver-

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sity; like Campanella’s solarian utopia, it claims to cull its policies from the best institutional practices of the global community. Cosmopolitanism is a virtue Bacon advocated for elsewhere; he reasons in “Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature” that “[i]f a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shews he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.”76 The statement invokes More’s story of Abraxa’s transformation into an island, but ironically, Bacon’s scientific island also carefully contains, bounds, and regulates difference, rather than “joining” nations though an embracement of global diversity. Bensalemites manage and monitor all contact with foreigners, setting limits on the Spaniards’ movements (not a “karan” beyond the city’s walls77) once they are finally allowed to roam outside their temporary home. Within the island, just as outside it, the “contact zone” of intercultural encounter possesses what Mary Louise Pratt has described as “the highly asymmetrical relations of domination and subordination”78 that governed early colonial encounters (as well as the treatment of marginalized “strangers” within early modern England). In other words, the intellectual secrets, territorial borders, and social rules of Bensalem obstruct any chance for a genuinely reciprocal relation between the Spanish and their keepers. The island society reaches out to the shipwrecked strangers, but only on condition that they submit to its terms. The treatment of Joabin, the Jewish merchant who befriends our narrator, is another conflicted case of cross-­cultural contact. Joabin, the Spanish are told, harbors “Jewish dreams,” believing that Bensalem embodies the secret of the cabala, yet he is a hybrid figure, praised for recognizing the divinity of Christ and accepting the myth of the virgin birth.79 While he is a tolerated, if not venerated subject in the society, the narrator testifies to his civility only by denigrating European Jews. As Claire Jowitt has explained, Bacon’s representation of Jewishness slips between the poles of religious toleration and blatant anti-­Semitism, and ultimately constitutes a “strategy that controls difference.”80 Joabin, like the Spanish sailors, gains access to a Christian Bensalem only because he is not “really” Jewish. Foreigners on the inside of Bensalem, in other words, remain marked as outsiders, even when they assimilate. To this extent, Bensalem is not only topographically but also metaphorically an island cut off from the world. In “Utopia and Science Fiction,” Raymond Williams establishes a taxonomy based on Bacon’s departure in the New Atlantis from More’s Utopia. Williams argues here that Bacon’s work constitutes a utopia of “technological

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transformation” where “the scientific revolution of experiment and discovery becomes research and development in an instrumental social perspective.”81 Unlike More’s nostalgic ideal of the cooperative smallholders’ community, the New Atlantis, according to Williams, endorses a human empire that is “not only the mastery of nature; it is also, as a social projection, an aggressive, autocratic, imperialist enterprise; the projection of a rising class.”82 In general, Bacon’s utopia contains no shred of the egalitarianism that defines More’s imaginary commonwealth; it is an authoritarian kingdom, where the intellectual and political elite are collapsed into a single class of the privileged.83 As Bacon’s fable moves into a description of the social conventions within the island’s body politic, Williams’s characterization becomes even clearer, for the alleged “Human Empire” of Bacon’s scientocracy is an exclusive political category that reproduces the dynamics of exception and exclusion observed in its spatial figuration, narrative of conversion, and foreign relations. Power, like knowledge, is not only accumulated by the fellows of Salomon’s House; it is carefully hoarded by them. The governor, for instance, reveals that many of the inventions and discoveries of the fellows are kept secret from the state itself—­in a marked contrast with the relatively democratic education of More’s Utopians, who regularly attend public lectures and read in their spare time. In effect, the possession of knowledge delineates Bensalem’s classes. Jews and non-­intellectual laborers, along with women and their labor in both childbearing and rearing, are subordinated, and all are lorded over by the members of Salomon’s House. The governor’s description of the Feast of the Family drives home this point. In this ritual celebration of procreation—­which would more accurately be labeled the Feast of the Father—­honor is heaped on fruitful patriarchs (the “tirsans”), while mothers are kept apart from the ceremony as cloistered onlookers. This domestic social stratification parallels, indeed underwrites, the geopolitical dream of Bensalem: for the community of scientists relies on both a gendered and manual-­mental division of labor to create the conditions for its experimental inquiries. Only labor of the most immaterial kind is honored within the New Atlantis. To be Jewish, female, or common in Bensalem is, in effect, to be another kind of stranger, disenfranchised—­or at best, tolerated—­within the supposedly utopian island. In essence, it is to be an underclass. But as in most utopias of the Renaissance, social structure in the New Atlantis is not narrated so much as described through distinctions of space. Bacon’s fiction, then, constitutes what Harvey has called a “Utopia of spatial form,” where “social stability” is assured through “fixed spatial forms.”84 Class and

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cultural differences within Bensalem, in other words, are articulated through regional distinctions and architectures of either hierarchy or division. Scientific experiments are performed in separate locations, and thus identified by the various houses or regions of the island. For example, the Lower regions, a series of caves sometimes three miles in depth, are reserved for “coagulations, indurations, refrigerations, and conservations of bodies,”85 the Father relates, while the Upper regions (or high towers) of the island are used for meteorological experiments. These realms—­which seem to not accidentally literalize hierarchical distinctions in the fields of natural philosophy—­are kept apart from surface-­level everyday society, which has the effect of stressing both the fellows’ social exemption and their advantage. As William Leiss has argued, the isolation of Salomon’s House “symbolizes not only its physical remoteness but even more its complete ‘spiritual’ separation from the concrete social life of the island’s inhabitants.”86 Of course, knowledge of the island is heavily mediated through the conversations of the governor, the Father, and Joabin—­for the narrator is almost always located within a cloistered domestic space, unable to return the gaze of the college’s elite. In the single moment when the Spanish narrator ventures outside on the island, another brief but telling description links spatiality with social order. Watching as the Father of Salomon’s House is paraded down the open streets in great pomp and circumstance, the narrator makes his first and only acquaintance with the general populace of Bensalem. Ironically, however, in this episode no acquaintances are made and no public is made known. Rather, the testimony emphasizes the people’s orderliness: “The street was wonderfully well kept: so that there was never any army had their men stand in better battle-­array, than the people stood. The windows likewise were not crowded, but every one stood in them as if they had been placed.”87 Bacon uses a choice metonym here, equating the people of Bensalem with the public street. Yet to stress the distinctions between Bensalem’s law-­abiding, orderly populace and the “rabble,” “many-­headed monsters,” or “mobs” that stand in for crowds of commoners in so much of early modern British literature, the “street” of Bensalem is then analogized as the most disciplined of armies. The systemic connection between a material location and both an abstract and a material social position is extended in the following detail, where the street is actually brought inside. The members of the populace, “placed” inside their dwellings, stand one to a window, where they are perfectly framed as single bodies and essentially, contained. Even in describing the collective public, Bacon keeps the emphasis

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on the fragmented placement of individuals (“every one”) in their respective social positions. The multitudes of Bensalem, in short, know their place, and it is one of isolation and privatization. The social architecture of Bensalem, then, like its geographical figuration, reveals itself to be a formation of division and exclusion more than one of union or inclusion. Still, one of the great oddities of Bacon’s tale of this island utopia is that it contains remarkably little description of the natural world, despite Bacon’s concerns with the study of nature and despite the utopian genre’s tendency to an excess of minute detail about flora and fauna. Whereas Book Two of More’s Utopia begins with a verbal survey of that island’s natural topography, the setting of Bacon’s island remains much of a mystery. The emphasis, instead, is on the interaction of ecology and labor. In the final pages of the utopian narrative, when nature finally rears its head, the Father describes it almost entirely through use-­value: We have great lakes, both salt and fresh, whereof we have use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for burials of some natural bodies: for we find a difference in things buried in earth or in air below the earth, and things buried in water. We also have pools, of which some do strain fresh water out of salt; and others by art do turn fresh water into salt. We also have some rocks in the midst of the sea, and some bays upon the shore for some works wherein is required the air and vapour of the sea. We have likewise violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for many motions, and likewise engines for multiplying and enforcing of winds, to set also on going divers motions.88

The possessive, utilitarian syntax of this passage is repeated in twenty-­three paragraphs of the father’s account, all beginning with the phrase “We have,” followed by a chorus of “we use” or a similar phrase. The tendency to blur the line between natural and artificial surroundings continues as well, so that nature is never described as something independent of its socioscientific function or human manipulations. This representation suggests the relatively novel seventeenth-­century ideal of nature as raw material, a view Carolyn Merchant has famously traced to Bacon’s philosophical interventions and also to the aims of early capitalism. Merchant’s seminal, eco-­critical work argues that Bacon “fashioned a new ethic sanctioning the exploitation of nature,” though the underlying “roots” of his ideas belonged to “middle-­class economic development and its progressive interests and values.”89 The Promethean view of nature is one Marx himself traced

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to capitalist society, writing in Notebook IV of the Grundrisse that under profit-­ driven production: [N]ature becomes purely an object for humankind, purely a matter of utility; [it] ceases to be recognized as a power for itself; and the theoretical discovery of its autonomous laws appears merely as a ruse so as to subject it under human needs, whether as an object of consumption or as a means of production.”90

From the draining of fens to the conversion of the open field into property, nature, like labor, becomes commodity in the early modern period. Bacon’s language of acquisition and application, as Merchant herself notes, suggests this distinctly capitalist tendency to reduce nature to resource. Nowhere is this more explicit than in the concluding Magnalia Naturae, Praecipue Quad Usus Humanos (translated by Vickers as, “The wonderful works of Nature, chiefly such as benefit mankind”), where nature’s identity becomes her malleability, or what Bacon calls her “great alteration,”91 in the hands of science. Bensalem, then, is more than a scientific model for the Royal Society or a political model for England itself. It is a geopolitical allegory for the historical changes ushered in by the global expansion of markets under capitalist relations in the seventeenth century. The representation of nature, knowledge, labor, religious exceptionalism, and social stability through hierarchy in the New Atlantis is a textual representation of progress as exploitation, or what Frank has termed the “development of underdevelopment.”92 At the same time, however, Bensalem’s competing ideals of cosmopolitanism and isolationism, mobility and containment, and exchange and secrecy reveal progress of this kind to ultimately result in the centralization of power, not its egalitarian diffusion. Not only does science remain the dominion of an isolationist kingdom, it also remains the instrumental property of a vanguard elite. At the heart of this fable, therefore, lies a contradictory relationship between the interests of the national body and the interests of the world that is also the central contradiction of capitalism in its global aspect.

C H A P T E R 3­

U TO PI A , I RE L A N D, A N D T H E T U D O R S H OC K D OC T RI N E Imaginary societies are situated along the general path of actual conquests, discoveries, and explorations. Frank Manuel and Fritzie Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World, 21.

In the two earlier chapters, my concern was to demonstrate the ambivalent and at times anticipatory relationship between early modern utopian literature and the domestic and geographical upheavals of primitive accumulation. Though both Utopia and the New Atlantis appear to replace coercive force with regulation, violence is revealed to be a latent source of their social orders, in these systems’ early stages and their daily maintenance. In this chapter, which examines a more overtly colonial utopia, I will advance two seemingly counterintuitive claims: that violence can be utopian and that utopia can be capitalist. The main object of study here will be Edmund Spenser’s political treatise A View of the Present State of Ireland (c. 1598). A scheme for the Tudor reconquest of Ireland, A View takes the form of a fictitious dialogue between two interlocutors: a reform-­minded pupil, Eudoxus, and a more domineering, Socratic figure, Irenius, who has just returned from a stay in Ireland, though in what capacity he resided there readers are not told. The work was composed at Spenser’s three-­ thousand-­acre settlement in Munster sometime in the 1590s, the same decade during which the poet published and drafted much of his Elizabethan romance epic The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596). Anyone who has read A View will likely remember it as a notorious work, infamous for its ready endorsement of military slaughter and scorched-­earth policy, and its near hysterical fear of Irish rebels, who, throughout Spenser’s career as a colonial administrator in Ireland, threatened to reclaim their occupied and expropriated lands.1

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In Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said references A View as one of the earliest works in the British cultural archive to assert the idea of “English racial superiority,” noting in passing that Spenser imagined “the British army virtually exterminating the native inhabitants” of Ireland.2 Said likely had the following passage on the late wars of Munster in mind. Here, Irenius recounts to Eudoxus a historical precedent for suppressing Irish insurrections, describing the consequences of the English-­imposed starvation of Desmond’s rebels: Out of every corner of the woods and glynnes they came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legges could not bear them; they looked like anatomies of death, they spake like ghosts crying out of their graves; they did eat the dead carrions, happy where they could find them, yea, and one another soone after, insomuch as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves; . . . in short space there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentifull countrey suddainely left voyde of man and beast; yet sure in all that warre, there perished not many by the sword, but all by the extremitie of famine, where they themselves had wrought.3

Spenser may very well have witnessed this scene; during the second Desmond rebellion, he served as secretary to the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Arthur Grey of Wilton. Memorialized as Artegall, the Knight of Justice in Book Five of The Faerie Queene, Grey was responsible for the execution of hundreds of Spanish and Italian supporters of the Irish at their fortification in Smerwick in 1580. It was a massacre so heinous even Queen Elizabeth was disinclined to support it, shortly thereafter recalling Grey from his service. Despite Irenius’s assertion that this image of famished natives would have “rued” any “stony heart,” the description directly precedes his acknowledgment that a similar policy of spoiling is “very necessary to bee done for the soone finishing of the warre.”4 Indeed, the excessive, supernatural description of a populace reduced to ghostly cannibals and carcasses gnawed to the bone, figures of what Giorgio Agamben might call “bare life,” seems to highlight Spenser’s imaginative indulgence. Even Eudoxus replies to this account with a near delighted, “It is a wonder that you tell.”5 For good reason, many critics of A View, such as Said, have interpreted passages like this as indicative of Spenser’s genocidal fantasy. After all, it is not even enough for the country to be left void of the living; in Spenser’s retelling, even the dead must die again for peace to be restored. But here I will consider this violence—­and Spenser’s View more generally—­ from two angles that have yet to be addressed in the amassing literary and his-


torical criticism on Spenser and Ireland. A new perspective, I think, demands more attention to both the form of Spenser’s dialogue and to the final third of the tract, a highly tedious, mathematical section of the work that most critics tend to avoid. Irenius here details what follows the violence, imagining a scheme for English plantations in Ireland that entails new plots, garrisons, and corporate towns geographically dispersed across the Irish countryside. In addition to remapping Ireland, he imagines a new system of social relations dependent on a strict division of labor between Protestant English landowners and members of a dispossessed Irish populace who will soon rent plots of land from these settlers or labor for wages. We can read Spenser’s violence, then, as more than a genocidal fantasy; in fact, it is also a rationalistic, tactical, economic expedient that ushers in a utopian vision of Ireland transformed. Spenser’s work will therefore be read as a utopian portrait of unimpeded primitive accumulation—­the violent means of dispossession that marks the historical transition between the feudal and capitalist modes of production. While at first glance The Faerie Queene seems to purge the economic impulse from its rendition of the imperial quest by repeatedly punishing various types of thieves, misers, and tyrants, I will argue that these figures of greed represent competing modes of economy, different classes, and even different forms of imperialism, contrary to Spenser’s outlined agenda of economic reform. This is to assert that Spenser—­extending a sixteenth-­century tradition of utopian colonial writing on Ireland—­advances a highly specific kind of colonial project, imagined in terms of moral virtue, but driven by novel kinds of economic motive. The Smiths’ Colonial Eutopia and the Irish Laboratory When located by genre, A View of the Present State of Ireland is often described as a colonial treatise, dialogue, or survey, but to understand the strange tension between fantasy and hyper-­rationality in the work, it might be best classified as a utopia. In fact, an examination of the genre of A View sheds considerable light on both Spenser’s recommendations for colonial violence and the radical plan for Irish social reorganization his dialogue works to promote, and at the same time, calls attention to the place of Ireland within the early modern utopian tradition. Despite the significant headway made in recent years toward understanding the textual and contextual relationship between Renaissance utopias and the discovery of the New World, sixteenth-­century Ireland’s status as a site of

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utopian projection has yet to be examined.6 Ironically, however, Ireland is frequently categorized in historical terms as the experimental “laboratory” for English colonialism, or as the site where later policies—­in particular, the plantation system—­find their first articulation during the Tudor and Stuart monarchies.7 Spenser’s text was instrumental here; as the Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o explains, “The ideas in the View were carried by Raleigh and company to America, the settler plantation in Ireland having become the prototype of the English settler plantation in America and the Caribbean.”8 While English claims to kingship over Ireland dated back centuries to the Norman invasions of King Henry II, the renewed sixteenth-­century projects in Ulster and Munster have been read as a kind of origin point for a more modern, comprehensive form of direct rule that would serve as a model for the later British Empire. Several historians and literary critics have already brought to light the outpouring of Irish, Anglo-­Irish (or Old English), and New English documents that accompanied this reconquest of Ireland, but while the policies of these documents have attracted considerable attention in recent years, the utopian dimension and formal resonances of English colonial writing on Ireland remain to be analyzed. Deana Rankin has cautioned against a reductive binarization of seventeenth-­century literary representations of Ireland and the historical records of the period and place, reminding readers that “the public and private spheres, the writing of government and of literature, are more than complementary: they are interdependent and interwoven.”9 Just such a generic overlap informs late sixteenth-­century English writing about Ireland, in no small part because the utopia represents what might be considered the most explicitly political of literary forms. Several of the defining traits of the utopian genre can be found at work in A View, beyond the tract’s dialogue form. Spenser’s work begins with a diagnosis of Irish and Anglo-­Irish “abuses,” which leads to a plan for the “redresse” of the same. This conversational movement parallels the two-­part structure of More’s Utopia. Of course, we should begin by acknowledging that a text like Spenser’s possesses an essential difference from More’s work in its comparatively direct engagement with the known world. The literary utopia’s trope of the distant island, by contrast, has always relied on a certain fantasy of transformation without transition. The writer, even while envisioning a model order intended to inspire, externalizes the dreamworld, tears open a void between home and the proverbial Other, and floods it with an unknown expanse of ocean. The turbulent waters and fated shipwrecks of utopias like Bacon’s New Atlantis, Henry


Neville’s The Isle of Pines, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest accentuate the metaphorical distance between each text’s two societies, casting the encounter as a matter of fortuitous accident, and not one of willed intention. As Amy Boesky explains, “the ideal commonwealth is found rather than made, [and] the text of utopia is discovered [in conversation] rather than written.”10 The early modern literary utopia’s spatial otherness, in short, tends to elide the problem of change by claiming it already exists. No map is offered from “now” to “then” because difference takes the form of “here” and “there.”‘ A work like A View, however, is better understood as a utopia of transition, given its willingness to scheme a plan for radical socio-­spatial reform. Like the more canonical spatial utopias, it relies on the utopian trope of social juxtaposition, although in this case, the contrast involves the present state of the work’s title and the dialogue’s evocation of a reformed future. If reform has frequently been categorized as the more moderate antidote to utopian plans for wholesale transformation—­utopia often being evoked as a revolutionary consciousness or praxis—­the binary has trouble withstanding close examination. “History,” as Russell Jacoby reminds us, “is replete with utopias that spurred reforms and utopians who advanced concrete improvements.”11 An entire subgenre of utopian discourse, the colonial or projector’s utopia, then, seems to part company from the more ambiguous, playful, and satirical literary utopias of the early modern period, focusing strictly on the role of social and spatial reform in the making of a new, national history. These are precisely the denigrated blueprints for change, or projects of social engineering, that English teachers over the years have attempted to banish from students’ initial sense of utopia as a literary genre. Yet colonial visions often lie at the intersection of what Frank Manuel and Fritzie Manuel have termed “theoretical utopistics and applied utopistics,”12 that place where discourse meets praxis, content meets strategy, dream meets reality, and as Spenser’s text will suggest, rupture meets reform. They lack the luxury of total, immediate social alterity that properly literary utopias can rely on, and as a result, the colonial utopia must grapple with the practical realities of making change, even if that change begins elsewhere in a locale beyond the nation proper. A subjugated land and its people become both the laboratory and the raw material for reinventing the imperial self, and the colonial tract therefore takes on a utopian rhetoric that privileges the question of transition in its overall picture of grand transformation. Ireland was therefore a natural setting for the English colonial utopia of the Tudor era. Like the colonization of the New World, its conquest required ideals,

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dreams, and plans for improvement, however dystopic these writings may now appear. Spenser’s tract is certainly not the earliest example of a historical utopia that advances a colonial plan for Ireland. To examine this colonial-­utopian imaginary, I will turn first, then, to a relatively unknown letter composed and circulated in 1572 by diplomat and political theorist Sir Thomas Smith (1513–­ 1577) and his illegitimate son, Thomas Smith junior. Smith senior is widely known as a Tudor statesmen and reformist and as the author of A Discourse of the Commonweal of This Realme of England (1549) and De Republica Anglorum (c. 1562–­1565). The text under examination, his Letter Sent by I.B., was initially circulated as an unlicensed pamphlet proposing a new method for colonizing the Ards peninsula in Ireland, effectively recruiting soldiers, husbandmen, and gentlemen to an actual project led by Smith and his son (the latter would eventually die at the hands of his Irish household staff in 1574). Smith’s advertisement for his Irish program—­explicitly self-­characterized as a “Eutopia”—­ proposes a corporately financed colony as a more permanent, peaceful, and profitable solution to the Crown’s troubles in Ireland. As a recruitment tool, it also emphasizes the central role of utopian discourse in the initial plans for a new, distinct brand of English colonialism, and as such, suggests a predecessor to Spenser’s more complex and imaginative late sixteenth-­century colonial tract. An overtly historical document, drafted to recruit settlers, The Letter demands contextualization. In the mid-­1560s, on another tiresome envoy to France, Smith senior already had his sights set on the reform of Ireland, a kingdom under nominal control by the English, but neither profitable nor subject to the Crown in all practicality. The early Tudor project, characterized by a weak military presence beyond the Pale and the indirect rule of a central government, was, from Smith’s perspective, in need of significant reform. Gaelic chieftains continued to thwart English efforts at occupation and administration, the Old English themselves tended to assimilate more than convert others, and the Irish maintained close ties to Spain and Rome. In a letter to Lord Burghley in 1565, Smith, ever the social physician, suggested a remedy for the Crown’s costly, fledgling enterprise: “In my mind it needeth nothing more than to have colonies. To augment our tongue, our laws and our religion in that Isle, which three be the true bands of the commonwealth whereby the Romans conquered and kept long time a great part of the world.”13 Unlike Thomas Cromwell’s timeworn policy of surrender and regrant, Smith advocated for the Anglicization of Ireland through direct English settlement. He was by no


means alone in this vision. In fact, the period from 1550 to 1580 was marked by “constant discussions of the possibility of establishing English settlements in Ireland,” though “the smallness of the actual achievements in colonization has tended to minimize their importance.”14 What was missing from Smith’s envisioned project in the 1560s was an economic rationale that would take center stage in his later plans for Ireland. After acquiring royal land rights to 360,000 English acres in Northern Ireland in 1571, Smith, probably in joint efforts with his son, penned two works: a broadsheet advertising the enterprise and a similarly intentioned pamphlet, A letter sent by I.B. gentleman unto his very frend Mayster R.C. esquire, wherin is conteined a large discourse of the peopling and inhabiting the Cuntrie called the Ardes, and other adjacent in the north of Ireland, and taken in hand by Sir Thomas Smith, one of the queenes majesties privie counsel, and Thomas Smith esquire, his sonne.15 Both works were published without the patent of Elizabeth and consequently provoked her fury, yet the estimable diplomat avoided punishment. When pressed by the Privy Council—­of which he was a member as Secretary of State—­Smith first denied authorship of the tract, even claiming it was an “evil done” by his son,16 though he would later defend the necessity and merit of the work.17 The pamphlet’s great innovation generically, Quinn has argued, is in being “the first piece of sustained argument for colonization to be published in England.”18 Like many colonial tracts, the letter is laced with utopian sentiments, as both an argument for a wholesale remaking of Ireland and as a surprisingly literary example of early political economy. While the letter has attracted the sustained attention of only a few historians in the last century—­most notably Quinn, in his 1945 essay, “Sir Thomas Smith (1513–­ 577) and the Beginnings of English Colonial Theory,” and Hiram Morgan, in “The Colonial Venture of Sir Thomas Smith in Ulster, 1571–­1575”19—­its formal and literary components take a back seat to the overall case for the corporate colony and also to the actual history of the Smiths’ rather immediate failures in Ireland. Yet the innovation of policy depends in part upon the letter’s fictitious, indeed, utopian form, or at minimum, the guise of fiction offers a refuge for an early expression of colonial theory. The letter is by no means a straightforward epistle, but as its title suggests, it employs a fictitious narrator and recipient, with Smith and his son only indirectly assuming responsibility for the letter’s contents. Ostensibly addressed to “friend R.C.,” the “arguments” of I.B. are represented as mere reports of an earlier “conference” with Thomas Smith Jr., and thus, the pamphlet assumes the

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shape of a past dialogue, recounting Mayster Thomas Smith’s remarks and I.B.’s occasional interjections. The fictive trappings and pseudonyms effectively deny the actual form of the text, as if to cast a public discourse in a private form, and to treat a univocal argument as a polyvocal dialogue. Most critics, however, have chosen to overlook the probable role of Smith’s son in the composition of the pamphlet, representing Sir Thomas as the brains of the project, and the son as a mere agent of his father’s plan. While Quinn ventures toward a recognition of dual authorship, claiming that the final draft was probably the work of Sir Thomas’s son, he nevertheless stipulates that the ideas belonged to the father. Mary Dewar, writing nearly two decades later, surmises that the small book is “undeniably from Sir Thomas’ own pen,” noting stylistic similarities between the work and his other writing.20 But internal textual references suggest the waywardness of this assumption.21 In fact, the younger Smith is the man referenced throughout the pamphlet as the source of I.B.’s information, and this fictive position suggests (though, admittedly, does not necessarily confirm) his involvement in the production of the text as well as the venture. Likewise, Lisa Jardine’s examination of Gabriel Harvey’s marginalia suggests that the younger Smith was, like his father, a lively, engaged scholar, reading and debating Livy with Harvey as he prepared for his expedition.22 This is not to assert that the letter is solely the work of Thomas junior—­after all, it is rather tempting to imagine I.B. as a cover for the paternal diplomat himself—­but to defend the probability of joint authorship. Alternatively, if we continue to credit solely Smith senior with the pamphlet, that also pressures us to ask, why might Smith have hid his proposals behind his son and chosen this format for his pamphlet? To follow this line of questioning, we can consider the innovations of the plan for Ireland as laid out in the pamphlet. The letter opens with I.B.’s denunciation of the Smiths’ critics, described as those “who are of base and cowardly courages in the executions of matters of great importance,”23 or to be more precise, those backing a more centralized, royally financed military presence in the North of Ireland. From its beginning, then, the letter operates in a defensive mode, setting out to rationalize the project, assert its viability, and silence its naysayers. In reality, the hostilities to the Smiths’ venture were considerable; at the time of this writing, Sir Thomas was serving as ambassador in France, and back at home in England and Ireland there was a great deal of anger over his procurement of the Ards settlement. Sir Brian O’Neill and Sir Brian McFelim—­both of whom stood to lose land re-­regranted to Smith—­were particularly incensed, while Sir William Fitzwil-


liam, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, expressed his dissatisfaction to Elizabeth, anticipating the Irish resistance he would certainly face.24 Beyond fears of lost land and political divestment, however, there was also a resistance to Smith’s colonial ideology and tactics. Intended as a rejoinder to the Irish and Anglo-­ Irish (or Old English) criticisms of his grant, the letter asserts the merits of a more permanent, profitable, and most importantly, private approach to the subjugation of Ireland’s land and people. If not entirely original, the vision was certainly controversial. Smith’s proposal departs from the standard practice of the time in two crucial methods: first, in its financial status as a privately funded joint stock venture, and second, in its tactics for subduing rebels by “planyting [Ireland] with Englyshe Inhabitants,” and in particular, soldiers and the younger sons of gentlemen.25 The proposal, as conveyed by I.B., depends upon the investments of private men in a common stock venture in return for a parcel of Irish land, protected by a self-­maintained garrison on the frontiers of a newly established town. The Smiths’ use the term “enterpryse” frequently and throughout the letter to describe this method, suggesting that this word had already acquired a notably economic meaning by the mid-­sixteenth century.26 Recurrently juxtaposing their enterprising dream for Ireland with colonial projects funded by the “Queene’s pay,”27 and thus dependent on costly garrisons and centralized rule, the dialogue gradually sketches out an investment scheme that follows Henry Sidney’s policies of the 1560s, which instituted a much stronger English military presence in Ireland, while anticipating the more intensive plantation of Munster at the end of the century. According to the letter, the privatized system is not only more effective in subduing Irish resistance but also more profitable, for, in the words of I.B., “men are more moved by peculiar gaine: than of respecte they have to common profite.”28 Just as in Smith senior’s Discourse, where he demonstrates that “every man naturally will follow that wherein he sees profit,”29 the letter stresses the profit motive as central to human nature and as a desire that can be harnessed for the benefit of the state. The primary rationale for plantation hinges, then, on the economic merits of “dwelling”30 over short-­term tours of duty, as the persona of Mayster Smith explains: As for having the Queene’s ayde and garrison, I have good hope it shal not need for sith . . . every Soldiour is made Mayster and owner of his land, to him and to his heires for ever, will he not think you looke as well and as carefully to that, as hee would if hee had sixe pence sterling a day of the Queenes Majestie, whereof

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he should be sure not past for a yeer or there about, and then to go wither he would. Now if he keepe and defende this, hee is a Gentleman, a man of livelyhode and of enheritaunce, and who hath and shall have, his grounde ploughed and ear[n]ed for him without his paines, for that we have provided for, if hee lose it, he loseth his owne inheritaunce, and hindreth his posteritie. And if by his owne charges and costes he doo obteine it, and bring it to civilitie and good obedience to his Prince, how much more favour, grace, and renown dooth hee deserve at hir Majesties hand, and as without her highness charge, this shal he do, so as reason is, he hath it the better cheape, the larger the estate in it, and the lesse incumbered.31

Financial investment, in other words, breeds higher returns on the colonial venture, both for the individuals involved and the English Crown. Almost anticipating Bernard Mandeville’s famous eighteenth-­century case for the public benefits of private vices,32 A letter sent by I.B. showcases a discourse with strong parallels to political economy, despite its early date of publication. As in the Discourse, where Smith will argue that husbandry must be made as profitable as pasturage to avoid future corn shortages, the Smiths’ colonial policy explains that the private profits accrued from agrarian production can also be in the self-­interest of the commonwealth. It is nothing new to argue that Sir Thomas Smith is one of the first English political economists. Hiram Morgan, for instance, has already identified how the colonial treatise resonates with Smith’s arguments for the inextricable relationship between economic ambitions and the public good in The Discourse. Neal Wood, in The Foundations of Political Economy, also examines the highly rationalized, financial considerations in Smith’s Discourse and his De Republica Anglorum, pointing out his remarkably economic conception of the state. While Wood neglects the pamphlet on Ireland, he argues that the innovation lies in Smith’s perception of profit-­oriented behavior as the engine and beneficiary of the state. Explaining Smith’s brand of political economy, Wood clarifies the innovation of thought: “rather than attempting the remodeling of man, the lover of lucre, that very love must be manipulated so as to encourage farmers to return to the plow. Governmental policies and laws should aim at channeling the pursuit of narrow self-­interest for the good of the whole state.”33 All of Smith’s works, in short, seem to emphasize the increased production and accumulation of wealth as the underpinning of a secure commonwealth, and in this case, a secure colony.34 From the contemporary perspective, the reformist policies of Sir Thomas Smith smack of classical political economy from the


likes of Shaftesbury and Adam Smith, and are a notable example of an ideological justification for the harmonizing benefits of “peculiar gaine” and “common profite.” Like his other two works, then, the Irish letter “reflect[s] an outlook that might qualify Smith for the label ‘theorist of emergent capitalism,’”35 or even “theorist of emergent capitalist imperialism,” given his case for a privately funded Irish venture. But like the better known Discourse, the Letter carefully couches its economic argument in literary forms beyond the typical language of political economy. Historical, classical, and biblical examples shore up the pamphlet’s defense of the corporate colony, but what is of greatest interest is the frame of the proposal. What on first glance may appear to be a straightforward step-­by-­ step plan for expropriation is revealed to have another source. The fictitious Smith, addressing I.B., suggests the parallel himself, even as he denies it: “How say you now, have I not set forth to you another Eutopia? But I looked when you would bid me stay and declare first how to get it before al these be done sith you will not aske mee, of mine owne proper motion I wil tel you.”36 Acknowledging the parallel with More’s book, the Smiths differentiate their project in one crucial way, as indicated by the phrase, “how to get it.” The temporal making of utopia replaces the playful ambiguities of the genre’s pioneering work. Billing his project as both radical change and reform, Mayster Smith reasons, “for time it is that in the moste advised governmentes discovereth faults, which while we patch and mende by little and little, the first order is altred, and become an other thing, the very vanitie of the world.”37 The patching and mending method of reform mentioned here, however, pairs with a discourse of “perfectnesse” and of “whole” transformation, where the space of Ireland gradually morphs from a lacking land to one “that floweth with milke and hony.”38 If we take I.B.’s consideration seriously, we do indeed find a text with identifiably utopian traits in this juxtaposition of two Irish lands. These two contradictory representations of Ireland, as a space of abundance and as a space of waste—­a contrast also identified in the earlier discussions of Utopia and the New Atlantis—­capture the quintessential tension at the root of most utopias: the play of two incompatible though uncannily similar spaces. On the one hand, the Smiths repeatedly characterize the colonial territory as a desolate, nearly vacant wasteland, save only for the Irish “churles” and degenerate Anglo-­Irish. This characterization has already been discussed by Morgan and Quinn. But Ireland is also something else in the Smiths’ tract: an idealized landscape only wanting proper population, or in the Smiths’ whitewashing

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rhetoric, “replenishing.” “Ireland is a large Cuntrie, commended wonderfully for the fertileness and commodious site therof,”39 I.B exclaims, later expostulating, “there cannot be . . . a more fertile soile throwe out the world for that climate than it is, a more pleasant, healthful, ful of springs, rivers, great fresh lakes, fishe, and foule, and of most commodious herbers. . . . [I]t lacketh only inhabitants, manurance, and pollicie.”40 In a standard move of utopian rhetoric, the kingdom is portrayed as a locus amoenus and a tabula rasa, overflowing with all that is desirable, and a purely natural landscape just awaiting civilization. While the Smiths call on gentle metaphors, insisting that the “replenishing” of Ireland requires only the presence of garrisons—­after all, great numbers of the “wilde Irish” will willingly come “and offer to live under” English settlers and desire “to ferme our grounds,” according to Mayster Smith41—­there is nevertheless a kind of violent erasure at work in this characterization of Ireland as an Arcadian space, empty only of inhabitants.42 The quintessential utopian contrast of spaces takes on a temporal cast here, too. It is not simply that Ireland is the most fertile climate when juxtaposed with England or the Americas, but that the Smiths also evoke two (perhaps three) Irelands in time: the Ireland that naturally is and ought to be versus the present state of Ireland. The fertile colonial territory of the Letter Sent by I.B. is both an actual and would-­be state, represented prior to and after colonization. This early work of colonial propaganda, then, places itself within the genre of utopia, though its blueprint form departs from the literary utopias of the sixteenth century in its explicit concern with the process of transformation. To be sure, utopias like Bacon’s and More’s contain narratives of social genesis, but the distant island utopia is primarily a spatial form and not a plotted plan for epochal change in the present. Surely, the objective of the literary utopia is often transformation, yet social critique and satirical estrangement of the given order reign supreme over constructive concerns. Colonial utopias, however, privilege this transitional impulse, with an almost obsessive focus on the steps to be taken toward the realization of a new society.43 Within the Smiths’ scheme, the engine of transformation is private investment, promising both a reformed Ireland and a future of profit for English investors. Ireland here is also a site of exteriority and difference, providing the raw material for an early capitalist imaginary that is both social and theoretical. In the short term, the Smiths’ venture proved a failure, by all accounts. When the younger Smith’s expedition finally landed with one hundred men in Ireland, it was met by the resistance of the Irish under Sir Brett O’Neill. Lord


Deputy Fitzwilliam, who remained opposed to the land grant from the beginning (partly because the Smiths’ private investors came cheaper than the troops he had requested from Queen Elizabeth, and partly due to Thomas junior’s frivolity and incompetence), refused to come to his aid. A year before the death of his only child, Smith would reignite the project in December of 1573 with a new but never published blueprint that included plans for the city Elizabetha. The new venture was even more concerned with economic productivity, placing a greater emphasis on plots for agricultural production, and with creating a centralized, internal system of governance under the new position of Deputy Colonel.44 The second Ards settlement, under the leadership of Smith’s brother George, showed signs of fortitude at first, but was again quickly driven out by Irish rebels in the fall of 1574. Subsequently, the Earl of Essex was granted Smith’s land in 1575. The reality of Irish conquest was thus a rude awakening from the initial utopian dream. But despite these rather immediate failures, nearly two decades later, the plantation of Munster would enact many of the Smiths’ proposals, placing a new emphasis on colonial productivity as the key to the stability of English rule in Ireland. As we will see, the Smiths’ steps toward a more profitable subjugation of Ireland differ to some extent from Spenser’s in their emphasis on replenishing reform over violent improvement, but importantly, these writers helped to establish a tradition of utopian political writing and political economy that takes shape over the spatial and human bodies of Ireland. It is not simply that utopias appear “along the general path of actual conquests, discoveries, and explorations” as effect or response, in other words, but that the path of actual conquest is paved with imaginary societies. A View of the Future State of Ireland Whereas the Smiths’ letter may promise future investors a relatively peaceful process of colonization, where profit is the essential imperative to conquest, A View of the Present State of Ireland is an exercise in fantasized power, unapologetically promoting martial law, mass starvation, and other means of direct coercion in order to envision an Ireland “mastered and subdued.”45 Spenser’s tract pairs a desire for reform with a fantasy of absolute rupture, in which violence acts as the transitional agent. In their explorations of Spenser’s criticisms of English common law’s failures in Ireland, Brendan Bradshaw and Ciaran Brady have demonstrated that Spenser’s call for “reform” is much more radical and wholesale than that of other writers within the Tudor reform tradition.46

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While the ultimate end of Spenser’s dialogue, as expressed by Irenius, is the “reformation” of the malleable “manners of men,” there is a marked animosity to small-­scale changes throughout A View. When Eudoxus worries that “innovation” can be “perillous,” and that to “beginne all as it were anew, and to alter the whole forme of the government” is a “dangerous . . . thing,” Irenius corrects him by intensifying the extent of change: “all the realme is first to be reformed, and laws are afterwards to bee made for keeping and continuing it in that reformed estate.”47 The emphasis on total reform is echoed elsewhere in A View and nowhere more explicitly than in the medical metaphors that permeate the work. Irenius’s plan is characterized as a last-­option policy “ministered for the health of the patient [Ireland],” who is suffering from “malady,” “contagion,” “infection,” and a “soul and body greatly diseased.”48 Yet Spenser actually dismisses the gentle “salve” approach of the reform-­minded physician and instead advises surgery. While it is an “evill surgery to cut off every unsound or sicke part of the body” (82), according to Irenius, “a malady in a vitall part is more incurable then in an externall.”49 At a crucial juncture in the dialogue, just as Irenius moves from the abuses of Ireland to his plan for their redress, he resolves on the medicine of the sword: “where no other remedie may bee devised, nor hope of recovery had, there must needes this violent meanes bee used.”50 The body politic comes under the knife, and the “evills” of the nation are to be “cut off ” for the “thorough reformation of that realm.”51 This is an uncomfortable moment when Spenser’s figurative analogy quite literally intersects with his actual policy. Spenser also describes colonial violence as a procreative force. Irenius tells Eudoxus, for instance, that “evills must first be cut away by a strong hand, before any good can be planted, like as the corrupt branches and unwholesome boughs are first to be pruned, and the foule mosse cleansed and scraped away, before the tree can bring forth any good fruite.”52 We might read this excuse for tactical violence as a utopian fantasy of creative destruction. Joseph Schumpeter popularized this phrase in the 1940s to describe a process of entrepreneurial innovation; however, I am borrowing it from Naomi Klein’s more recent bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Klein takes as her object of study the American-­led, neoliberal economic policies of the post–­World War II period. Analyzing the influence of Milton Friedman’s theories on American foreign and domestic policy, Klein argues that the global economy preys on (and sometimes creates) moments of “shock,” such as war, climate crises, or other forces of disruption, which are then used as


leverage to open new markets for capitalism, pushing through policies like deregulation, privatization, or drastic cuts in social spending. In her introduction, “Blank is Beautiful,” Klein links neoliberalism to other “dangerous” and fundamentalist ideologies that possess a “singular desire for unattainable purity, for a clean slate on which to build a reengineered model society.”53 While in the case of the Chicago school of economics, violence can be used to weaken popular resistance to free market reforms, in Spenser, violence is first used to eradicate a perceived evil—­usually custom—­after which time, new social relations can be implemented. Yet in these distant moments of economic change, there is a shared dream of a new reality that emerges from the ashes of another order destroyed. Spenser indulges in a vision of cultural, political, and social erasure that clears the way—­physically and psychologically—­for the spread of new relations of production. After all, he characterizes the reformation of Ireland as a “reduction” of Ireland, a phrase used repeatedly in the dialogue to describe the process whereby the nation is brought “to better government and civility.”54 Julia Reinhard Lupton reads this longing for a flattened, wasted Ireland as an indicator of the text’s “colonizing desire for spatial mastery,” a “fantasy of structure” that transforms Ireland into a desolate map in order to imagine its military conquest.55 This fantasy of reduction also, however, resembles the textbook utopian reliance on an imagined tabula rasa, or the clean slate upon which new orders can be built. The trope famously dates back to the ancient predecessor of the Renaissance utopia, the Republic. In Plato’s great dialogue, Socrates describes the idealized educational practice in precisely these textual terms, beginning with erasure: “[Philosophers] would take the city and the dispositions of human beings, as though they were a tablet . . . which, in the first place, they would wipe clean.”56 The project of reform within this work and the later genre depends upon a dialectic of destruction and origination, which takes place on both individual and sociopolitical levels. For change to occur, a foundational act of erasure—­or in Spenser’s case, surgery, reduction, waste, or more precisely, war—­must make ready the nation that is to be inscribed with a new system of plantation. Within Irenius’s plan, like Plato’s, this fantasy of absolute erasure is both private and public, targeting culture, language, law, religion, family, governance, and property to outline what Ireland “now is, and also what it may bee by good care and amendment.”57 In Spenser’s case the erasure, however, is recommended state policy. Yet it is both internal and external, imagining the mind, the tongue, and the practices of men to be malleable if made blank. Addressing the problem

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of a papist Ireland, Irenius sums up this basic philosophy and policy: “For ere a new be brought in, the old must be removed.”58 We find echoes here, at the levels of both language and fantasy, of Fredric Jameson’s assertion that “the utopian remedy must first be a fundamentally negative one, and stand as a clarion call to remove and to extirpate . . . [the] specific root of all evil from which all others spring.”59 Spenser’s creative destruction, like many utopian tabula rasae, begins with violent negation. This is not to suggest that violence is an inherent prerequisite to the utopian dream, but A View—­and colonial utopias more generally—­stand as a reminder that utopias are not the sole jurisdiction of a Left imagination. But what exactly defines Spenser’s reformed, replanted Ireland? The post-­ reform, future state of Ireland laid out in Irenius’s description deserves a much closer look, especially because it is more transformative than most appear to acknowledge, and it may bring us to a firmer sense of Spenser’s politics. In fact, nearly all Spenserian critics focus their attention on the violent means for subduing rebellion in A View or on the early catalogue of abuses in the tract, often to the neglect of the more perfect state Irenius imagines.60 The positive discourse of construction, in other words, is sidelined to the negative discourse of critique. This is no surprise, given that the early half of the work raises provocative questions related to Elizabethan perspectives on race, gender, ethnicity, and history, along with a fascinating critique of the failures of colonial policies and common law in sixteenth-­century Ireland. But by turning to the last, admittedly more tedious section of the tract, light is cast on its justification of violence as well as the lengthy criticism of Irish customs and legal practices. Spenser’s colonial vision is, plainly, more precise, rigorous, and thorough than most English colonial plans; it is also written from the view of the surveyor, conceiving a plot for Ireland with profit expressed as its ultimate end. Like many utopias then, economic efficiency—­or in the lexicon of the sixteenth century, “improvement”—­constitutes the ultimate goal of reform. Perhaps the final section of A View is one of the most neglected excerpts in Spenser’s oeuvre because of its exceedingly mathematical rhetoric. In the final section of the text, Spenser’s dialogue shifts rather dramatically to a discourse that looks an awful lot like political economy. What Eudoxus calls Irenius’s “estimations”—­hypothetical calculations that detail Ireland’s acreage and plow-­lands fit for cultivation, the “summes” that can be extracted from these land’s rates of rent and the amount of tax that can be used toward the building of more garrisons—­are the chief indicators of the dialogue’s economic


discourse and its ideological investments. When the final section of the work is addressed in contemporary scholarship, however, it is usually treated as an imagined set of legal reforms and military policies. While a critic like Andrew Hadfield, for example, produces an insightful analysis of Irenius and Eudoxus’s use of a mythic ancient history to justify English land and dynastic claims to Ireland, the final justification pertaining to the project’s economic merit goes unexamined.61 In fact, in Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley’s otherwise superb edition of Sir James Ware’s 1630s publication of A View, the economic setting of Spenser’s work is given no mention in the introduction’s subsection “The Contexts of A View.” In their “Guide to Further Reading,” the economic category is again conspicuously omitted, and bibliographies on law, gender, biography, censorship, and Irish history and geography, among others, are favored. The irony arising from this repeated oversight is that the dialogue’s conclusion openly discloses the Tudor project as a potential profit-­making enterprise, with economic rationalization Spenser’s reigning rhetorical strategy. Indeed, what defines Irenius’s plan is a new system of property and social relations that is desirable because more profitable and permanent. If garrisons and a standing army are designed to subdue rebel forces and maintain “peace through strong execution of warre,”62 the intention is to ensure a new colonial organization that will also benefit English coffers. Three foundational changes define Irenius’s future, more perfected Ireland: the establishment of fortified, corporate towns; the division of labor into three stable classes; and an increase in English freeholds, intended to replace customary (and usually Irish) claims to property. Just as central as the establishment of a permanent military presence, then, is a reorganization of property and living arrangements that is less customary, less impermanent, and more hospitable to trade. In keeping with the utopian tradition, Spenser’s tract therefore puts “a new emphasis on system as the best means for reorganizing populations and ensuring their improvement.”63 Although Irenius specifies that the country is “her Majesty’s absolutely,”64 this monarchical reclamation of land is predominantly a strategic move to justify its “redistribution” to Ireland’s Protestant settlers. Irenius explains that the Queen possesses the power to bestow estates and grants of land to the New English, trumping older customary rights. This colonial appropriation, however, is not a “dispeopling” project (as Irenius constantly insists), since it requires the repurposing of Ireland’s repentant inhabitants. Irenius describes this in terms of “planting” and “translating” the Irish into different regions and roles

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of labor, in order to emphasize both the stability of his envisioned society and the process of social rewriting (quite explicitly in the image of the English) that it demands. Spenser, in other words, is a long way from Francis Bacon’s call for “a plantation in a pure soil, that is, where people are not displanted to the end to plant in others.”65 It is notable that this reform is not overtly religious in nature but geographical and social, with labor the central agent of conversion. The penitent rebels of Ulster, for instance, shall have plots of land allocated to them in Leinster to “occupy and live upon,” so that they “become good subjects” who “labor henceforth for their living and . . . apply themselves to honest trades of civility.”66 This will involve an extensive transplantation of former northern rebels into the southeastern lands then occupied by the likes of Feagh MacHugh, the Cavanaghs, the O’Byrnes, and the O’Tooles, who themselves are to be relocated to the northern province of Ulster in Irenius’s scheme. The displaced and resettled Irish are not to occupy the land as freeholders, however; instead, they are to rent the land from Englishmen. These latter will be granted plots by the monarch in return for a yearly tax to the local garrison. In other words, Irenius’s invention is that the English Crown will no longer bear the costly burden of soldiers’ pay; rather, the rent of a dispossessed Irish populace will indirectly sustain the now permanent garrisons ensuring their very subjection.67 Here we can begin to see how Spenser’s tract anticipates a distinctively capitalist colonial project. In Empire of Capital, Ellen Meiksins Wood examines the history of capitalist imperialism, and in particular, the role of military force and local states in ensuring the global hegemony of capitalism today.68 In one passage, she turns to the Elizabethan period of colonization in Ireland to examine the twin emergence of British imperialism and capitalism. Stressing the newness of the late sixteenth-­century phase of English colonialism, Wood explains that New English policies were aimed at eliminating Gaelic institutions and customs, as well as Old English rule in the Pale and the towns. According to Wood, the feudal mode of colonialism had failed in Ireland by the Tudor era, with Old English families ruling their property through military might and showing little allegiance to the Crown. Wood cogently explains this transformation, occurring at the time Spenser had been granted an Irish estate, as follows: The [English] object was certainly conquest, but military conquest would not be enough. Nor would the English rely upon simply imposing their government and law upon the recalcitrant Irish. The policy was not just to impose English


rule but to transform Irish society itself by means of “plantation”, the settlement of English and Scottish colonists who would undertake to make the land fruitful. The stated intention was to reproduce the social property relations of south-­ east England, introducing the form of landlord-­tenant relation that had been establishing itself in the English countryside, with the object of reproducing English commercial agriculture. The effect would not only be to “civilize” the Irish but also, or so it seems was the intention, to absorb Ireland into the English economy.69

Earlier on in this book, as well as in The Origin of Capitalism,70 she explains these changes in agrarian relations already occurring in the English countryside as the earliest historical emergence of capitalism. What this entailed in Ireland was the replacement of Old English military lords by landlords “whose wealth [was] derived from rents generated by tenants engaged in productive commercial agriculture.”71 In this sense, Wood refuses to dissociate modern imperialism from capitalism. Although Wood does not draw on Spenser in this historical account, she might have to her strength, given his trenchant backing of the New English cause. Yet her work elucidates and even mandates an attention to Spenser’s imperialist ideology as simultaneously capitalist in its vision. After all, A View openly gives voice to the goal of replacing Irish and Anglo-­ Irish lords with improving landlords, eradicating customary claims to property through extra-­economic force. In the early passages of A View, Irenius proves the threat that early Irish law, or Brehon Law (in his words, a “vilde law” that “often shewes equity”72), poses to Elizabeth’s claims to Irish property. According to him, the traditional legal practice of tanistry, for instance, is a suspect challenge to English control of Ireland, in that it provides Irish lords claims to the inheritance of rule based on kinship, and at times, merit. These judicial and civil laws trouble Spenser to the extent that they do not conform to English desires for sovereignty in Ireland, and also because they do not contractually bind property to individual owners, allowing for the mobile exchange of land, cattle, and other goods with relative ease in Irish socioeconomic circuits. Irenius’s denunciation of the “Scythian” tradition of cattle “boolying,” or the ancient Irish practice of communal transhumance, is a particularly revealing attack on the customs of Brehon Law that also makes evident Spenser’s economic agenda. According to him, the north’s “waste wilde places” for grazing are responsible for harboring and maintaining Irish “outlaws” and “theeves.” 73 Not only does this nomadism result in the depasturing of valuable land, but in this account, the custom of cattle boolying breeds idle lives and wastes bodily

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labor.74 Although Irenius often singles out seemingly idiosyncratic Irish activities as signs of savagery or corruption—­in this instance, cattle boolying—­these moments often reveal deep insights into Spenser’s colonial anxieties and intentions. In fact, in his When Histories Collide, Raymond Crotty has extensively discussed the unique ability of Irish cattle to survive the island’s relatively mild winters in pastures, that is, without fodder, thus reducing the need for imported grains and making it possible for the Irish to operate independent of capital. In part because of its climate and cattle, Crotty explains, Celtic Ireland developed a “non-­individualist, non-­capitalist, land-­based economy,” where “communally grazed land determined output, [and] the individual, by his work or the work of his slaves or capital, could not affect output.”75 Irenius’s solution to this “problem” is to “have the land thus inclosed, and well fenced”;76 to leave the mountainous regions for regulated pasture; and to build more towns and garrisons in close proximity to these regions. Additionally, he proposes that those engaged in pasturage must also be required to practice tillage and husbandry, while cattle should be branded and sold in open markets, to regulate their number and mobility, preventing against current practices of Irish “theft.”77 By branding traditional conceptions of property as theft, the English expropriation and privatization of Irish land is actively endorsed. Spenser, then, imagines a system of violent reform that dispossesses the Irish of the rights to land altogether, converting them into a mass of landless tenants, subject to a new class of lords. But as R. H. Tawney has articulated, the great agrarian struggles of the sixteenth century in England were about more than peasant displacement; they were based on disputes over classifications of tenure, or to be more precise, copyhold and leasehold.78 Lupton, in one of the most economically insightful essays on A View, explains the colonial policy behind Spenser’s tract in precisely these terms. The New English plot, she writes, “entailed conversion to a fundamentally different relation to the land, based not on the brief leases and nomadic displacements of Brehon law, but on the fixed, transmittable ‘plots’ of what we now call private property.” Continuing, Lupton adds, “the establishment of English tenure was seen not only as a legal convenience facilitating settlement and taxation, but also as a crucial means of ‘civilizing’ the Irish by tying them down to the domestic responsibilities and values of the English home.”79 This may explain Irenius’s denunciation of Irish practices like the exactions of coigne and livery, that fed and quartered a superior and his soldiers, which too greatly impose upon tenants, as well as his case for the right of peasants to enclose and build homes upon their rented plots.


Grants, terms, and leases of land must be more permanent and assured, both he and Eudoxus argue, for husbandmen to have a meaningful stake in their labor and for landlords to see “wealth and riches increased.”80 Here, Spenser implies that productive agriculture and political stability depend upon the privatization of property. Although Lupton does not name this colonial transformation as capitalist in intent, the process of civilizing in Spenser’s tract is in many ways synonymous with an economic policy of primitive accumulation, given the pivotal role force plays in Spenser’s transformation of land into property, and natives into tenants, wage laborers, and often, slaves. What primitive accumulation clears the space for in Spenser’s tract is a more urban, commercially driven colony that depends on a division of labor between the Irish and England’s Protestant settlers. Irenius’s plan preemptively envisions the explosion of towns, both in size and population. Ulster, Leinster, Munster, and Connaught are all, as he explains, to be replanted with incorporated, or “free,” towns, with the intention of turning Irish parts “to great commodity, and bring ere long to her Majesty much profit; for these places are fit for trade and trafficke, having most convenient out-­gates by divers to the sea, and in-­gates to the richest parts of the land, that they would soon be enriched, and mightily enlarged.”81 These towns should be “layde forth and incompassed,” containing “inhabitants of all sortes, as merchants, artificers and husbandmen” to whom “charters and fraunchises [should] be granted to incorporate them.”82 While corporate towns were present in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, and need not be capitalist, Irenius explains how free towns will differ from the “utterly wasted and defaced”83 ruins of former towns when they are self-­governed and subject only to the command of a governor. He blames the atrophied condition of Ireland’s feudal towns on both their native inhabitants and the “gentlemen of the Kings,” who have, by his account, resisted repairing the towns in order to protect against the charters of burgesses. Spenser’s stress, then, is on the potential revenues generated by these commercial, political, and military centers. As Irenius tells Eudoxus, “nothing doth more enrich any country or realm more than many townes; for to them will all the people draw and bring the fruites of their trades, aswell to make money of them, as to supply their needefull uses.”84 Urbanization is, then, a crucial stage in Spenser’s fantasy of reform, and along with mass dispossession, becomes a central component in establishing a new set of social relations. Thus, the diversification of the labor force is part of the end goal for Spenser. Irenius explains that if the towns are to become profitable, a new division of

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labor must be established, enforced, and upheld (and one that bears little resemblance to the classic three estates model). Irenius puts forth this plan for a future class system as follows: The next thing that I will doe, shalbe to appoint to every one that is not able to live of his free-­holde, a certaine trade of like, to which he shall finde himselfe fittest, and shall be thought ablest, the trade which he shalbe bound to follow, and live onely thereupon. All trades therefore are to be understood to be of three kindes, manuall, intellectuall, and mixed. The first containeth all such needeth exercise of bodily labour . . . The second consisting only of the exercise of wit and reason. The third sort, part of bodily labor, and part of wit, but depending most of industrie and carefulness.85

In imagining this new division of labor, Spenser figures a transformation into what would only later be recognized as a capitalist-­relation, broken down into categories of Irish wage laborers and English owners. Although Irenius does not explicitly preserve a space for an aristocracy, we can assume that the class of intellectuals—­if more fluid and based on intellectual merit than the English gentry—­reinvents class hierarchy, just as it consolidates wealth. Of course, the bottom class will consist entirely of the Irish, who in Irenius’s report are naturally “fit for labour, and industriously disposed.”86 These proposals for expropriation, privatization, and urbanization, however, do not speak to the Irish situation alone. In fact, Spenser’s colonial plan seems to comment back upon the social conditions of late Tudor England, envisioning an almost immediate conversion of a subsistence-­based economy to one in which labor becomes commodity because it has forcefully been evicted. No anti-­enclosure legislation stands in the way of Ireland’s reorganization. In Irenius’s utopian colony, no commoners’ rebellion and no specter of vagrancy is immune to occupation and the constant threat of state force. In a New English Ireland, primitive accumulation is official policy. Although in England these processes were more gradual, in part because countered through anti-­ enclosure legislation and peasant and smallholder resistance that sometimes had to be dealt with through means other than martial law, Ireland becomes a more ideal historical and literary site in which wholesale transformation seems possible. Spenser’s willing acts of political, social, cultural, geographical, and physical erasure make more immediate the great transition ushered in by England’s own domestic forms of dispossession. In certain ways, then, the brutal violence imagined and endorsed in Spens-


er’s political tract is the supreme indicator of its ideological alignment with primitive accumulation, reminding us of Marx’s famous statement on violence and transition in his discussion of this phenomenon: “Force is the midwife of every old society which is pregnant with a new one. It is itself an economic power.”87 In Irenius’s view, expropriation must be achieved through “ruthless terrorism,” an “idyllic method” of capital’s prehistory;88 it is the only sufficient way of achieving a total, annihilating reformation. Whether it is through the forceful expulsion of the Irish from their land or through the indirect violence of imposed starvation, Irenius repeatedly figures bloodshed and brutality as the key to emancipating Ireland from its savagery and its past. Importantly, his recommendation for a standing army—­at the time a radical, scandalous notion in British circles—­suggests that Spenser envisioned the same prerequisite in instigating and preserving capitalism that Wood charts in her history: namely, the state’s central role in forcefully ensuring the unrelenting reign of capital. What is so intriguing, and in some senses enlightening about this utopian fantasy—­ which I have been likening to a vision of primitive accumulation—­is that Irenius explicitly figures, rather than hides, the brutal methods of imperialism and the necessarily destructive origins of capitalism. Spanish Greed and Irish Thieves in The Faerie Queene But what might this interpretation of A View mean for our understanding of Spenser’s epic? If A View unabashedly imagines a more profitable Ireland, The Faerie Queene ostensibly condemns all actions motivated by a desire for financial gain. In the universe of Spenser’s epic, mercenary knights are massacred by the virtuous of their profession, who fight only for fame and the good, while wage labor becomes a sign of moral degradation or is reserved as humiliating punishment for those who have strayed from the path of virtue. A cast of allegorical characters portray greed as one of the basest vices imaginable, from Book One’s allegories of Gluttony and Avarice at the House of Pride to Book Six’s band of lustful brigands and slave-­trading merchants. Throughout the chivalrous epic, money is signified by the telling terms “filthy lucre,” “wordly mucke,” “euill gotten masse,” and “mucky pelfe.” 89 At first glance, this tendency to denigrate avarice and material wealth appears to contradict Irenius’s agenda in A View, but if we consider the plainly voiced imperialist ideology of the poem, it seems mandatory that we conclude by confronting why Spenser’s epic denies the economic motive at the heart of the English imperial project.

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In “The Failure of Moral Philosophy in the Work of Edmund Spenser,” Elizabeth Fowler has carefully delineated the ultimately irreconcilable contradictions between the ethical and political dimensions of Spenser’s allegory in the second half of The Faerie Queene. She argues that the increasing presence of colonial Ireland in the poem, and Spenser’s desire for a lesson in just dominion, creates a fault line between private virtues and public policy in the poem, where a knight’s personal character validates acts of brute force over lawful consent.90 A similar kind of allegorical incompatibility can be located in the poem’s personifications of greed, where the moral duel between avarice and heroism collapses under the weight of Spenser’s political desires. For the poem’s many thieves, bad imperialists, misguided merchants, and bereaving tyrants are not univalent figures that represent only the most general of vices. In fact, by coding the various personifications of greed and theft as Spanish and/or Irish, the poem works to differentiate English acts of expropriation and concepts of property from foreign methods of imperialism and native claims to land. In this scheme, the spoils of conquest that enterprising English knights gain throughout the epic reemerge not as a sign of vice but as a testimony to colonists’ heroism. Defeated allegories of greed, in contrast, stand in for competing modes of economy, different classes, and even different forms of imperialism, contrary to Spenser’s own outlined agenda of economic reform. In the epic, the first major allegory of greed—­a vice that is explicitly dubbed after the Money God, Mammon and also referred to as “God of the world and worldlings”91—­is a Spenserian representation of materiality that embodies these inconsistent moral and political meanings. In his quest, the errant Knight of Temperance, Sir Guyon, stumbles on Mammon counting the blackened “hore,” or “masse of coin,” from his “huge threasury.”92 The canto is a kind of Dantean journey through hell, where Guyon will encounter not only the miser, Mammon, but also Mammon’s counterfeiting laborers; his money manager, Care; his daughter, Ambition; and finally, the figures of Tantalus and Pilate, drowning eternally in a black flood at the edge of a golden but deadly garden. Throughout the canto, Guyon resists Mammon’s temptations, rejecting his offers of bought kingdoms and worldly power, as in the following retort: All otherwise (said he) I riches read, And deeme them roote of all disquietnesse; First got with guile, and then preseru’d with dread, And after spent with pride and lauishnesse, Leauing behind them griefe and heauinesse,


Infinite mischiefes of them doe arize, Strife, and debate, bloodshed, and bitternesse, Outrageous wrong, and hellish couetize, That noble heart as great dishonour doth despize.93

It is difficult to overlook the sharp contrasts between this stanza’s moral didacticism and the viewpoints put forth in A View, given the knight’s refusal here to license bloodshed in economic pursuits. Thus, while Sir Guyon’s quest is justified as the search for Glory and God, that third end of New World conquests, Gold, must repeatedly be denied. Here, true nobility recognizes greed as a sign of corruption. What follows in the debate between Mammon and Guyon is a narrative about the absence of avarice in the antique age, until that era’s violation by human greed. In this mythic history, Guyon explains that a human hand disrupted the ancient age’s natural peace and order by raping mother earth’s “sacred tombe” of her hidden treasures of gold and silver.94 Mammon responds by inviting Guyon to abandon his quest for a lost golden age and join Mammon in the irreversible present: “Thou that doest liue in later times, must wage / Thy workes for wealth, and life for gold engage.”95 While the Knight of Temperance will successfully survive the episode, he is nevertheless in a collapsed state of exhaustion at the canto’s end, leaving readers with the lesson that material wealth is a formidable, dangerous lure from the path of virtue. Upon closer examination, however, the episode’s temptation appears more complex, for Mammon’s allegory is both more specific and multivalent, in the sense that he represents certain means of acquiring and applying riches, not just greed per se. Mammon’s coveted stash is a taint on mankind precisely because it is hoarded, pillaged, and counterfeited; it is coin of “rude owre, not purified,” having been forged in the form of “Ingowes.”96 Perhaps a Spenserian archaism for ingots, Ingowes, as A. C. Hamilton and the editors of the Spenser Encyclopedia indicate, also appears to be an Elizabethan term for the Incas, deriving from the Spanish name, Ingas.97 While the attention to counterfeiting is part of the epic’s larger didactic purpose of instructing readers in the art of discerning the fake from the true, the passage, then, is also a political condemnation of Spanish wealth, and in particular, Spain’s mining projects in the Americas. Later in the Mammon episode, readers also learn that Mammon’s hoard is stolen wealth, most likely “bereaued / From rightfull owner by vnrighteous lott,”98 thus representing Spain’s South American conquests as a case of plunder. As Barbara Fuchs and Thomas Herron have established, the anti-­Hispanic rhetoric palpable in this episode and pervasive throughout The

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Faerie Queene is motivated by a variety of causes, including religious difference, English envy for Spanish wealth and power, the recent conflict with the Armada, and the ever-­pressing fear that the Spanish would come to the aid of their Irish-­Catholic neighbors.99 William Maltby, in his book The Black Legend in England, also traces this rivalry to early modern England’s dawning imperialist desires, arguing that “the relative proximity and fabled wealth of Spain’s American possessions whetted the ambition of Englishmen, while its grandiose territorial claims and steadfast refusal to trade with foreigners frustrated and angered them.”100 Mammon’s great treasures, as well as his insatiable thirst for gold, invoke an English perception of the Spanish monopoly in the New World. In the tradition of the black legend, Mammon’s imperial quest is depicted as unrighteous and responsible for the birth of all worldly greed, implying that Canto Seven of Book Two is not so much a moral denunciation of wealth as it is the damning of a specifically Spanish imperialistic gluttony. This representation of the Spanish is echoed later in one of the poem’s most explicitly coded allegories, in which Geryoneo and Belge clearly stand in for Spanish foreign policy in the Low Countries. In fact, Book Five’s depiction of the Spanish bleeding of Antwerp is the only scene in the entirety of the poem where Spenser defends a nation other than England against imperial rule, which begs the question: why is Spenser so outraged by Antwerp’s occupation and so defensive of England’s aid (under Elizabeth and Leicester) to the Dutch Protestant cause? Geryoneo—­an allegorical figure for Philip II of Spain—­is portrayed as a usurping, “cruell Tyrant” and a thief, who is taken to task for both invading Belge’s land and slaying her children “ruefully.”101 This canto also makes repeated reference to the ruin of wealth in the Low Countries as a result of the Spanish burden of sovereignty. In the Eighty Years’ War, one of the primary grievances against Philip II was indeed his uncommonly high taxation of the wealthy nobility of the Low Countries; this impulse surfaces in Spenser’s epic as a form of injustice and as a sign of Spanish “avarice”—­a vice condemned (among many other places) in the first stanza of Book Five, Canto Eleven. In the same encounter with Geryoneo, he is named as a tyrant for having “mard [Belge’s] marchants trade, / Robbed her people, that full rich had beene,” in a rare moment when merchants are defended in the poem.102 Later, Spenser compares Antwerp “flourish[ing] in all wealth and happiness”103 to its state under Counter-­Reformation rule, when it is painted as a city in ruins which Arthur must restore. From this canto, we can surmise that Dutch Calvinist economic values and policies, often associated with emergent capitalism, were worth de-


fending in Spenser’s estimation. In this sense, it is not just a Spanish or Catholic conquest that Spenser takes issue with, but a foreign rule that simply is not profitable or productive. We might also then understand this characterization as an expression of the Elizabethan era’s newly aggressive economic nationalism, which Giovanni Arrighi has described as a reaction to the formidable power of the “Genoese-­Iberian capitalist-­territorialist complex” that then ruled Europe, but which was also entering a new cycle of Anglo-­Dutch ascendancy.104 Like many of its English invokers, Spenser employs the black legend as a means for dissociating Protestant imperial projects from the cruel, demonized portrait of Spanish colonialism in the New World. One of the main ways this distinction was drawn was by citing a difference of motives and tactics; while the English and the Dutch were supposedly set on building ports, plantations, and permanent colonies designed to “improve” foreign land, the Spanish, according to the legend, were driven by a lust for gold. As a result, the Spanish economic motive was understood as pure avarice, whereas the emerging capitalist project of the Protestant nations was represented as more just because productive. One horrific trope of this legend—­which was certainly in part a truth105—­conjured up the Spanish use of mastiffs in subduing and consuming native peoples, depicted, for example, in the famous Theodore de Bry illustration Balboa Punishing Indians Guilty of Sodomy. Probably citing the same legend de Bry depicts, Geryoneo is compared to “a fell mastiffe” in Spenser’s poem,106 invoking this narrative of Spanish imperial cruelty as a means for whitewashing Protestant colonial projects of improvement. The episode draws a fine line, then, between Spenser’s own licensed forms of imperialism (more directly outlined in A View), versus what he depicts as illegitimate “tyrannical” acts of foreign rule. In other words, Spenser’s work can be seen as advocating a specific kind of imperialism—­namely a Protestant and capitalist imperialism—­ not as merely condemning tyrant rule or vilifying papists. Of course, for many of us, it is strikingly contradictory to place these representations of imperial cruelty and the pursuit of wealth at any human cost against the ghastly portrait of colonial war imagined and recorded in A View. Yet the Spanish are by no means the only ones represented as a nation of thieves in the epic. In Book Five, often recognized as the book most influenced by Spenser’s experience in Ireland, we encounter several characters that echo the political tract’s figuration of the Irish as a nation of either morally wicked, pilfering outlaws or, in the case of Grantorto and Pollente, absolutist tyrants. These allegories additionally serve the purpose of justifying English

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expropriations of Irish land and wealth by naming the Other as villain. In a textbook maneuver of projection, Spenser converts the Irish into a population of thieves, terrorizing and laying waste to their own countryside through “backward” economic and legal traditions. For instance, Malengin (Guyle), a “wicked villiane” that “robbed all the countrie there about, / and brought the pillage home, whence none could get it out” is blatantly coded as an Irishman because he wears a glib and mantle, the hairstyle and cloak Irenius criticizes for concealing Irish thieves in A View.107 In one of the most un-­chivalrous passages of the poem, the iron man Talus, Spenser’s executioner of Justice and an allegory for a standing army in Ireland, disembowels Malengin and leaves his corpse for birds and beasts to feed upon. Spenser’s anxiety in this rather didactic, violent episode seems to be associated with the difficulty of extracting and extorting the “pillage” of the crafty Irish from the hidden, labyrinthine spaces of their land. While Malengin is linked with the trait of deception (like many of Spenser’s villains), he is also a “carle,” and a “dreadful wight . . . with hollow eyes deepe pent,” who ends his life as a “carrion outcast”—­a description that should put us in mind of the account of Desmond’s starved, ghost-­like rebels in A View.108 Ironically, the Irish become the thieves in this passage, precisely because the English encounter resistance in their efforts to systematically dispossess. What gets called “theft” then, is rebellion against English efforts at installing a capitalist, tenured colony. Malengin invokes older, customary Irish modes of economy, which Spenser not only refuses to recognize as legitimate, lawful systems of exchange, but brands as villainous, licentious robbery that should be met only by the harshest of punishments. Importantly, the poem also portrays scenes in which wealth is legitimately gained through violent measures, usually in the form of spoils won “rightfully” in a duel or in war. These episodes likewise offer up what Stephen Greenblatt calls Spenser’s “apparent inconsistencies.”109 Spenser’s true, questing knights, though not seeking to “obtaine . . . a goodly meed” or “for hyre to sell,” nevertheless “inherit” all kinds of prizes in their defeat of tyrants, villains, rebels, and other thieves, suggesting that their mission is in part motivated by economic interests, whether their own or their queen’s. In the final book, the Knight of Courtesy, Calidore, battles slave-­trading brigands and merchants, in just one of the poem’s numerous campaigns ending in a knight’s acquisition of once stolen booty. Responding to the brigands’ massacre of a peaceful community of shepherds, Calidore rescues Pastorella and slays swarms of these thieves. But in doing so, he also becomes heir to their plunder:


This doen, into those theeuish dens he went, And thence did all the spoyles and threasures take, Which they from many long had robd and rent, But fortune now the victors meed did make; Of which the best he did his loue betake; And also all those flockes, which they before Had reft from Meliboe and from his make. He did them all to Coridon restore.110

Calidore’s spoils are a just reward (“meed”) for his military valor and also a restoration, which the poet differentiates from the “despoyling,” “bereauing,” and “theeuing” of the brigands and merchants. There are obviously strong resonances here with the colonial rhetoric of restoration and reformation used to justify the brutal policies imagined in A View. Yet these attempts to differentiate various forms of wealth acquired through conquest ultimately open up the possibility for recognizing the striking similarities between a ruthless band of brigands and a knight seeking “justice.” The line Spenser attempts to draw is very fine after all. We could examine other characters and episodes in the poem where Spenser wages his two-­front war against tyrants and thieves—­a battle James Holstun has described as the Protestant capitalist’s war against custom and commons in his reading of the encounters with Pollente and the egalitarian giant in Book Five, Canto Two.111 But to close, let us instead briefly consider what epic and allegory offers Spenser’s economic agenda that utopia does not. While the utopian form of A View is an obvious fit for a call to social transformation, the chivalrous, romantic, and moral themes of The Faerie Queene, along with its even then archaic English, tempt readers to view it as a quintessentially feudal epic. Yet the use of this anachronistic form does not mean that Spenser is a full-­blown reactionary; rather, it is a central component of what we should understand as Spenser’s radically conservative vision of economic innovation. Marx’s analysis of the cultural forms of bourgeois revolution in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte may help us understand Spenser’s reliance on older, imperial poetic forms. Commenting on the difference between capitalist revolutions and the truly proletarian revolution he anticipates for the nineteenth century, Marx explains that the “resurrection of the dead” has often been used to “glorify . . . new struggles”:112 The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain

UTO PIA , IR E L A N D, A N D T HE T UDO R S H O C K D O C T R I NE    1 2 1

of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionising themselves and things, in creating something that has never existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle-­cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-­honored disguise and this borrowed language.113

Unlike A View, which employs the newly developing discourses of utopia and political economy, The Faerie Queene borrows medieval and classical trappings to narrate a lesson in revolutionary historical change. Like Merlin’s prophesy in Book Three, Canto Three, which narrates the past of Britain to Britomart as the coming future, Spenser’s poem disguises a new system of class and colonial relations as a restoration of feudal and even time immemorial right. A View, however, suggests that the metaphor of shock, or of creative destruction, more accurately depicts Spenser’s vision—­and Elizabethan England’s actual policies—­than does restoration. Behind Spenser’s dark conceit lies a fantasy of the violent negation of custom that will ready Ireland for its future state.



The early modern English utopia is a tradition usually associated with great statesmen. Thomas More, of course, establishes this pattern, while his popular descendants of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries include powerful figures like Attorney General Francis Bacon and political thinkers like John Milton, James Harrington, and Henry Neville. Historically, then, the canonical early modern English utopia has been tethered to subject positions of power or to the domain of political theory—­a not altogether misleading characterization of the genre given the way so many early English utopias imaginatively claim authority over populations and exert a will to power, or in their better moments, make transformation of governing bodies and social orders seem both desirable and plausible. An understanding of the correlation between utopian and tyrannous desires was even available long before the dystopia was born; in The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton—­ perhaps taking a cue from Shakespeare’s Gonzalo—­would observe this link, waggishly claiming: I will yet to satisfie & please my selfe, make an Utopia of mine owne, a poeticall commonwealth of mine owne, in which I will freely domineere, build citties, make lawes, statutes, as I lift my selfe. And why may I not? Pictoribus at{que} poetis, &c. You knowe what liberty Poets haue euer had, and besides my predecessor Democritus was a Polititian, a Recorder of Abdera, a law maker, as some say, and why may not I presume as much as he did?1


To author a utopia, Burton suggests, requires both a megalomaniac ambition and a political precedent to make laws. But in the last few decades, the canon of early English utopian authors has expanded to include more than unlucky Lord Chancellors or privileged Oxford scholars, in large part due to the efforts of feminist cultural critics. The turn to women’s literary activities has also coincided with a broadening of utopian formal horizons that owes a great deal to thinkers like Ernst Bloch, Ruth Levitas, and Fredric Jameson—­all of whom have offered more theoretical, functional definitions of utopian desire that extend our conception of utopian literature beyond the conceit of the commonwealth. For when utopia is understood to signify a broad range of representational strategies that articulate an alternative to the status quo, the genre is—­for obvious reasons—­much more likely to include the work of women writers in particular, who in their time who could not have embarked on a voyage of discovery across the seas, could not have received an education in civil law, could not have served as a member of parliament, or in many cases, even owned a small bit of landed property. In other words, women were not very likely to have discursively adopted the legal, political, and institutional schemas associated with More’s book or the classical tradition of the ideal society, and consequently, the study of women’s utopian writing is bound to widen our understanding of early utopian formal patterns, as much as utopian desire writ large. Two of the newest utopian authors advanced by literary scholars in the last decade are Isabella Whitney, author of the mid-­sixteenth-­century, ballad meter “The maner of her Wyll, and what she left to London: and all those in it: at her departing” (hereinafter “Wyll and Testament”) and Aemelia Lanyer, author of Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum and its concluding country-­house poem, “The Description of Cooke-­ham”—­both of which have been shown to possess a particularly utopian yearning for a community of women. In 2006, Nicole Pohl and Constance Furey separately considered the utopian dimensions of Lanyer’s poetry, while in 2009, Crystal Bartolovich made the case that Whitney’s “anti-­ will” should be read as the first utopian English text that relies on a fictional futurity of a London commons.2 This chapter will survey and expand on the reasons why these poets merit further study as utopian authors—­especially comparative study—­considering how together Lanyer and Whitney challenge the all-­too-­easy correlation between utopianism and state-­based formations, while nevertheless continuing to figure property and labor as pivotal, determining conditions for social relationships.


For despite their differences in class and vision, and in poetic tone and form, Whitney and Lanyer each portray a more ideal reality as one from which they have been reluctantly, even forcibly excluded. But it is not merely that they register their frustration with a loss of property and patronage: they also ironically or ambivalently adopt discursive traditions associated with ownership, the will and country-­house poem, working within and against these discourses to imagine an alternative site of community and pleasurable intellectual labor that collapses distinctions between private and public realms. To this extent, Whitney and Lanyer’s topographical poetry domesticates utopianism in the English city and countryside, a generic precedent that fuses the ideal and the real in order to render utopia a plausible but as yet unrealized condition in the present. In locating utopia in London or the English country estate, both also imagine a world where women, dispossessed, unemployed, and alone, find shelter, livelihood, and friendship. Yet this longing also finds articulation only in failure and their imagined deaths, in other words, through an ironic discourse of loss, not power, which simultaneously renders these female utopias rather ambivalent.3 To see these texts as utopian, then, has ramifications beyond how we read the poetry of Whitney and Lanyer: it encourages us to recognize that the utopian tradition never belonged merely to the powerful or to prose or to men. Utopia in this counter-­tradition includes expressions of female longing and loss that double as transformative social criticism, while topographical poetic forms, like the city poem and the pastoral elegy, offer another language for articulating a desire for community, place, and material means, beyond the systemic, hyper-­rational delineations of ideal states. Moreover, women’s poetry of place presents another cultural perspective on the transition, one that mourns the gendered inequalities of inheritance and the exclusion of women from waged work. Silvia Federici’s feminist reorientation of the transition debate has explained the particularly pronounced costs of capitalist development for women, arguing that this development did not merely create a mass of dispossessed wage workers; it also created a “patriarchy of the wage.”4 In extending the narrative of land enclosures and the commodification of wage labor to the reproductive enclosure of women’s bodies and the devaluation of women’s work in the home as “non-­work,” Federici challenges a Marxist teleology that views capitalism as revolutionary or liberating in its original moments, instead insisting that from the vantage point of women (as well as populations subjugated under colonial rule and slavery), it was a historical defeat—­a thesis that has a great deal in common with the claims of


Joan Kelly’s now seminal argument that women did not have a Renaissance.5 These poems of place—­so different in tone, spirit, form, and setting—­imagine spaces of inclusion against the historical realities of women’s marginalization. Consequently, this chapter will consider how poetic motifs of mourning and exile form a counter-­tradition within the utopian genre which registers this ironic, tragic context of “development” as one that entailed the retrogression of women’s social freedoms. Place and Displacement in Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament” Best known as the author of the first printed volume of secular poetry by a woman, Isabella Whitney published two books, The Copy of A Letter (1567), a miscellany of love complaints, and A Sweet Nosegay (1573), a collection of verse epistles modeled on Hugh Plat’s The Floures of Philosophy (1572). Critics have resisted dissociating Whitney the poet from the female personas we find in her collections, mainly because these voices seem to echo what can be surmised about the poet’s own situation. It is most likely safe to venture, as one of her modern editors, Danielle Clark, does, that Whitney “was probably born into the gentry, a family in Cheshire around the middle of the sixteenth century, received some education, and found herself in domestic service in London.”6 She was also likely unwed, since in her epistolary poem “To Sister Misteris, A.B.,” Whitney writes: “Had I a husband, or a House, and all that longes therto / My selfe could frame about to rouse, as other women doo: / But til some household cares meet ye, / My books and Pen I wyll apply.”7 Her poems, then, give voice to her doubly dispossessed social position (and thus, her professional need for compensation), while she speaks openly about the adversities women experienced in publishing—­and in response to—­their written work. Major themes that run throughout Whitney’s body of poesy include financial hardship, illness, and lucklessness; the difficulties of finding patronage; the perfidiousness of male lovers; and the injustice of double standards in sexual morality. But the temper of these poems is far from serious, heady, or morose; as Betty Travitsky suggests, Whitney’s is a distinctly “public voice” that “breezily express[es] secular concerns” in a “jocose tone”—­marking her apart from many of the Renaissance female writers associated with courtly traditions.8 Whitney is a figure who, Travitsky argues, both realizes and defies Virginia Woolf ’s speculations about the thwarted, suicidal Judith Shakespeare, the brilliant fictional sister to the Bard that Woolf imagines at the beginning of A Room of One’s Own.9


Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament,” her best-­known poem, is a satirical ballad whose speaker appears to be a middle-­class domestic servant with aspirations to write professionally. Readers immediately learn she is being forced to leave London, the addressee of her poem and a city that is metaphorically portrayed as her spurning lover and also the source of this death sentence. This gendered personification of London’s cruelty is in keeping with the evident influence of Ovid’s Heroides on much of Whitney’s verse, but here the admonishment is distinctly economic, for the loss of London’s love is also a more threatening loss of livelihood.10 As the title promises, the poem is a mock will and testament—­ mock because the penniless female speaker has no property to leave behind her and also because most women were legally prevented from writing wills in this era of an increasing body of common law, when coverture and primogeniture dictated laws of inheritance.11 Yet over the course of the poem, the speaker ironically claims imaginative possession over the whole city, describing the already existing cartography of the material and social world of early modern London as if it were hers to own and, in turn, charitably bestow. For most of the poem, colloquial fourteeners transport readers briskly through the then modern markets of London, willing away architectural and institutional sites like churches, streets, buildings, shops, publishing houses, commodities, and more, along with London’s occupants, like brewers, butchers, bakers, doctors, apprentices, eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, and widowers and widows. The speaker’s litany of gifts, then, is a kind of poetic map of the commercial geography of London as well as a playful reimagination of these habits of exchange: “To write the city was to configure it,” Andrew Gordon explains of Whitney’s poem and other works about London, “to construct on the page the relations between a cast of constituent elements and to anatomise the mechanics of their interrelationship, identifying the driving forces of urban life.”12 Wendy Wall also explains how, more than simply representing a subjectively experienced London, Whitney configures multiple Londons as a consequence of the “strange time frame” of the will, a performative utterance structured on a temporal doubling of “what is and what will be.”13 Thus, readers are presented with a London that is and is “not yet”—­to borrow the language of Bloch.14 For most Whitney scholars, Wall and Gordon included, the irony of the poem lies in its movements between “plenty and poverty,”15 clearest in its shifts in attention from the buildings and commodities of London to those “who inhabit the sites of exclusion produced by a community centred upon con-


sumption.”16 If Whitney describes a city of abundance, largely in tune with its people’s needs, readers also already know, from “The Communication which the Auctor had to London, before she made her Wyll,” that the speaker’s own destitution, her own voice that speaks from outside London and beyond the grave signals that the city’s “goodly store” is also off limits. In the second half of the poem Whitney makes this other side of London legible, throwing the city’s commercial abundance into relief by emphasizing those it also excludes or even dooms: the indebted, the dispossessed, the jobless, the imprisoned, and of course, women. Whitney’s speaker does not leave the wealth of London to an individual or a particular class of people or women only; instead, she imaginatively appropriates all the city has to offer some and playfully bequeaths it back to London’s collective self. It is this emerging contradiction of a London of abundance containing within it a London of lack that Crystal Bartolovich highlights in her work on Whitney’s utopianism. For Bartolovich, it is the poem’s use of the format of a will that is particularly important, since it allows the persona to perform a redistribution of property, to have that property—­in Whitney’s own language “dispearsed ’round about.”17 In its use of the future tense, Bartolovich argues, Whitney’s “Wyll” imagines a London collectively creating, and bringing into being, a new need-­based set of social relations and a “collective inheritance for all of its citizens.”18 Bartolovich thus reads the “Wyll” as one of the most important utopias produced between More’s Utopia and the Digger manifestos of the mid-­seventeenth century. Indeed, Bartolovich suggests that Whitney’s utopian vision is more radical than any other work of its period, in part due to its innovation as a temporal utopia of “a properly common London [that] has yet to come.”19 Whitney, in other words, bucks the canonical Renaissance tendency to externalize utopian societies, to project them across dangerous, immense oceans into otherwise undiscovered islands,20 or just as typically, to fetishize law and institution as the basis of utopian social formations. There is nothing in Whitney’s poem like the top-­down draconian fantasy of control or repression or population management that tarnishes so many of the state-­based and/or colonial utopias of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Instead, Whitney’s vision of transformation is authored from a position of dispossession that “deploys the form of the legal will to contest a whole system of oppressive gender and property relations, demanding transformation by executors.”21 In arguing for the utopian qualities of Whitney’s “Wyll,” Bartolovich joins the chorus of critics interested in identifying the many adapted genres in the


poem—­the will obviously, but also the love complaint, female legacy, and mock testament.22 To extend Bartolovich’s argument about the poem’s utopian qualities, I want to also examine the work as both a topographical poem and a lyric of exile, a pairing of poetic modes that renders multiple vantage points on London, from the inside and outside (as well as before and after) and that insists on the importance of social perspective in representation. Although the work is indeed a descriptive “urban panegyric,”23 as an expression of involuntary displacement, it introduces jarring perspectives on London’s cruelty and its actual and potential beneficence. These contradictory spatial representations, working alongside the will’s futurity, allow readers to envision an idealized but transformed homeland—­a city that is and is not yet—­and specifically, a place where belonging might be defined by cultural participation rather than ownership. In underscoring the poetic modes of Whitney’s mock-­will, then, another novel dimension to her utopian vision of London is apparent: marginalization, not power, becomes a standpoint from which to see a potential polis. And in pairing these poetic traditions with satirical treatments of discourses like wills, testaments, and legacies, Whitney’s poem frames her own death as an experience of exile from a worldly, historical afterlife. We know that Whitney was familiar with the exiled heroes of the ancient past; her poetry makes repeated, scolding reference to figures like Aeneas, Theseus, and Jason,24 time and again portraying them as fickle, faithless lovers from which female readers should learn to expect men’s duplicity. Patrick Cheney has compellingly demonstrated how Whitney’s first volume, The Copy of a Letter, adopts and adapts an Ovidian persona against the Virgilian (and later Spenserian) epic form, that “features the female elegiac voice complaining against epic masculine betrayal” while still addressing a larger populace of readers.25 Cheney doesn’t examine the “Wyll,” but its amatory opening could be said to both deploy and parody elegiac and exilic motifs, reimagining the female speaker’s involuntary separation from London in ways that mimic the experience of both the abandoned, Didonian woman and the hero who, forced to leave, now feels the pull of home. The poem’s prefatory frame, then, ironically establishes her undesired departure from London as its abandonment of her—­the personified homeland has forsaken itself—­and in so doing, London is simultaneously figured as a city of injustice and an object of desire, or a place to which she wishes to return. These multivalent, ambivalent meanings allow Whitney to portray the unemployed female poet’s experience as a heightened condition of loss and longing; it is not merely that she is destitute of a lover, but


she has been driven into homelessness and unemployment—­harsher realities that deprive her of the most fundamental security and her living. She makes a similar point in “A carefull complaynt by the unfortunate Auctor,” when she playfully chastises Dido, telling her not to mourn Aeneas, but to recognize the pleasures to be found in her health and home.26 In Writing Exile, Jan Felix Gaertner argues that if narratives of exile were a cornerstone of the ancient epic, a “rhetoric” of exile as extreme, emotional loss “only develops with the rise of lyric poetry and its shift of focus from myths of the past towards the persona of the poet and his or her experience.”27 The autobiographically constructed opening of Whitney’s poem introduces this rhetoric of pathos and the persona of the forsaken poet; the speaker’s voice is one of amplified loneliness, anger, and frustrated desire, but it is also satirical, given that she admonishes an absurdly personified London and, somewhat sensationally, blames it for her coming death. Metaphorically and materially, she suggests that her spatial displacement from London means a certain death, and she is able to communicate this sentiment precisely by cleverly fusing discursive and poetic personas associated with wills, testaments, lyrics, and love poetry—­all discourses associated with the circumstances of grief. In linking her death to her exile and abandonment, the persona of advice, goodwill, and charity will resonate, synchronously, as an expression of causeless persecution. But Whitney portrays her marginalized experience and the perspective it produces with its special insight into London’s cruelties as a gift to the city, and thus, she grants the forgotten (female) poet paradoxical authority. It is worth pausing here to address how her adaptations of the will form and the lyric together establish the specific persona of a single, childless, unemployed female writer from London. While Wall has compellingly read the poem as a parodic reinvention of the female legacy—­a form in which pregnant women penned instruction in poetry or prose to their children from a persona beyond the grave (a fictional pretext provoked by quite justifiable fears of childbirth)—­Whitney’s lyrics usually return to the theme of single life, addressing sisters, brothers, and friends from a similar background, class, or line of work. Certainly, her “Wyll” could be said to adapt the female legacy in order to offer future instruction to London, while memorializing her own hardship, but there is also reason to read the poem as an unmarried woman’s will, given that the women in this demographic, no matter how modest their possessions, authored wills more frequently than married women did.28 In fact, single women tended to leave their moveable goods and money to the relief of the poor or


to their female relatives.29 Erickson explains the greater tendency toward “diffusion” in women’s wills by invoking the distinction between patrimony, with its vertical extension of property, and matrimony, a more horizontal distribution established by immediate networks of kin.30 Whitney’s poem articulates a similar distributive logic, for London’s provisions are to be “dispearsed ’round about,” with the stated intention of easing the distress of the needy (“And that the poore, when I am gone, / have cause for me to pray”) rather than maintaining a patrilineal line.31 Her use of the conventions of legacies and women’s wills allows her to articulate a charged concern for London’s forsaken women, whether they be “Maydens poore” (like herself) or matrons in Bridewell.32 The early use of the love complaint—­with its themes of romantic isolation and abandonment—­then pairs well with the central form of the mock will to emphasize the particular hardships experienced by single, common women, and to set readers up for a poem that functions as an altruistic indictment of and correction to their poor treatment. Laurie Ellinghausen has suggested that Whitney’s persona as a jilted, dispossessed maidservant allows “her to explore the productive potential of her newfound lack of enclosure,” her “sorrow [in] isolation” becoming “an occasion for producing verse” in an era when women’s writing was often accused of impropriety.33 Ellinghausen concludes by stressing that Whitney’s tendency to frame her writing as necessary labor suggests that she was “more self-­interested than we have envisioned her previously,”34 but this characterization—­as Bartolovich has argued—­may, regrettably, downplay the frequent dynamic between self-­interest and female solidarity in her verse. Ironically, Whitney makes this link between the personal and the social by identifying with other women through the experience of isolation. This is a consequence of the early characterization of her city as lover, for here there is a transference of Petrarchan loss and longing into an expression of socially shared injustice and frustrated desire. There is, of course, a great deal of irony in seeing death—­a final silencing—­as a condition that authorizes female speech, and here we certainly find more evidence of Whitney’s satirical humor. If critics have already explored how this poet appropriates deathbed discourses (just as many early women writers did35), it is important to consider, too, how the correlation of a temporal death with spatial exile allows Whitney to make place her poetic subject and addressee in a way that collapses time and space—­a rendering of what Henri Lefebvre has called the “production of space,” where the city is shown to be “coming into being.”36 For this is a remarkably cartographic poem, that rep-


resents London from both outside and within, a juxtaposition that will show what London could be, assuming the speaker’s will is executed. I have already discussed how, as a lyric of exile, Whitney’s “Wyll” is bookended with reminders of her speaker’s physical and earthly departure from London, but the poet also ironically inserts herself back into London in a few notable ways. For example, the opening poem in A Sweet Nosegay, “The Auctor to the Reader,” actually begins with a narrative of her confinement in a plague-­ ridden London. Growing tired of reading histories and ancient authors, the poet takes a stroll, only to encounter a friend fleeing the city, who warns her to “shift to some better aire, for feare to be infect / With noisome smell and savours ill.”37 But she doesn’t leave London, and instead returns “home all sole alone,”38 only to encounter a volume of Plat’s Floures of Philosophy, which transports her metaphorically to a hillside covered in flower beds, where the sweet smell becomes the antidote to the stench of the streets. Reading Plat, whose work is “a brave prospect,”39 her mind moves away from death, a perspectival activity that escapes the city’s physical and moral infections and protects her health. In calling her collection a nosegay, plucked from the “plot” of Plat, Whitney represents her volume as a device for mobility and a method for preserving the health of minds, yet she also playfully introduces urban subject matter through a spatially ambiguous metaphor: her poetic flowers, though grown and husbanded elsewhere, are intended for an urban readership; they will offer consolation and relief for those within the diseased city, and moreover, her poetry may help its readers see and experience London anew. In short, she promises readers that her volume will present a new way of living and coping, within the immediate context, which is associated with distance, displacement, and healing. Whitney announces her intention to transport her readers conceptually, just as Plat does her, to a more idyllic world that can help them navigate a life-­threatening urban reality. Because “The Auctor to her Reader,” an opening poem which announces both the genesis of the book and its intentions, portrays reading and writing as a prospect, we should consider that metaphor carefully. In the sixteenth century, prospect already had several spatio-­temporal meanings, just as it does today. Most frequently, the noun referred to a heightened vista, which enabled a long view over a landscape, but as a verb, its meanings already implied an activity of both seeing and speculating. These complicated connotations are encoded in the title to William Fulke’s 1563 treatise on atmospheric phenomenon, A goodly gallerye with a most pleasaunt prospect, into the garden of naturall


contemplation, to beholde the naturall causes of all kind of meteors.40 If the treatise is a metaphorical place for readers to view the world, the title also conveys hopeful expectations about the text’s future reception (a meaning much like contemporary understandings of the plural noun prospects). Yet the title also correlates prospect with seeing as knowing, as Fulke’s work announces itself as natural philosophy. Francis Bacon, whose legacy centers on observation as the basis of knowledge, would invoke a similar meaning in his essay “Of Truth.” Quoting Lucretius, he writes: The [p]oet, that beautified the Sect, that was otherwise inferiour to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure to stand vpon the shore, and to see ships tost vpon the Sea: A pleasure to stand in the window of a Castle, and to see a Battaile, and the Aduentures thereof, below: But no pleasure is comparable, to the standing, vpon the vantage ground of Truth: (A hill not to be commanded, and where the Ayre is alwaies cleare and serene;) And to see the Errours, and Wandrings, and Mists, and Tempests, in the vale below: So alwaies, that this prospect, be with Pitty, and not with Swelling, or Pride.41

Bacon emphasizes Lucretius’s association of “Truth” with a vantage point when he glosses it as a prospect, suggesting, too, that in the early modern era the word had important scientific connotations. If it wasn’t until the late seventeenth century that the verb would come to signify specifically the activity of mining or speculating about future returns, there are hints of this economic meaning already at play by the mid-­sixteenth century as well. For example, in Richard Eden’s 1555 translation of Peter Martyr D’Anghiera’s popular De Orbe Novo, prospect is used repeatedly to describe sites in New Spain that enable Spanish captains to discover their newfound wealth, whether lands, cities, gold, or pearls.42 Like many other terms that correlate profit and perspective, such as advantage and vantage or survey, prospect implies a way of seeing that correlates distanced perception and future prosperity. In framing her second volume of poetry as another prospect on London, Whitney seems to draw on many of these meanings: her vision from the outside means to picture the city comprehensively; it will diagnose what ails London and provide potential antidotes, and it will imagine London transformed. To figure Plat’s volume and her own as a prospect suggests that Whitney approached her poetry as a way of seeing, picturing, and understanding her world both in its current place and time and in its future potential. Prospect of course, also evokes perspective, and we might here recall the wide range of


meanings this word similarly evoked, from geometrical artistic techniques that newly attempted to render spatial distance to connotations of refracted representation and distorted vision, made popular by anamorphic perspective and new optical devices like the telescope. Shakespeare registers this latter meaning in Bushy’s memorable speech to the Queen in Richard II, when he compares her memory of her husband, a vision clouded by tears, as being “[l]ike perspective,” or divided and confused.43 In The Art of English Poesie, George Puttenham would use the metaphor of perspectival glass to describe the relationship between literary representation and its subject or expression. Here again perspective emphasizes mirrored refraction, but Puttenham celebrates how poetry, like “false glasses,” can “shew things otherwise than they be in deede” while still conveying truths or concurring with nature.44 Symbolically, the mirror is often used to describe utopian mechanisms, most notably in Foucault’s discussion of the mirror as a heterotopic space, given its optical imagery and its physicality. His discussion may provide insight into Whitney’s play with spatial metaphors and multiple perspectives. In “Of Other Spaces,” Foucault describes the mirror as a “placeless place,” explaining: “I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror.”45 But the mirror is also a heterotopia, a space of difference, because it does exist in reality, where it exerts a kind of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there. Starting from this gaze that it, as it were, directed toward me, from the ground of this virtual space that is on the other side of the glass, I come back toward myself; I begin to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I am.46

By dislocating real space through the mediation of image, the mirror creates a dynamic of self-­reflective estrangement, just as utopian texts project virtual worlds that invert and refract the real. Whitney configures her poetry similarly as a space of distance and difference, though not to provide a means of escapism, so much as a means for reflecting London back to itself by way of revealing its own otherness.47 After all, the “Wyll” concludes A Sweet Nosegay, thus ending the volume with a story of departure and alienation from the city, yet it is easily the most urban of Whitney’s poems. Though this time rural retreat is unwanted exile, her early use of the prospect trope converts her marginalized


viewpoint into an empowered perspective that allows her to describe London in all its apparent contradictions. If the frame suggests that position, place, and site are shown to shape one’s perspective on an urban community, the descriptive middle section of the poem travels back to the streets of London and brings Whitney’s city—­its people, professions, landmarks, institutions, and goods—­to life. The scholarly tendency is to view the urban features she bestows on London as an inventory of property, but the poem’s movements also possess a descriptive logic that showcases her knowledge of London’s physical and human geography, suggesting that the city is hers too, at least as a space of experience. Because its movements are regionally circumscribed, beginning in central London and then shifting outward to other peripheral sites and neighborhoods, the “Wyll” resembles an itinerary of place, with a clear ambulatory logic that can be traced. The first landmark mentioned is St. Paul’s; from here the speaker’s references travel directly eastward down Watling as it becomes Candlewick, next lighting on Cheapside, situated just one block north and running parallel to these aforementioned streets.48 Her next specified landmarks, the Royal Exchange and the Stocks, are both located on the same thoroughfare as Cheapside.49 At this point, the poem heads south down the intersecting Birchin Lane, which will become Nicholas Lane, and then St. Martin’s, with its “Bootes, shoes, or Pantables good store.”50 Her tour through the textile market ends in the next two sentences when she mentions Cornwall Street (likely Cornhill, the site of the Royal Exchange) and then leaves to London’s women their tailors on Bow Lane, the block bisecting Cheapside and Watling. Scattered throughout these locations are such directional phrases as “Betweene the same,” “they need not farre to seeke,” and “As if on ton side.”51 In this way, the lines of the poem reflect a clear spatial movement through a demarcated neighborhood. More than providing an inventory of London’s goods and structures, the poem charts London’s layout from the viewpoint of the pedestrian or even the potential consumer. Consequently, we might think about the “Wyll” also as a topographical poem, for another central irony of the poem—­beyond the dual time frames, the dialectic of poverty and plenty, and the tragically humorous tone—­is connected to the spatial perspective of a marginalized participant in the city she celebrates. In The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau associates the scopic pleasures of totalizing city panoramas with an “atopia-­utopia of optical knowledge,” collapsing urbanist operations of rational organization with utopian desires.52 Distinct from this prospective view is the pedestrian’s par-


tial, ground-­level mobility, which according to de Certeau, is a more poetic enunciation that appropriates spatial organizations. Yet the language he uses to describe walking in the city is itself rather utopian, especially in the following passage on the proper names of urban landmarks: Linking acts and footsteps, opening meanings and directions, there words operate in the name of an emptying-­out and wearing-­away of their primary role. They become liberated spaces that can be occupied. A rich indetermination gives them, by means of a semantic rarefaction, the function of articulating a second, poetic geography on top of the geography of the literal, forbidden or permitted meaning.53

Ambulatory movement creates openings for new spatial meanings, new possibilities for urban life, and another kind of claim of belonging based on experience. Importantly, the urban mobility of the poem also counters the context of plague and the confinement of the poet suggested at the start of A Sweet Nosegay; the movement of the verse now portrays a city cleansed of its ills. This is to suggest, then, that Whitney uses her departure and displacement as an occasion for showcasing her intimate knowledge of the city, one that repositions her not only as an inhabitant in the city but as a participant in its improvement and renewal. Yet the second half of the “Wyll” also highlights London’s prisons, brothels, cemeteries, psychiatric hospitals, dumps, and sites of public torture or hanging—­precisely those counter-­sites Foucault deems heterotopias, or places “outside of all places” that represent, contest, and invert “all other real sites.”54 Their presence in the poem emphasizes their constitutive function, confining the deviant and thus preserving a dominant socio-­spatial order, but her inclusive portrait of these counter-­spaces radically defies their internal exclusion. Moreover, in reserving Ludgate for herself,55 she aligns herself with the poor and criminal classes, whose poverty and confinement have made the city’s abundance possible. Whitney’s tour through London’s lively markets and its seedier counter-­ sites, then, might also be said to do more than describe or inventory the city; in addition, they create her own subjectively remembered London, a city where the private goods and buildings also figuratively belong to the experience of alienated inhabitants such as stock boys, prostitutes, prisoners, and unemployed maidservants. This is to suggest that Whitney’s utopian London is one authored from the urban vagrant’s viewpoint: cast out, excluded, and


marginally criminalized, but persistent in her mobility and her right to labor and belong. The migratory backstory which begins the poem is, in the end, transmuted into a representation of London that is itself always in motion, thus mirroring the future-­tense implications of wills and legacies with a rendering of social space that is always multiple, temporal, contradictory, and changeable. In so doing, Whitney makes visible the invisible city in the city (to play on the title of China Miéville’s present-­day utopian novel56), while figuring the displaced as central to London’s identity and its vital, historical energy. By writing about a homeland from the spatial and temporal margins, as an insider as well as an outsider, Whitney can see all that the city has to offer but does not, and she can represent the city as a place of ongoing transformation. Still, the lyrical frame encourages readers to experience and mourn her loss, while the reformed London comes at a personal cost inscribed in the form of will. In other words, for all of the wit, optimism, and play in the poem, there is an underlying, ironic fatalism that positions the poet herself as historically exiled from this other London. In some ways, the poet adopts a sacrificial, subjective persona, since this redistribution and transformation requires the author’s death, meaning that a more equitable London is simultaneously a possible but implausible reality in the lifetime of the female speaker-­poet. This is clearest in the final adieu, where the speaker offers these instructions: Now, London, have I (for thy sake) within thee, and without, As comes into my memory, dispearsed ’round about Such needful things as they should have, here left now unto thee; When I am gone, with conscience, let them dispearced be. And though I nothing namèd have, to bury me withal, Consider that above the ground, annoyance be I shall. And let me have a shrouding sheet to cover me from shame, And in oblivion bury me, and never more me name.57


If there is a playful irony in this assumption of anonymity, given that Whitney was the first female poet to publish a secular book of poetry under her own name, we would also do well to remember that Whitney’s work was nearly lost to modern readers until Travitsky republished it in the 1980s. For all of the poem’s good humor and goodwill, it is also a poem about her death, and about the utopian city that could have been but which is not, at least for Whitney in her lifetime. This is a tragic injustice, as she bitingly reminds her readers at the poem’s end: And unto all that wysh mee well, or rue that I am gon: Doo me commend, and bid them cease my absence for to mone. And tell them further, if they wolde, my presence styll have had: They should have sought to mend my luck; which ever was too bad.58

The effect is a moral imperative; the will’s beneficiaries are made to feel responsibility for the speaker’s unfortunate demise, and thus, the poem questions the idea of her bad “luck” altogether, implying, by extension, that social injustice is to blame for her departure. The parallel line construction of “my absence” and “my presence,” combined with the present conditional “if they woulde,” complicates the point: the speaker is not yet deceased, but is instead imagining how her loss of employment and its consequences could be avoided. While it would be a mistake to overlook the irony and humor of the “Wyll,” Whitney’s utopian satire—­in typical Juvenalian form—­is as serious as it is light. If the poem possesses a particularly self-­deprecating topos of humility and a fanciful, irreverent voice, it also plays witness to her own untimely, anticipated death and to an unjust world to which she “little brought, but nothyng from thee tooke.”59 The poetic persona is one of satirical, secular martyrdom: through her death the salvation of London’s needy is secured, her only personal gain being that her anonymity and insignificance are reversed by her legacy. Ironically, though, Whitney’s female speaker positions herself as the stranger always outside a homeland, dreamed and deferred. In this way, the poem reminds us that utopian desire stems from an acute sense of personal loss as much as hope or fantasy, while her utopian description


of London’s uneven abundance throws into relief the insufficiencies of the present. By envisioning a London of shared plenty, Whitney’s poem leaves readers with a sense of its historical shortcomings. As Ruth Levitas explains, “The sense of lack at the core of our existence can be articulated only through the projection of what would meet that lack, the delineation of what is missing.”60 Indeed, “lack,” “want,” and “need” are terms nearly as prominent in the poem as “will,” “store” or “full.” Bloch’s theory of “abstract utopianism,” with its emphasis on a hopeful longing to belong to a homeland—­juxtaposed with the orderliness of “concrete utopianism”—­is particularly apropos to Whitney’s poem, which might be said to express the alienated ontological state of “not-­yet being [a] citizen” in her world.61 Whitney’s poem isn’t novel merely for its temporal and domestic utopianism, then: what’s also interesting about her counterfactual London is that it movingly communicates the writer’s exclusion from the world she re-­visions, as well as the thwarted opportunities women and the rest of the intersectional dispossessed faced in an anti-­utopian, emerging capitalist reality. Lament and Loss: Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham” In shifting from Whitney’s topographical city poem to Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham,” we move from a future-­oriented, urban, commercial ideal to a more nostalgic, enclosed rural retreat of aristocratic repose. But the pairing may direct us to another early modern utopian pattern, one associated with a more ideal domestic place registered through the discourse of loss. For at the root of both poems is a longing for a then absent place of security and abundance that occasions and recognizes women’s intellectual work. In Lanyer’s early seventeenth-­century poem, we have yet another speaker-­poet cast out of a distinctly English site she loves, and here, too, lost property is a central concern. This may seem an odd assertion given that neither Lanyer nor her patron and most frequent poetic subject, Margaret Russell, Countess of Cumberland, had any claim to the property at Cookeham itself. A crown estate outside Windsor, Cookeham was leased to Margaret’s brother, William Russell of Thornaugh, in the early 1600s, and it is likely that the Clifford women—­Margaret and her daughter, Anne—­visited the estate as guests in the fall of 1604.62 Margaret’s stay with her brother and his family was likely a necessity, explained by her estrangement from her unfaithful husband, George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland, who would die the following year. Though historical records


cannot corroborate Lanyer’s presence at Cookeham that fall, her poems place her in attendance as a gentlewoman servant to Anne during this time, most likely serving as her tutor in music, French, and Italian.63 At this time, Lanyer may have also been estranged from her profligate husband, Alphonso Lanyer, a court musician. Though neither of the Clifford women or Lanyer had long-­standing ties to Cookeham, then, Lanyer’s poem creates another impression, portraying their temporary site of solace as one of naturalized affinity, intimacy, and belonging, to the point of suggesting that the estate lives for them and they for it. Margaret Russell is described as the “Mistris of that Place,”64 whose presence humanizes the grounds, the land romanticized in typically Arcadian ways as a “delightfull Place” in perpetual spring, where the birds sing, the trees create “beauteous Canopies,” the banks swell, and nature subserviently thinks itself “honor’d in supporting” these virtuous women.65 Like most country-­house poems of the seventeenth century, Lanyer’s verse, the earliest example of the genre,66 pays tribute to a noble family by naturalizing their aristocracy, yet the focus on Cookeham’s noble female guests upsets any vision of secure land proprietorship, a central characteristic that Raymond Williams famously traced to the genre in The Country and the City.67 Nor is Cookeham a model for an acquisitive, consumption-­oriented place, since its relations depend more on immaterial exchanges of the spiritual, intellectual, and poetic sort. Ownership is also rendered unstable through the poem’s nostalgia, for Lanyer’s poem is more of a pastoral elegy about a Golden Age disrupted. From the first word of “Farewell,” a frame of departure and lament qualifies the rural panegyric. The opening lines are reminiscent of Meliboeus’s first speech on his exile from Rome in Virgil’s first Eclogue,68 putting readers in mind of that poem’s theme of land confiscation.69 Cheney has also observed a general association of pastoral and elegy in the Renaissance, stemming from the influence of Greek and Roman bucolic poetry.70 The jarring mid-­sentence shift from recollection to present musings at the colon in line 98 (from describing the youthful Anne’s “pure parts of her well framed mind:” to a sudden “And yet it grieves me that I cannot be / Neere unto her . . .”) clefts the poem into a before and an after, a drastic gesture of transformation that marks Margaret’s leave-­taking and portrays her unexplained departure as a fall of postlapsarian proportions.71 Lanyer’s patron is originally praised in classical, Christian, and material terms as a grace—­she is a muse, a figure of moral guidance, and a financial necessity to Lanyer—­while the “holy hill” of Cookeham presents


Margaret with a Sinai-­inspired vantage point on sacred truth and God’s “perfit law.”72 But in keeping with the generalized thematic redemption of faithful and virtuous women in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, absolving them of blame for the fall of mankind, no sin is committed by Margaret or Anne to explain their departure from this paradise.73 Instead, their exile is pictured through its disastrous effects rather than its cause. To describe how the estate enters a condition of ruination, Lanyer collapses seasonal and biblical imagery: in “cold griefe” Cookeham “wither[s] all away,”74 apocalyptic winter imagery here communicating the moment death is born. The structure of Lanyer’s poem is, then, bipartite and juxtapositional: an idealized, rural world of ease, vitality, and companionship is tragically converted into one of hardship, death, and alienation. Lanyer offers no explicit explanation for the unhappy, counterpastoral reversal, yet the emphasis on the women’s separation from the estate more than obliquely gestures to the famous inheritance disputes of the Clifford family concerning their northern lands. Jessica Malay has recently demonstrated that the most relevant context for understanding the poem—­more than the period memorialized in the verse—­is the immediate period preceding the publication of Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum in 1611. At this time, Margaret, now the Dowager Countess of Cumberland, was still contesting the will of her late husband, petitioning that the Skipton and Westmorland estates left to George’s brother, Francis, rightfully belonged to her and her husband’s only surviving heir, Anne, the Countess of Dorset. Margaret’s claim was based on the long-­standing writ of Edward II, which specified that these lands were to be passed down to an heir, male or female. Though Anne would not regain these lands until 1643—­when Francis’s son died without an heir75—­at the time of the poem’s writing there was still reason to hope that the Crown—­and particularly Prince Henry, a close friend to Anne’s husband, Richard Sackville—­would intercede on Anne and Richard’s behalf. While Cookeham was not itself in dispute, Lanyer allows the estate to mythically represent a sanctuary for wronged but virtuous women, and more directly, she calls attention to the unfair treatment of Margaret by her late husband. In particular, the excessively romantic, even erotic way in which the grounds of the estate are rendered—­especially the great stately oak tree, which woos and courts Margaret’s affections—­emphasizes her feminine desirability and thus George Clifford’s unnatural treatment of his wife, an abandonment with ramifications in the past, present, and future. In the second half of the poem, when the land itself suffers from the removal of Lanyer’s patron and her


daughter, the early impression that Cookeham’s guests are the source and sentence of its idyllic vitality and sacredness is confirmed; rather than idealizing a harmonious rural economy of benevolent lordship, her poem mythically links the state of pastoral pleasure to the virtue and holiness of these noble women. Just as Lanyer’s long poem on Christ’s passion redeems Mother Eve (“whose fault was onely too much love”76) from any blame for causing the fall, “The Description of Cooke-­ham” subtly suggests that Margaret and her daughter should not be held responsible for her late husband’s sins. As is often observed, Lanyer figures the aristocratic estate as an alternative kind of unenclosed, open-­air household built on contemplative spiritual practice and women’s companionship. Cookeham “is conceived as a lost female paradise,” Barbara Lewalski explains, “an ageless, classless society, in which the three women lived without mates but found contentment and delight in nature, God and their own companionship.”77 Yet since the 1990s, the central critical debate about Lanyer’s poem has concerned this basic question of whether or not she poetically crafts a harmonious, egalitarian “community of good women.” The most well-­known Lanyer scholars, Barbara Lewalski and Susanne Woods, long ago answered in the affirmative, but others identify an “agonistic” competiveness and “ambivalence produced by class difference” in Lanyer’s verse, most evident in the dark final section of the poem.78 As the intervention has stressed, Lanyer subtly alludes to the Countess’s removal from the estate as the source of her own personal tragedy, and thus, Lanyer’s own dispossession and unemployment is traced to Margaret’s abandonment of the grounds. The self-­referential figure of the mute nightingale Philomela stands in for the poet’s frustration, her “mournfull dittie, / Drowned in dead sleepe.”79 Though Lewalski has suggested that the poem honors a distant time when Lanyer’s “sojourn led to her religious conversion and confirmed her in a poet’s vocation,”80 clear frustration combines with nostalgia in the poem, and the speaker’s un-­ironic self-­pity takes over. Lanyer doesn’t describe the death of just Cookeham’s trees and birds; she suggests her own death as the consequence of lost patronage, taking little comfort in thoughts of the poem’s afterlife. This last farewell to Cooke-­ham here I give, When I am dead thy name in this may live, Wherein I have perform’d her nobel hest, Whose virtues lodge in my unworthy breast,


And ever shall, so long as life remains, Tying my heart to her by those rich chaines.81

At its end, the poem prioritizes the poet’s own loss of refuge and opportunity, suggesting that it may have unwanted ramifications for her patron. Lanyer not so subtly suggests that Margaret’s legacy relies on Lanyer’s flattering pen, Margaret’s name and her virtues kept alive in Lanyer’s memorializing verse. Once again, then, the female speaker-­poet imagines her own death as sacrificial.82 The poem certainly laments the injustice of her patron’s separation from her property, but the elegy, in the end, is more for the injustice of the author’s lost livelihood and lack of a place among a female community. Despite these tensions between poet and patron, Lanyer’s poem nevertheless creates a chain of equivalence that connects women across classes through shared suffering—­at the hands of men and by way of legal and economic exclusions. Once again, the poet suggests the bond by correlating women’s dispossession and exile with romantic narratives of unreciprocated love and male cruelty that rely on the allegorical personification of place. While in Whitney’s poem, London is an unkind masculine lover, Lanyer figures place as the suffering feminine subject, for Cookeham’s seasonal death from heartbreak parallels the suffering and prophesied deaths of it female guests; Cookeham is a “sympathetic landscape” whereby the “natural world becomes the speaker’s mourning.”83 Yet the message is quite similar across both works. In making place the poetic subject and addressee, both poets adapt and elevate amatory complaints and autobiographical laments in such a way as to demonstrate how larger communities, figured as anthropomorphized localities, suffer from the marginalization of women. Moreover, they radically deploy affective poetic motifs to reveal women’s isolation and abandonment as most dire, felt, and unjust when material. In Women, Space and Utopia, an important, recent survey of women’s seventeenth-­and eighteenth-­century socio-­spatial utopianism, Nicole Pohl argues that Lanyer’s work is not merely proto-­feminist but also uses familiar pastoral idioms of idealized nature to contest the ideologically gendered production of space that governed the poet’s historical reality, positioning the poem as a pastoral utopia and a “feminocentric locus amoenus.”84 In making this argument, Pohl joins forces with critics like Andrew Ettin, Annabel Patterson, and Don Wayne to complicate Williams’s generalized association of pastoral works—­and particularly the country-­house poem—­with the dominant aristocratic ideology, reminding readers of the close relationship between the idealistic, social


myths of pastoral and the mythical, Arcadian dimensions of utopia. “In the tradition of the genre,” Pohl argues, “the estate Cookeham becomes a mythical place, a model for human relationships and at the same time, it provides a profound socio-­political critique. The legal system of patrilineal descent is overturned by the creation of a pastoral separatist community.”85 We could then think of “The Description of Cooke-­ham,” with its dialectic of complaint and creation, as an early example of a separatist female utopia—­Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland being a chief example of what would become a prominent trend in twentieth-­century women’s utopian literature. Diane Griffin Crowder explains the appeal of this later literature: “separatist utopias provide a fictional space for imagining what a world based upon female values might look like, just as women-­only spaces in the real world give us freedom to explore what we might become without the pressures of male hegemony.”86 Chastity, religious devotion, literacy: these “feminine” values embodied by Margaret Russell become the values that structure the experience at Cookeham and the all-­female society Lanyer mythologizes. There are limits to this vision, certainly. Revolution is traded for retreat, inclusion for exclusion, and equality for essentialist difference. But the elegiac mode and the tension between poet and patron register the separatist ideal as a desirable if ultimately foreclosed alternative to disinheritance. We must also consider whether the tone of nostalgia and grief—­what might even be considered the poem’s fatalism and hopelessness—­can be squared with the utopian tradition’s optimistic will to build anew. The latter is clearer in Whitney’s poem, given its temporal futurity. Still, Raffaella Baccolini has problematized the correlation of nostalgia with conservatism in her readings of women’s science fiction, arguing that nostalgia is often embedded with desire, distance, and a “slight suffering” that can, in her words, turn nostalgia to a critical reexamination of the past and present and thus render it as an important stimulus for a desire for change. In this sense, there can be a connection between the “never more” of nostalgia and the “Not Yet” of Utopia: the desire for something irretrievable that can only begin to find its realization in what is still to be accomplished.87

Constance Furey makes a similar point in her reading of Lanyer’s poems, seeing a kind of biblical temporality that doesn’t merely confine her poems to a nostalgic description of the past, but instead, contrasts an idyllic past with the real in order to prophetically describe an alternative present.88 “The Descrip-


tion of Cooke-­ham” is certainly not a projection of a new order, but as an ideal site of longing rendered in its absence, it evokes a no-­place infused with historical potentiality. Perhaps the all-­too-­common association of utopianism with willful optimism itself ignores the dialectical push and pull between positive and negative discourses in conventional utopian literature. Yet we are accustomed to the double-­edged nature of satire as a forceful utopian device—­More’s Utopia and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels being two of the most recognized works of the genre—­and to the powerful political invective against corruption that it exposes through ironic fantasies of difference. In fact, the often touted ambiguity of utopian literature is attributed to the skeptical criticism that defines utopian literature’s relationship to its present, and to the way the literature directly or indirectly exposes the forces that prevent the realization of a better world—­ whether failed policy, private property, moral error, or other contingencies. Indeed, this tension of idealism and realism, of hope and tragedy, is described by Jameson as the “great schism” between utopian literature and fantasy, the latter associated with escapism, magic, and ethical binaries of good and evil.89 Though more individually circumscribed, elegy shares in the utopian tendency to combine praise and lament;90 it expresses absences felt in the present because realities like death and time interrupt a life romanticized by the poet. If the elegiac mode mourns a subject’s death, it also focuses on the larger social costs of the event of death, and when extended to a place—­in this case, the Skipton and Westmoreland estates by way of Cookeham—­loss becomes socio-­spatial, because, here, place is shown to constitute human experiences and to be temporally variable. If Lanyer’s landscape defies a logic of modernity and futurity, it nevertheless reveals the historical potential for female community. Lanyer’s poem, then, also envisions the better world from the outside, from an assumed condition of unemployment and the imagined vantage point of death. Her vision is certainly narrower and less radical than Whitney’s—­for she dissociates Cookeham from its surrounding community, while the labor of agrarian retainers is both made invisible and rendered natural in ways that foreshadow the aristocratic seventeenth-­century country-­house tradition91—­ yet there is something to be said for the way her autobiographical, poetic complaint similarly introduces subjectivity into the utopian tradition’s fascination with dispossession as both problem and solution. For what Lanyer’s poem chiefly mourns is the separation of the poet from her labor, a distress she communicates to her patron by linking it to her wrongful division from a protec-


tive patriarch and an expected inheritance. Like Whitney, Lanyer uses the love complaint and a story of departure and dispossession to narrate the more dire consequences of both the intellectual and the service-­oriented unemployment experienced by middle-­class women. This is to suggest an ultimate irony in both of these poems in praise of a place; in representing the idealized space of abundance and collaboration—­pastoral or urban-­commercial—­the working female poet is actually idealizing a social dynamic in which her labor is recognized and valued. Never even imagining that they themselves could own land or a room of their own, these female poets instead make a rather modest, commoner’s plea for the right to be a participant in an economy and a placed community, their poems themselves proof that they already are such. In short, what we have here is another poem about a good but lost place that explicitly mourns the consequences of a system of gendered property rights, along with the devaluation of women’s writing, and by extension, women’s labor. From the perspective of a scholar studying the tradition of early English utopias, what seems crucial to observe is that Lanyer’s and Whitney’s works together disrupt the then dominant utopian pattern of spatially exporting utopia; instead, they represent utopia as an absent reality, a no-­place for those who lack a place and lack a livelihood. In this way, Lanyer’s and Whitney’s poems do not merely imagine a solution to the abstract, systemic crises of dispossession and unemployment—­in, say, the way that More’s Utopia rails against Henrician-­era land enclosures; Whitney’s and Lanyer’s poems of place also express and mourn the personal costs of a life lived outside of utopia, of the better worlds historically robbed from sixteenth-­and seventeenth-­century women. Consequently, these utopias, authored from the margins, point us to an early counter-­tradition that communicates personal loss as a collective loss and as our historical legacy.



The turn against utopias is often understood as the legacy of early twentieth-­ century dystopias by the likes of Yevgeny Zamyatin, George Orwell, and Aldous Huxley, but the trope of the nightmarish utopia—­and especially its association with national socialism and totalitarian communism—­was simultaneously perpetuated by liberal thinkers of the early and mid-­twentieth century, such as Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, and Karl Popper.1 Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, a centerpiece in liberal economics, is another such contribution to the anti-­utopian canon that is also of interest to this study because—­ surprisingly—­it traces its own skepticism and anxiety about utopianism to the seventeenth century and, in particular, to John Milton’s Areopagitica. A quick examination of Hayek’s book, then, allows us to consider Milton’s less recognized intellectual legacies—­especially in the economics of classical liberalism—­as well as the transformations utopian discourse underwent in the seventeenth-­century revolutionary context. While Hayek was a native Austrian, The Road to Serfdom was composed in England during World War II and was initially published in 1944, three years before its author went on to found the still influential Mont Pelerin society. The Road to Serfdom is partly a critical response to Nazi power, but it is mainly a sustained attack on the Keynesian views and policies that rose to prominence in the 1930s in Britain and the United States. In the book, as Milton Friedman discusses, Hayek warns that “the rise of fascism in Germany was not a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary

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outcome of . . . tendencies” toward state planning and regulation.2 He cautions that the welfare state’s abandonment of individualism—­for him, a basic tenet of Western civilization, the Renaissance, and humanism—­threatens to result in totalitarianism, asserting that “we have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past.”3 This has come to be something of a textbook maneuver in neoliberal thought. As David Harvey explains: The founding figures of neoliberal thought took political ideals of human dignity and individual freedom as fundamental, as “the central values of civilization.” In so doing they chose wisely, for these are indeed compelling and seductive ideals. These values were threatened not only by fascism, dictatorships, and communism, but by all forms of state intervention that substituted collective judgments for those of individuals free to choose.4

Hayek’s frequent invocations of the radical Milton are not all that surprising, then, since they reveal the crucial theoretical equivalences made in neoliberalism between political freedom and economic freedom—­an equivalence Harvey debunks in distinguishing between the neoliberal “utopian project to realize a theoretical design for the reorganization of international capitalism” and the violent, state-­centered “political project to re-­establish the conditions for capital accumulation and to restore the economic elite.”5 In Hayek’s account, the spread of capitalist commerce is narrated as a source of global tolerance, freedom, and individual agency, but this idealism relies on a lopsided history that never bothers to examine colonial violence, chattel slavery, or the systematic oppression of women. Hayek turns to Milton four times in this relatively short book to help make his case, often in an explicit appeal to the nationalism of his British audience,6 but the last and anti-­utopian reference is of most interest to this study. In a late chapter on personal morality and individual responsibility, and implicitly, against a moral economy, Hayek invokes the following Miltonic axiom: “If every action which is good, or evill in man at ripe years, were to be under pittance, and prescription and compulsion, what were virtue but a name, what praise could be then due to well-­doing, what gramercy to be sober, just or continent?”7 The quote is ripped from a paragraph in Areopagitica that begins with this argument: To sequester out of the world into Atlantick and Eutopian polities which never can be drawn into use, will not mend our condition; but to ordain wisely as in

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this world of evill, in the midd’st whereof God hath plac’t us unavoidably. Nor is it Plato’s licensing of books will doe this, which necessarily pulls along with it so many other kinds of licensing, as will make us all both ridiculous and weary, and yet frustrat; but those unwritt’n, or at least unconstraining laws of vertuous education, religious and civill nurture, which Plato there mentions, as the bonds and ligaments of the Commonwealth, the pillars and the sustainers of every writt’n Statute; these they be which will bear chief sway in such matters as these, when all licensing will be easily eluded.8

Milton here poses a question that casts doubt on legislative proscription as a means of promoting virtue; yet the entire passage links regulation with planning, utopian otherworlds, and a tradition grounded in Plato’s ideal society. Areopagitica, as read by Hayek, then, provides an early critique of utopian discourse that appears to establish a pattern for classical liberalism’s anti-­utopian rhetoric. For Milton, the problem with utopias lies, in part, in their speculative and physical externality. Utopias that “sequester out of the world” are not the solution when the task is rather “to ordain wisely as in this world of evill, in the midd’st whereof God hath plac’t us unavoidably.”9 In his characterization of the idealist’s commonwealth, we find a critique of fictional and real escapism, likely in reference to Puritan settlements in the New World,10 along with an assertion of immanence, in the sense that the condition of this world replaces the polities of the utopian imagination as the plain of transformation. Milton condemns the ostensible closure of the utopian pattern of More and Bacon, while persistently representing an open-­ended historical process and a ceaseless search for truth as quintessential conditions of revolutionary praxis. In Hayek’s attempt to build a tradition or a canon that lends credence to contemporary economic liberalism and capitalist emancipation, Milton is more than mere cultural capital. Hayek uses Milton’s republican attack on absolutism and his criticism of utopian fiction to create an essential—­and still commonplace—­equivalence between Nazis, Soviet communists, the British welfare state, and utopianism writ large.11 Interestingly, George Orwell rather favorably reviewed The Road to Serfdom in 1944 (five years before he would publish Nineteen Eighty-­Four), though he ultimately accused Hayek’s free market capitalism of generating monopolies, economic slumps, and unemployment—­a tyranny, he argued, far worse than that of the state.12 Hayek would nevertheless return his praise; in the new preface he wrote for the 1956 edition of The Road to Serfdom, he references Orwell’s kind review, and commends Nineteen Eighty-­Four, calling it the most “effective” popular case for the

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relationship between fascism, communism, and totalitarianism.13 On the one hand, this exchange of praise (or reserved praise in the case of Orwell’s review) is rather surprising given the fundamental difference in their political-­ economic visions; on the other hand, it also gives us more reason to see Hayek’s study as an influential text in the anti-­utopian tradition. At other moments in The Road to Serfdom, Hayek also derisively characterizes socialism as the “Great Utopia,” here, an unachievable, inherently coercive collectivity, antithetical to liberalism and true freedom.14 Milton’s attacks on monopolies and restricted trade—­analyzed later in this chapter—­make him a thinker Hayek is quick to appropriate, though such appropriations essentially rely on a historical deracination that ignores Milton’s status as a revolutionary bourgeois subject, writing at a time when capitalism is emergent rather than dominant, when the object of criticism is absolutism, not socialism. Hayek’s decontextualization arguably drains Areopagitica of its radical, even heretical call to political, economic, and religious reformation, converting it into a plea for a return to a universalized freedom displaced into an imaginary past. It is only an ahistorical, modern view that can reduce utopia—­and its many histories and forms—­to a dangerous counterforce forever at odds with liberty and capitalism. My hope is that this literary history has demonstrated the error of Hayek’s tendency, shared by others in modern times, to essentialize socialist politics as utopian repression and vice versa. More pointedly, I have tried to prove that early English utopias, taken as a genre, narrate and reimagine the social and spatial transformations of the new world of emergent capitalism, though their politics, forms, and intentions are far from singular. A better, generalized definition of the form must account for this longer, pre-­nineteenth-­century history, for a time when capitalism itself was not yet the dominant given reality but itself an innovation, both oppressive and emancipatory. Utopias of the Interregnum suggest additional rearticulations of the tradition. In what follows, I will argue that the utopian form encountered a crisis in the revolutionary mid-­ seventeenth century as capitalist ideology became less an alterity and a more transparent, viable political reality. In returning to Milton, I’ll locate an early example of the critical utopia, a revisionist mobilization of both anti-­utopian and optimistic rhetoric that would craft the ideal of bourgeois emancipation. Hayek’s characterization is then half right: as capitalism becomes a more viable reality in England, utopianism undergoes transformations—­the standard, spatialized, state-­centric, fic-

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tional pattern of otherness becoming ill-­equipped for the here-­and-­now needs of reformers. But Areopagitica might also be said to be the more progressive, inventive alternative to another distinctly capitalist seventeenth-­century utopia with its own totalitarian, restrictive limitations to freedom, Gabriel Plattes’s A Description of the famous kingdome of Macaria (1641). In other words, Hayek’s essentialist equivalence between utopianism, socialism, and totalitarianism will be contrasted with a study of seventeenth-­century revolutionary bourgeois utopias, both restrictive and liberating—­and as diverse in form and content as the tradition of socialist utopias. In fact, by the middle of the century, English utopias could be said to have splintered into competing factions and forms, a consequence, at least in part, of the profusion of oppositional rhetorics directed against absolutism. The events of the 1640s certainly sparked a new wave of utopian literary production in England, not least because printing in general multiplied explosively as censorship slackened at the start of the decade. This was especially true of politically invested and religiously spirited prose. David Norbrook has already demonstrated that the public sphere of the eighteenth century described by Jürgen Habermas was a child of the English Revolution, a period of astonishing discursive activity, when more of the English entered the realms of print and praxis than at any time beforehand.15 The Thomason collection of Civil War tracts contains more than twenty-­two thousand books, pamphlets, broadsides, and newspapers published between 1640 and 1660, a massive literary output that dwarfed that of previous decades. Joad Raymond cites 1641 as a watershed in the history of the book trade, presenting a series of statistics that chart the drastic expansion of press output, including a 550 percent increase in literary activity in 1642 over that of the 1630s.16 Utopian literature of this period, then, was part of an overtly politicized cultural formation, with novel intentions, audiences, forms, and possibilities for earnestness. And as this final chapter will attempt to demonstrate, utopias also became thematically embroiled in this marketplace of ideas. If the interlocutors of Utopia anxiously debated the power of kings and worried that one could not even “indirectly” influence policy, the utopias of the mid-­seventeenth century often unequivocally instructed parliament, or in James Harrington’s Oceana (1656), Lord Protector Cromwell, on the errors of England’s ways. For the most part, they shed the ambivalences and anxieties of More’s early work. In some utopias, such as Plattes’s Macaria, the traveler’s tale and the geographic projection of utopia are preserved in a simple, un-

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complicated form, but in just as many, such as Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom (1652), the ideal society is internalized in England. This is even true of works that continued to employ the romance frame, like Samuel Gott’s Nova Solyma (1648), in which the travelers are themselves Englishmen who come upon a New Jerusalem to which they will be wed at the end of the tale. This shift owed a great deal to Puritan commitments to state building. As Amy Boesky explains, during the Civil War years, “the belief intensified that the end of time was at hand, and English utopists combined their visions of ideal communities with representations of the New Heaven and Earth,” thus replacing the “romance paradigm with the political platform.”17 Like their colonial brethren, Puritans at home saw themselves as enacting a sacred history; if America was represented as a New Canaan, a 1641 pamphlet proclaimed to English readers: “Babylon’s falling is Sion’s raising. Babylon’s destruction is Jerusalem’s salvation. . . . This is the work that is in hand.”18 Puritans—­in all their different manifestations—­frequently joined this kind of millennialism with a republican vision of a reformed England, where the godly elect were infused with the task of actively reordering the kingdom of God in sacredly secular ways. To talk of utopia in the English Revolution, then, certainly requires an expansion of the term. In The Concept of Utopia, Ruth Levitas argues that utopia has been never merely a literary form but also a discursive concept and a transformative social function aimed toward transformation. She expresses dissatisfaction with narrow definitions, seeking a more inclusive understanding of the range of utopian cultural forms, politics, and acts. The “essential element” she settles on is desire, “the desire for a better way of being.”19 She elaborates: “It involves the imagining of a state of being in which the problems which actually confront us are removed and resolved.”20 Whether one views the events of the mid-­century as a revolution or a civil war, what is clear is that all parties at some point acutely felt and expressed this gap between their vision of the ideal way and the historically real. In this gap, utopian projects flourished, and in the conflict of these visions, dystopian violence ensued. Royalists, opposition parliamentarians, and radicals alike described the Interregnum period as one of political undoing and remaking, for better or worse. Besides the famous characterization of the world as “turn’d upside down,” a popular royalist ballad sang of parliament’s rule as operating “the clean contrary way” and another, apocalyptically, of a world come “tumbling down,” where “our slaves become our masters.” John Cleveland, in his ballad “The Long Parliament,” satirically mocked parliament’s puritan strain in these words:

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Mosses and Aaron ne’er did do More wonder than is wrought by you For England’s Israel; But though the Red Sea we have past, If you to Canaan bring’s at last, Is’t not a miracle?21

The political turmoil of the 1640s, in other words, proliferated a series of utopian debates about what England could and should be, with the goal of fulfilling God’s will on Earth. As Gerrard Winstanley declared in The True Levellers Standard, “the same Spirit that made the Globe dwells in man to govern the Globe.”22 What is remarkably utopian about this period is that a sedimented, often naturalized system of rule became transparently visible as only one of many ways of being in the world. This was the context in which Plattes’s fictional scholar could claim that “the cause is not in God, but in men’s fooleries, that the people live in misery in this world, when they may so easily been relieved. I will joyne my forces with you, and wee will try a conclusion, to make our selves and posterity to bee happy.”23 The pairing of Plattes’s “briefe and pithy”24 and because so, extremely direct utopia Macaria, and the less likely candidate for the utopian label, Areopagitica, is not an arbitrary one, for what these 1641 and 1644 pamphlets share is a dream of a commonwealth of uninhibited trade in goods and knowledge, an agenda promoted by the influential Samuel Hartlib and his circle, within which Plattes must be squarely situated and to which Milton was connected, if somewhat more loosely. However, formally and politically, there are unmistakable discursive and political distinctions, due partly to the momentous events that occurred in that chronologically narrow but politically transformative period of the three years wherein Charles I withdrew from London to York and the conflicts between royalists and parliamentarians escalated into military confrontations. Milton’s work is certainly the more radical of the two, though both texts translate the standard utopian formal play of social perspectives into an economic model of exchange, joining an attack on traditional custom with an attack on sovereign customs, monopoly rights, and those who resist what Plattes calls “improvement,” and Milton, “liberty.” The earlier work, Macaria, explicitly acknowledges its indebtedness to what it calls the “pattern”25 of More and Bacon, claiming even to surpass their genius. It employs a bare-­bones fictional frame to describe a government “wherein the inhabitants live in great prosperity, health, and happiness: the king obeyed,

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the nobles honoured, and all good men respected, vice punished, and vertue rewarded.”26 But the bourgeois and nominally monarchist vision of Macaria begins to find itself trapped in the utopian frame. The text, in fact, repeatedly expresses anxiety about its own contradictory representation of a society that is founded upon traffic, and a landscape that is always to be improved, but that is also a static society, totally free of political and religious tensions. Although Milton’s 1644 tract condemns utopia rather staunchly, explaining his intellectual task in practical, local terms, that dismissal of utopia is also a more successful critical reinvention of it. Milton’s representation of an “incessant labor”27 for truth is an internalization of the utopian dialogue, transforming the formal juxtaposition of geographically separate social orders into a hermeneutical practice, whereby progress must constantly be sought through trial by the contrary. Milton joins the causes of interloping knowledge, interloping publishers, and interloping merchants to imagine a rather utopian “reforming of the Reformation itself,”28 or a commonwealth constantly to be improved through a dynamic exchange of both goods and ideas. Taken together, these texts suggest that the utopian pattern undergoes pragmatic reform in light of revolutionary circumstances. At the same time, these texts disrupt the pervasive understanding of utopian socialism, since they—­even more transparently than other, earlier works examined in this study—­form another, if still ambivalent pattern of utopianism based on the idealization of unregulated trade in both goods and knowledge. Improving Utopia Macaria is not a widely read work, so some background is first in order. The work was published anonymously in October of 1641, a few months after the execution of the Earl of Strafford, and just in time for the second session of the Long Parliament, to whom the fifteen-­page tract was addressed. Hugh Trevor-­ Roper has described this moment as one of the most hopeful of the Civil War. “[T]he mood of exhilaration . . . possessed the spirits of Englishmen in the summer of 1641: it illustrated many of the purposes of the revolution, and it explains much of the depression and bitterness which followed in the years of failure afterwards.”29 Macaria shares in this spirit of optimism, beginning with a brief letter that expresses faith in parliament’s capacity to “lay the Corner Stone of the worlds happinesse.”30 The author humbly offers his conception of this happy society “in a more mannerly way, having for pattern Sir Thomas

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Moore and Sir Francis Bacon.”31 In keeping with previous models, Macaria is sketched in conversation, here between a traveler and a scholar, though in a much more simplistic manner than the earlier utopian fictions employ. Kevin Dunn astutely describes it in anti-­Laudian terms as a “redaction of More’s Utopia and Bacon’s New Atlantis, a puritan Utopia stripped of all humanist ornament, trimmed down to its unambiguous and ambivalent core.”32 Readers never learn even the general location of Macaria or anything of its history or natural geography; the interlocutors remain mere allegories without national identification or names or stories of how they came to know this kingdom; and the work lacks much of the general information contained in previous utopias, from discussions of marriage rituals to eating habits. The anonymous traveler and scholar merely meet at the London Exchange and then convene to the open space of Moorfields to “trade” their knowledge of the world. The traveler reports on the good intentions toward reformation of England’s parliament, yet notes the “stops and hinderances” that body has recently experienced. It is at this point that he launches into a description of Macaria, in an effort to “doe good to the publick.”33 Consequently, the description is explicitly framed as an instruction to parliament. As the traveler states: “If I could change all the minds in England as easily as I supposed I shall change yours, this Kingdome would be presently like to it: when you heare the manner of their government, you will deeme it to be very possible, and withall very easie.”34 Key features of this society include a government ruled predominantly by councils that aim to increase national productivity and a universal Christian doctrine with no disagreements or sectarian conflicts—­a feature likely derived from another utopian pattern, that of Johann Valentin Andreae’s Christianopolis. By the conclusion of the dialogue, the scholar has declared, “I have read over Sir Thomas Mores Utopia, and my Lord Bacons New Atlantis . . . but none of them give mee satisfaction, how the Kingdome of England may be happy, so much as this discourse, which is briefe and pithy, and easie to be effected, if all men be willing.”35 The last few pages are devoted to the question of what the scholar and traveler will now do with this knowledge of Macaria, in response to which the scholar promises a sermon, and the traveler, a book on husbandry presented to the high Court of Parliament. For nearly a century after its initial publication, Macaria was lost, until it was finally reprinted in 1744 in the first volume of the Harleian Miscellany.36 In the following century, James Crossley misidentified the work as Hartlib’s, based on direct references to “Macaria” in the educational reformer’s letters

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and the work’s close affiliation with the spirit of experimental reform associated with Hartlib’s widely recognized community of scholars.37 This was an understandable error, for in his letters to John Beale, Robert Boyle, and Worthington, Hartlib frequently compares a “Macaria” with the German utopian brotherhood of Antilia, a secret society of intellectuals that Hartlib was involved with in the 1630s. It was not until 1972 that Charles Webster settled the matter by finding a description of Macaria in Plattes’s little known work A Caveat for Alchymists. Still, Webster insists that Macaria “remains the property of the Hartlib circle,” given Plattes’s close affiliation with the loose but prestigious group of intellectuals, scientists, and parliamentarians who communicated frequently with Hartlib, such as John Dury, Jan Amos Comenius, Robert Boyle, John Pym, John Wilkins, John Evelyn, John Beale, and William Petty, among many others.38 Certainly, Hartlib’s correspondence gives evidence of his promotion of Plattes’s work.39 Moreover, the text of Macaria offers insight into the multifaceted views and agendas of this network of scholars, experimenters, politicians, clergy members, and projectors. Little is known about Plattes beyond what can be gleaned from his publications. Apart from Macaria, they are all strictly devoted to the promotion of experiments in mining and agriculture. The only discussion of Plattes’s early life can be derived from a passing statement in his earlier book A discovery of infinite treasure (1639), on innovations in husbandry, when he notes that his “predecessors, though generously descended, lived upon a small farme, and by their industry, maintained, and educated their children, in manner not much inferior to the sons of the best knights and Gentlemen in the Countrey.”40 Plattes’s writing style suggests, however, that he was not extraordinarily well educated, though he was a knowledgeable farmer and a dilettante natural philosopher, ready to endorse experiments, whether in agriculture, alchemy, or metallurgy. Nor was he a wealthy man, for he appears to have relied on Hartlib for financial assistance at times, and claims that he chose to “foregoe [his] own gaine, for the benefit of many.”41 In the end, Hartlib failed to procure him patronage. Cressy Dymock reported that Plattes died in 1644 “for want of food,” a great irony Dymock observed, considering that Plattes’s studies “tended to no less than providing and preserving food for all nations.”42 This was indeed the expressed intention of all of Plattes’s works, which claimed to offer “many notable experiments, for the improving of divers sort of land, whereby [individuals] may get a good advantage to themselves, and procure an inestimable benefit to the Common-­wealth.”43

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Since the reattribution of Macaria to Plattes, there has been relatively little criticism on the work, though what exists is astute. Webster continued to explore the work’s relationship to the Hartlib program and the intellectual history of science, in both Utopian Planning and the Puritan Revolution and The Great Instauration, reaffirming his general thesis that “Macaria established a framework of constitutional proposals calculated to appeal to a puritan audience, in which maximum emphasis was placed on social improvement by means of economic planning and scientific research.”44 Since Webster’s study, only three additional studies—­by J. C. Davis, Amy Boesky, and Robert Appelbaum—­have examined Macaria’s place within the utopian tradition at any length. All are quick to observe that Plattes’s utopia offers unique insight into the impending conflicts of the English Revolution, demonstrating that the republican strain of the text depended fundamentally on a vision of a society made better by organized and collectivized efforts of human labor. Davis, looking ahead to Pieter Plockhoy’s A way propounded, considers Macaria a “full-­employment utopia” that “remains in substance little more than a call for administrative and legislative reorganization and redirection, as a means of achieving radical economic expansion.”45 Boesky charts the dream of industry, idealized labor, and a prosperous middle class in Macaria and Samuel Gott’s Nova Solyma, claiming that the institution Civil War utopias tend to take shape around is the workhouse, or in Plattes’s text, the Colledge of experience.46 Appelbaum finds a utopian ethos for the general good and public-­spiritedness in Plattes’s A discovery of infinite treasure as well as in Macaria. In a close examination of Plattes’s reapplication of the standard beehive metaphor to describe an orderly, functioning commonwealth, Appelbaum asserts that the gentleman farmer—­as opposed to the monarch or the “drone”—­is the vehicle of social ameliorism in Plattes’s writings.47 According to Appelbaum, Macaria, like A discovery of infinite treasure, registers “the change in the language of politics” that helped to create a self-­conscious identity for the parliamentarians as a radical party of progress.48 But for Appelbaum and Boesky there is also something rather conservative in Plattes’s idealization of a new England. Resonances with Bacon’s authoritarian House of Salomon persist, and the instrumental group governing the state becomes the prosperous and educated elite, a reminder that class politics and self-­ interest contributed to the parliamentary cause. Perhaps because of Plattes’s experiments in planting and mining, there is indeed a strong current of economic concern in Macaria, as these critics have all observed. The whole structure of government in Macaria, in fact, is built

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around five councils, devoted respectively to husbandry, fishing, trade by land, trade by sea, and the maintenance of new plantations. These councils convene once a year, and function like “Court Leets and Corporations,”49 having the ability to set laws and to reward or punish those who conform to or violate their labor and trade policies. Above them sits a “Great Councell,” that only hears complaints against ministers of state, judges, and officers, a point Plattes’s traveler repeats to emphasize where power does not dwell. The Great Councell’s meetings are even described as “rather a festivity, than a trouble.”50 And while there are references throughout to Macaria’s king and governors, no public or juridical responsibility is ever assigned to them, save for maintaining the peace and keeping the state coffers full in order to “astonish” invaders.51 Apparently, the mere revelation of the kingdom’s great wealth exerts an economic prowess that provokes admiration and trepidation in most foreign invaders, just as King Utopus’s island-­engineering did to the natives of Abraxa. Ironically, the role of the king is repeatedly expressed in the negative, so that while he is an honored overseer of the public’s accumulated wealth, “he seldome needeth to put impositions upon His Subjects” and “in his tender and parentall care of the publick good of his loving Subjects, [he] useth no pretences for realities, like to some Princes, in their Acts of State, Edicts, and Proclamations.”52 Plattes’s model of a limited monarchy, of course, was derived directly from Thomas More, and specifically from Raphael Hythlodaeus’s reports on Macaria, a neighboring kingdom of the Utopians. The Macarians’ king, Hythlodaeus claims, “must swear a solemn oath never to have in his treasury at any one time more than a thousand pounds of gold, or its equivalent in silver.”53 Kings are widely loved in More’s Macaria precisely because they preserve the people’s wealth rather than amass their own. In October 1641, when Ship Money alone accrued to a yearly tax of two hundred thousand pounds, More’s anti-­absolutist model deserved reanimation. Yet notably, what Plattes subtracts from the model set by More, besides its ambiguity and elaborate frame and detail, are the attacks on private property and human pride. The minimized monarchical power in Plattes’s Macarian society is juxtaposed with the roles of the five councils, all designed to increase national and individual wealth. The traveler begins by describing the Councell of Husbandry, in a passage worth quoting in its entirety: The Councell of Husbandry hath ordered, that the twentieth part of every mans goods that dieth shall be employed about the improving of lands, and making the High-­wayes faire, and bridges over Rivers; by which meanes the

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whole Kingdome is become like a fruitfull Garden, the High-­wayes are paved, and are as faire as the streets of a Citie; and as for Bridges over Rivers, they are so high, than none are ever drowned in their travels. Also they have established a law, that if any man holdeth more land than he is able to improve to the utmost, he shall be admonished, first, for the great hinderance which it doth to the Common-­wealth. Secondly, of the prejudice to himselfe; and if hee doe not amend his Husbandry within a yeares space, there is penalty set upon him, which is yeerely doubled, till his lands be forfeited, and he banished out of the Kingdome, as an enemy to the common-­wealth.54

One of the interesting features of this description is the temporality ascribed to the human geography of Macaria. The impressive infrastructure of highways and bridges suggests a place of constant mobility, a feature to be juxtaposed with the Utopians’ limits on travel. The metaphor and the analogy employed in this first paragraph join agrarian and urban life; the whole nation transforms into a fertile garden, while the countryside is made more urban, so that the two regions appear to be networked in perfect harmony. In his agricultural writings, this is also a concern of Plattes’s; while sound and innovative husbandry will yield enough surplus to fill the state treasury, enrich those who labor, and provide for an increasing population, he is sensitive to the exploitation of rural life, and warns that one region should not be enriched to the detriment of another.55 He imagines a more interconnected nation, where all stand to profit from a regional division of labor and the capacity to travel. There is also a dynamic quality to the Macarian landscape, since it is constantly to be improved by its inhabitants. In fact, those who refuse to labor toward this end are the only Macarian subjects that readers learn of who face the threat of state penalty. The ultimate crime in Macaria is resistance to agricultural innovation and the production of surplus. Plattes devotes more space in his tract to the Councell of Husbandry than to any other governing body, and given its priority in the discussion between the scholar and the traveler, “improved” husbandry emerges as the basis of this sound and happy commonwealth. This is also the assertion in A discovery of infinite treasure, which opens with the claim, “there is no approved medicine but this, in an over-­peopled Common-­wealth, to wit, good improvements of the earth, which may be effected by the good inventions contained in the inventions of this Booke: and there is nothing wanting but willing mindes to make this Countrey the Paradise of the World.”56 It may be impossible to overestimate just how significant the concept of improvement was to early capitalists,

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early modern reformers, and indeed, seventeenth-­century English utopists like Plattes. As Raymond Williams has suggested, the “predominant meaning was that of profitable operations in connection with the land,” and by the eighteenth century, it was “a key word in the development of a modernizing agrarian capitalism.”57 At the same time, the more general, everyday meaning of “betterment” began to come into practice during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Williams’s account needs slight modification, for as Andrew McRae has demonstrated, even for early Elizabethans like Thomas Tusser, improvement was also mobilized in defense of small enclosures, in which the privatization of land was perceived as granting owners greater economic liberty than customary copyholds.58 By the late sixteenth century, in works such as Robert Payne’s A breefe discription of the true and perfitt making of woade, it also came to possess more commercial meanings, with a promise for waged employment.59 By the time Plattes would imagine England imparadised, in both A discovery of infinite treasure and Macaria, then, the word improvement already suggested a variety of agricultural and social policies, such as the enclosure of land, the draining of fens, and a more rationalized, organized, and intensified system of planting intended to produce surplus product for a market. In the mid-­seventeenth century, these policies were not yet as common or parliamentary as they would be by the eighteenth century, a period of systematic, state-­ sanctioned enclosure of land. In the description of the Councell of Husbandry, we find strong resonances between Plattes’s two tracts, especially in the council’s view of agrarian improvement and willful invention as the central agents of utopian transformation. In fact, the text that the traveler proposes, in the last third of Macaria, to present to parliament is likely to be A discovery of infinite treasure, rather than a tale of the Macarian state as such (and as readers might suspect). When the scholar and the traveler agree to join forces to promote the ways of Macaria in England, the traveler asks the scholar, “what will you doe towards the worke?”60 The scholar proposes to publish a sermon and to meet with clergy to discuss the merits of the imaginary kingdom, while the traveler, noting the lack of power of English divines, decides on a different tactic: “I will propound a book of Husbandry to the high Court of Parliament, whereby the Kingdome may maintaine double the number of people, which it doth now, and in more plenty and prosperity, than now they enjoy.”61 As it turns out, this book has already been written by the traveler and perused by the scholar, who summarizes it as follows:

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you shew the transmutation of sublunary bodies, in such manner, that any man may be rich that will be industrious; you shew also, how great cities, which formerly devoured the fatnesse of the Kingdome, may yearely make a considerable retribution without any mans prejudice, and your demonstrations are infallible; this booke will certainly be highly accepted by the high Court of Parliament.62

While it may be easy to dismiss this likely reference to A discovery of infinite treasure as nothing other than shameless self-­promotion or as Plattes’s proof of his own industriousness, the substitution of one text for another, and thus a change of genre, is one of the more surprising elements of Macaria, and one that has gone unexplored in previous studies. While Macaria is constantly billed as a society whose policies would be “easie” to implement, the traveler’s tale, and consequently, the utopian form, repeatedly comes under attack by the scholar who warns: should it contain any “contradiction” or sign of the “impossible,” “all men will think that you make use of the Traveller’s priviledge, to wit, to lie by authority.”63 This anxiety about the political merits of fiction is felt in the relative modesty of the reforms proposed in Macaria, as well as in the rather strange substitution of texts that occurs at the end of the tract. The tale of an improved society self-­consciously admits its own shortcomings. At this moment, the traveler explicitly becomes Plattes himself, proposing to present his agricultural treatise rather than the utopian tale to parliament. Plattes’s utopia, therefore, preempts its own failures in the pragmatic realm of politics, by replacing itself with the even more modest, direct manual on husbandry and improvement. Of course, in the end, the two works are inextricably paired together with the actual publication of Macaria, so that the “easie” utopia and the tract on agricultural reform are joined to promote what Plattes believes are realizable English reforms. Still, Macaria, like A View of the Present State of Ireland, should be considered part of a critical tradition of utopias that employ the utopian “pattern,” notwithstanding its modifications and explicit intention toward effecting change. This reinvention also occurs at the level of content as well. For instance, here it is not the sheep that devour the fatness of England, but cities, so that what we find in Plattes’s whole body of work is a ready endorsement of enclosure and policies associated with agrarian capitalism. In Plattes’s agricultural treatise, he lays out many of these improving policies in even greater specificity than in Macaria, instructing readers to plant trees in hedgerows and to employ devices like the Persian wheel for better irrigation, or an engine he designed for speedier, denser planting of corn. He extols the virtues of lime, pigeon dung, and chalk in the sowing of high, seemingly infer-

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tile grounds. Despite the modesty of these technical proposals, Plattes labors to defend “Invention” at great length throughout the work, suggesting that it is only a matter of summoning human will for the crises of overpopulation and dearth to be solved. The general and specifically economic meanings of improvement coalesce in the tract, in that it defends unleashing scientific experimentation so as to promote new methods of production, and vice versa. At moments, however, his text reveals that all of these efforts toward greater agrarian productivity also hinge on certain preconditions, or more inventions for dealing with property, like clearer contracts between the landlord and tenant, “whereby a just share may redound to both parties answerable to their merit.”64 “[T]he very bane of Husbandry at this day,” Plattes argues, “is the incertaintie of their tearmes.”65 This is in part a nostalgic case for a return to custom and an endorsement of independent small holdings, yet it is not an argument for the manorial system. Rather, it is a case for systemic enclosures and privatization, from which capitalist farmers stand to profit greatly, while the poor are promised enough to provide for themselves, so that “all parties will be gainers by the worke.”66 Indeed, like classical political economists, or the persona of More in Utopia, Plattes suggests that self-­interest is a prerequisite to national wealth and the mainstay of the “publick good,” because men are more likely to improve the land, he asserts, when their efforts do not go solely “into other men’s purses.”67 If the rhetorical appeals of A discovery of infinite treasure stress the general good, improvement is also perceived to rest fundamentally upon the individual’s profit motive. It is this incentive to extracting surplus that he observes is missing from both the commons and from the feudal system: “one Acre of land inclosed, is better than foure Acres of the same in Common,” he attests, and “the Landlord by laying out of his money upon these improvements may gaine double as much, as by purchasing of new Lands.”68 Later mid-­century works like Walter Blith’s The English improver improved (1652) and the anonymous Wast land’s improvement (1653) suggest that, by the time Oliver Cromwell was in power, Plattes’s defense of agricultural innovation as a benefit to the laborer, the landholder, and the entire nation was rather common. Blith, “a lover of ingenuity,” as he is described in the frontispiece to his manual, recommends that the English follow the commercial model of the Dutch, rewarding tenants who improve the land with more secure leases: “the Tenant being secured, he would Act Ingenuity with violence as upon his own, and draw forth the Earth to yeeld her utmost fruitfullness, which once being wrought unto perfection,

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will easily be maintained and kept up at the height of fruitfullness, which will be the Common-­wealths great advantage.”69 In Wast land’s improvement, the by nature “ingenious and industrious” English are instructed to “convert desolate wasts into fruitful fields, and our wide howling wildernesses into comfortable habitations” through “Inclosing, Tilling, and Planting,” so that they “may injoy at last some benefit by all our revolutions, transplantings, and overturning in Authorities.”70 In all these works, just as in Plattes’s description of a fruitful Macaria, however, the praise of invention, experimentation, and improvement is also billed as the law of nature and the will of God.71 The project of agrarian reform, like the Reformation itself, is seen as both a restoration of nature and a divine project of human advancement. As Plattes would later claim in The profitable intelligencer, “God is infinite, and men are infinite by propagation, so the fruits of the Earth for their food, and cloathing are infinite, if men will consent to put their helping hands to this commendable Designe.”72 All that is needed to realize God’s plan is human labor. As Appelbaum has claimed, “The ‘infinite treasure hidden since the beginning of the world’ that Plattes discovers . . . is humanity itself. Until now humanity has been blind to its own capacity for enriching itself through rationalized cooperative behavior.”73 We should note, however, that this was also a central innovation of early political economists. In Political arithmetick, William Petty—­another associate of Hartlib’s—­would measure the English capacity for growth in what he calls “heads” rather than in territory.74 Throughout A discovery of infinite treasure and Macaria, Plattes stresses this point, suggesting that the nation should even bring efforts of colonization home. He advises that England can itself be planted with less poverty, want, and hardship than settlers experience abroad, and he recognizes population growth not as a liability but as a driving force of agricultural innovation. In fact, his vision of domestic and agrarian improvement is explicitly figured as an alternative form of plantation, or the plantation of England itself, just as Petty’s reformed England would be informed by his experiences in Ireland. “If this be not a better cure for an over-­peopled Common-­wealth,” Plattes asserts, “than to make violent incursions upon other territories, as is too frequent, I referre the matter to all mens judgements: the whole world is all of one Gods making, and no question is or should be one body politique.”75 The plantation of England should therefore be the first agenda; yet even in this rather English-­centric work, we find a desire for universality, and thus empire. In the most violent expression in the A discovery of infinite treasure, Plattes explains precisely the lengths

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worth resorting to should the peoples of other territories resist his vision of improvement or “the fundamental points of religion”: I am not sure how this enterprise, for the bringing of the world into a regularitie and uniformitie, will prosper, for it may prove to be a fancy as well as the rest: yet of all conclusions that are yet to be tried, I have best fancie to it; for that the Major part of the world doe so desire it, and for the furtherance thereof, if it come to a dead lift, I will try my cunning for some engines of Warre extraordinary, which will make foule work with such miscreants as shall oppose so worthy a worke, and will cause them to be trampled upon even as the mire in the streets.76

In keeping with the Hartlib agenda, Plattes is, then, an active endorser of colonialism and even global empire, and we should be careful to understand how his domestic utopia is also informed by the projects of improvement that were already well underway in regions like Bermuda, New England, and Virginia.77 While there is still a faint concern with moral conduct in Plattes’s description of the Councell of Husbandry—­in the sense that a failure to improve constitutes self-­injury—­the economic rationale drowns out the moral and even religious appeals. If this concern with husbandry seems anathema to commonplace characterizations of emergent capitalism as an inherently urban phenomenon, David McNally has explained how classical political economy began as a social and economic theory of agrarian capitalism. Working from Marx’s classic triad of the capitalist landlord, capitalist farmer, and wage laborer, he explains that in the seventeenth century,  [t]he greatest political economists of the period constructed a comprehensive theory of state and society in which the essential relations of economic life were those between landlords, capitalist employers, and wage labourers. Agricultural production was for them the most fundamental sphere of the emerging capitalist economy; they generally conceived commercial and industrial activity as subordinate (for economic, political, and moral reasons) to production on the land.78

Macaria—­notable for its sparseness and its mere sketch of a reformed social order—­seems to lie at the intersection of the utopian form and the language of political economy. It is represented as “an Example to other Nations” because its social policies are said to benefit all elements of society, yet “plenty and prosperity” as a utopian condition are here rather narrowly defined.79 For the most

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part, the moral, egalitarian, and humanist concern with which Utopia imagines a new division of labor is replaced with an explicit appeal to a nation that exists to produce and where class differences are still preserved, though all levels of society ostensibly experience an increased standard of living. At the same time, we also see that Plattes conceives of agrarian improvement in colonial terms, importing the plantation model along with the utopian form, just as Spenser before him and Petty after him link the reformation of Ireland and England. Macaria, as a result, is an attempt to present a unifying economic agenda for a divided parliament. The English Revolution has long been understood (and challenged) as a crisis point in the slow breakdown of feudalism and the emergence of productive capitalism. In seventeenth-­century England, state policy that rested on an older set of productive relations was no longer best able to facilitate the process of surplus extraction particular to capitalism, with its money rents and market demands. Government imposition of guilds on certain trades, fines on the enclosure of land, and endorsement of monopoly: all of these Stuart policies hindered the spread of capital.80 As historians like Lawrence Stone, Christopher Hill, and Brian Manning have tirelessly demonstrated, the struggles of the seventeenth century were, of course, only in part determined by class, for religious belief and geographical location, in particular, often shaped the political stance of both royalists and parliamentarians. Nevertheless, economic interests had an irrefutable impact on individual responses to absolutism. Aristocratic non-­ Puritans tended (and this is an operative word) to support the Crown, as did merchants with politically constituted trade routes.81 On the other side, many merchants without monopoly rights joined with capitalist farmers to protest the state’s feudal restrictions on traffic and agricultural improvement. Such is the position we find voiced in Plattes’s works. Yet the nobility, with more radical religious ideals or with lands operating according to money rents rather than rent in kind, also frequently sided with parliament. Smallholders, both rural and urban, often split between these factions, though in the early years of the 1640s, they tended to align with the parliamentarian cause. Thus, a crucial source of division animating the Civil War of the mid-­century was the matter of economic interest, though neither side, especially the anti-­absolutist position, was united behind one clear economic agenda. Plattes’s body of work responds to this proliferation of class interests and political ideals; it sketches out an England where restrictions on improvement and traffic have been lifted and consensus has easily been reached. The vision is still monarchist, though in this case, the Crown exists to protect intensified capitalist efforts in agricultural innovation.

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Trading Utopia Even though husbandry is privileged in Macaria, it is not the be-­all and end-­ all of a thriving commonwealth. The four other councils—­on fishing, trade by sea, trade by land, and plantations—­also govern other economic practices of the prosperous society, indicating that by the mid-­seventeenth century, capitalist farming, industrial expansion, and commerce were seen as intensely interrelated elements of an economically sound state. Capitalist social relations in early modern England may have taken a predominantly agrarian form, but as Macaria reminds us, domestic and international trade fostered capitalist accumulation, while wealth was often accrued through the exploitation of resources, land, and labor in the colonies. Macaria promotes this kind of “destiny” and suggests that bourgeois goals were indeed one of the motivating factors in the split between royalists and opposition parliamentarians. In this tract, the imagined outcome of parliament’s power is already a state that exists precisely to buttress surplus extraction and encourage trade, rather than to grant monopoly rights on trade or overly tax an impoverished populace. While the councils that govern each economic sphere are interpreted by Davis as a sign of Macaria’s state-­run, national economy, the reality is that only a few laws “regulate” the commercial activities, and most of them are designed more to reduce state intervention. Davis appears to measure Macaria’s councils as Keynesian bodies. In this characterization, he follows the assessment of a fellow anti-­communist, Hugh Trevor-­Roper. In “The Three Foreigners,” an essay on Hartlib’s, Dury’s, and Comenius’s influence during the Civil War, Trevor-­Roper (attributing Macaria to Hartlib) asserts that Macaria, is “[b]asically . . . a welfare-­state, in which the wealth of society, instead of being concentrated in the capital and consumed in extravagance or irresponsible policy, is carefully husbanded at its source and then distributed productively over the whole country.”82 While the Hartlib circle, of which Dury and Comenius were highly important members, certainly promoted welfare policies—­especially in the realm of universalizing education—­Trevor-­Roper’s claim, and Davis’s after him, also ignores the critical denunciations of regulation and taxation throughout Macaria. When we measure Macaria’s reformed ways against mercantilism, absolutism, and late feudalism, rather than the modern welfare state, we find that Macaria offers a criticism of an absolutist economy and thus promotes a distinctly capitalist version of a national economy.83 This is not to claim that Davis’s and Trevor-­Roper’s assessments entirely miss the mark; certain forms of checks are in fact placed on how the benefits of this economic growth are

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distributed, institutions do ensure that urban mercantilism is balanced by rural production, and taxes are placed on inherited wealth. But importantly, Macaria takes a firm stance on the matter of customs and state monopolies, as well as agricultural improvement. In fact, the council for trade by sea has a single law that is itself the antithesis of regulation: “that all Traffick is lawfull which may enrich the Kingdome.”84 Far from pitting agrarian labor against commercialism, or restricting commerce, Plattes attempts to depict a nation that is able to profitably balance husbandry with trade to the benefit of all in the nation. An examination of the way in which Macaria presents a meta-­commentary on utopias as practices of free, unrestricted exchange also makes this point. While many earlier works in the utopian tradition promote improvement and trade, or even take it as a setting as More does, Plattes’s work even more dramatically refigures utopia itself into a condition of humane learning that is a direct consequence of international traffic. At the start of the dialogue, the tale of another world is set up as a “trade in knowledge” that occurs outside typical spheres of economic regulation.85 Upon first meeting the scholar, the traveler says to him: [W]hat doe you heare in the Exchange; I conceive you trade in knowledge, and here is no place to traffick for it; neither in the book of rates is there any imposition upon such commodities: so that you have no great businesse either here or at the Custom-­house. Come let us goe into the fields. I am a Traveller, and can tell you strange news, and much knowledge, and I have brought it over the sea without paying any Custome, though it bee worth all the merchandize in the kingdome.86

While the swapping of stories must take place outside the Royal Exchange, the center of London commerce, knowledge is nevertheless portrayed here precisely as a commodity, though a commodity upon which no dues or duties can be levied and for which no set value can ever be established. At the end of the narrative, the traveler reiterates this characterization of his labor in learning, while offering to pay any man (in gold or stories) for knowledge of his secrets or experiments: “that is all the trade I have driven a long time, those riches are free from Customes and Impositions, and I have travelled through many Kingdomes, and paid neither fraight nor Custome for my wares, though I valued them above all the riches in the Kingdome.”87 Even in the prefatory letter to parliament, Plattes characterizes his utopia in economic terms, stating, “I have adventured to cast in my widowes mite into the Treasurie.”88

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On one level, it appears that Plattes’s speaker wishes to suggest that utopia is a kind of human activity, in the sense that Macaria is found in the telling, or a lively act of exchange or a free flow of ideas that cannot be regulated or hindered. If Macaria is located elsewhere, the failure to describe its geography seems to be an attempt to resist the spatialization of previous utopias and radically transform the literary form into an intellectual exercise. This, in part, accounts for all the praise of printing in the tract. The traveler predicts, for instance, that in a reformed England, “the Art of Printing will so spread knowledge, that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppression, and so, little by little, all Kingdomes will be like Macaria.”89 Discourse is celebrated here as a politically disruptive, liberating, and transformative social force, enough so that the tale of Macaria alone leaves the scholar claiming, “I am imparadised in my mind.”90 Just as Milton’s Adam and Eve will be “imparadis’t in one anothers arms” in Paradise Lost, paradise is here less a place than a relationship or a state of being.91 Yet in the traveler’s characterization, utopia also becomes a metaphorical commodity. If there is a kind of implicit denial of material consumption in the uplifting of knowledge as a privileged, invaluable process of exchange, the traveler’s tale also represents utopia as a reified good, carried across the seas like another piece of cargo. Like other commodities, then, it possesses a dual nature, representing both its own inherent use-­value (as a model for what England could be), while symbolically standing in relation to all other things (as a privileged, special good, of more value than any other thing). Utopia is redeployed as a most mysterious commodity that emerges in an unregulated act of exchange. In its reification of utopian discourse, Macaria transforms utopia from an external place into a constantly circulated, animated good, able to be both freely imported and exported for the benefit of the nation. In other words, discursive activity and literary form take on the logic of commodity fetishism in Macaria. As Marx famously describes this “mysterious character” of objects under capitalism: “the commodity reflects the social characteristics of men’s own labour as objective characteristics of the products of labour themselves, as the socio-­natural properties of these things.”92 Commodities are themselves the direct consequence of the capitalist division of labor, though crucially, the money form obfuscates the expenditure of labor inherent to the production of a commodity. Price mediates exchange, which in reality is adjudicated by the value of human labor, now concealed in the commodity form. As a result of this relation between humans and the products of

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their labor, social relations begin to “appear as the relation between material objects,”93 Marx explains, while commodities are infused with a sociality, a sort of dynamic quality of life. In Plattes’s work, one can find the seeds of this sort of social relation in the metaphorical commodification of utopia, in the sense that the interaction of the interlocutors and the authorial production of the text are portrayed as an exchange of the utopian product. The unambiguous, simple form of Plattes’s particular utopia and its assertion of easy reform also occludes the labor and struggle for social change that is more apparent in a work like More’s. The commodification of utopia further suggests that Macaria imagines an England reformed in accordance with the interests of emergent capitalism. It is not just that Macaria presents a vision of a future more capitalist England; rather, utopia is rewritten within the model of the commodity form, suggesting that Plattes’s proposals for reform are already becoming a condition of both production and exchange. In this reconstitution of utopia as both a process and a product of free trade, we also find one of the contradictions Plattes’s scholar frequently frets about. The scholar, after all, warns that travelers must not communicate anything that is “impossible” or contradictory.94 The anxiety about the fictitious form of utopias is obviously registered here, hence Webster’s point, that “like Hartlib, Plattes was only interested in the utopian genre to the degree that it could be used as an effective vehicle for promoting practical projects.”95 Yet there are, in the end, contradictions in the portrayal of Macaria that suggest simultaneous desires for progress and stasis. Despite copious praise of invention, improvement, and reformation in Macaria, Macaria itself in certain ways resists reinvention. For example, in the Macarian order there is no room for religious disputation or dissent or ultimately debate. Ironically, knowledge is a kind of monopolized and regulated good once the conditions of Macarian life have been fulfilled. To grasp this point, we can look to one of the more innovative features of Macaria, the roles ascribed to divines. In the happy society, every parson is also a physician (and vice versa), who with his humane learning heals both the souls and bodies of his parishioner-­patients. Along with the divines, the members of the Colledge of experience, a group also devoted to the figurative and literal health of the kingdom, contribute their skills in husbandry, medicine, and surgery. Plattes imagines an institutional place, in other words, for scholars educated in theology, natural philosophy, and humanity to collaborate, presenting a vision of perfect harmony between different branches of the learned.

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Notably, this was precisely the makeup of those divines and philosophers who surrounded Hartlib. Like Bacon’s house of scientists, or Robert Boyle’s later Invisible College, Plattes’s utopia empowers an educated elite. If this body is less autocratic and less secretive than Bacon’s and has greater intentions toward the public good, it nevertheless effectively rules society. In Macaria these groups fix truth into “infallible tenets, . . . by which meanes none have power to stirre up Schismes and Heresies.”96 Implicit in this hopeful vision of truth reestablished is also a fear of the power of divines. The traveler later warns the scholar that “you Divines have the sway of mens minds, you may easily perswade them to good as to bad, to truth as well as to falsehood.”97 Nearing the end of the conversation, the pair also decide that scripture is a “plaine” text that can be “plainly” proved, while dismissing those divines who believe that a reformation can succeed only after the Day of Judgment has passed. The longing for a universal wisdom and Christian consensus expressed in the passage above clearly speaks to the divisions of England at the time, while owing a great deal to Dury’s irenicism and Comenius’s utopian dream of the pansophia, a wish for “the unification of the Protestant churches, the interconnection of the physical sciences, and the interpretation of the material and spiritual worlds.”98 The divines and the Colledge of experience, Macaria hopes, will be the central agents of this transformation, while the rest of society will simply fall in line. This characterization of a post-­reformed England should give us pause. While the two defining principles of the Hartlib circle were commitments to universal reform and to the importance of intellectual correspondence and communication, Plattes’s text further imagines how these utopian conditions of learning could be centralized and, effectively, brought to a halt. If exchange, trade, and print facilitate utopian progress, Macarian law, once established, freezes debate. The traveler explains that only once a year can a new opinion be raised before the Great Councell, where a matter is settled once and for all, truth being revealed through a more perfect, true logic. What the scholar calls England’s “diversitie of opinions,” in other words, is dissolved through their regulation by a Puritan intelligentsia,99 a feature of Plattes’s work that harkens back to Bacon’s rather autocratic utopia. The elimination of disputation, however, may also owe something to Plattes’s limited utopian form. The stalling of change and critique is a shared tendency of many utopias that aim toward the resolution of all conflict, and thus, generally present rather static images of a different way, or reified portraits of the end of history. But Plattes’s text goes even farther to defend the irrefutability of the Macarian design, claiming

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that those who challenge it or resist it are guilty of treason. As if to emphasize the lengths one must go to in order to protect the unity of Christianity and the state, the work places much more stress on internal enemies than it does on external threats. The scholar promises a sermon in which he “will make it manifest that those that are against this honourable designe, are first, enimies to God and goodness; secondly, enimies to the Common-­wealth; thirdly, enimies to themselves, and their posterity”; at which point the traveler chimes in to add that they are also “enimies of the King.”100 Toward the end of the dialogue, the traveler asks, “Why should not all the inhabitants of England joyne in one consent, to make this countrey to bee like to Macaria, that is numerous in people, rich in treasure and munition, that so they may bee invincible?”101 Plattes’s tract strives to be the vehicle of unification without contradiction, embodying a more perfect logic and discourse that can reunite a house divided. It also warns, however, of the dangers of discourse from both above and below. As a result, Plattes paradoxically empties the utopian state of the utopian condition of free intellectual exchange. We have already witnessed how Macaria’s built infrastructure seemingly promotes mobility, improvement, and traffic, but yet in this fiction, the state opposes basic freedom and the social structure of this reformed England remains inherently hierarchical. Here we find the other major contradiction of the text. The king is still “obeyed, the Nobles honoured; and all good men respected,” as the long title proclaims. Ministers, judges, and officers are to receive great revenues for their duties, and there is, significantly, no attempt to level classes or challenge private property. Rather, agricultural reforms, the promotion of trade, and a religious consensus established by the educated elite give way to a better society still able to preserve class hierarchy, though this time, in the interests of capitalist farmers, merchants, and an enlightened intelligentsia. The scholar even delights at the idea of a class of divines that have “great estimation with the people, and can rule them at their pleasure.”102 The universal reformation imagined in Macaria, therefore, is not nearly as universally minded as it could be. In our history of the capitalist-­imperialist utopia, we here find a work that more explicitly and less imaginatively articulates an agenda for a capitalist England than do the other early ideal societies examined in this study. At the same time, we also find that in tandem with the increasing dominance and extension of capitalist social relations in England, the utopian representation of alternative social possibilities, and thus radical transformation, becomes increasingly problematic.

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Interloping Publishers and Interloping Merchants in Areopagitica Milton’s Areopagitica is suggestive of this utopian predicament. Like Macaria, this tract is saturated in commercial imagery and antimonopolist metaphors, though it much more completely protests the regulation of speech and printing. Directed against the Licensing Order of 1643, which sought to curb the popularization of printing unleashed with the dismantling of Charles I’s Star Chamber in 1641, Areopagitica has variously been called “an early manifesto of English republicanism”103 and a utopian expression of “civic republicanism” harkening back to the classical polis.104 As many critics note, this rhetorically figured “speech,” composed around the height of the Civil War, was never presented verbally to the English Long Parliament but was published in 1644 as an unlicensed pamphlet. In a blatant rebuff to parliamentary censors, Milton’s text enacts the claims it sets out, and must therefore be understood as a social gesture as much as a political statement. Various scholars, including David Norbrook, William Kolbrener, Christopher Hill, James Holstun, and David Loewenstein have acknowledged that the text’s medium and mode of address privileges printing as the public discourse, opening up political debate to a sphere beyond the king and parliament.105 While the tract is by no means a wholesale attack on censorship of the press, it nevertheless challenges Renaissance political tradition with a tone that “smack[s] more of radical sectarianism than of orthodox Puritanism.”106 Macaria may actually prove a fascinating text for understanding Milton’s much more erudite, sectarian pamphlet. To appreciate this point, we might first consider the way in which Areopagitica, like Macaria, promotes a bourgeois agenda through its representation of knowledge as a commodity, before considering how it re-­envisions utopianism. Kevin Dunn has already linked Macaria and Areopagitica in “Milton Among the Monopolists,” his essay on the early history of intellectual property in England, locating this ideology of information in the work of Hartlib and his associates. Dunn briefly examines how Plattes’s representation of the trade in knowledge looks ahead to Milton’s full-­scale critique of the Stationers’ Company’s monopoly control over textual production and distribution, and he explains how the Hartlib circle came to view knowledge as a commodity, made publically available and widely circulated but also privately owned. Christopher Kendrick, Blair Hoxby, Sandra Sherman, and Alan Price have also separately explored the commercial representation of truth in Areopagitica, examining how Milton’s pleas against prepublication licensing are motivated by the desire both to open new international networks for intellectual exchange and to

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imagine something like the emergence of a particularly bourgeois public sphere or a “marketplace of ideas.”107 While the concluding claims are similar in this book, I would like to shore up this economic argument, first, by closely examining Areopagitica’s engagement with the utopian tradition and, second, by discussing a passage in that work that may add new weight to the argument about the text’s revolutionary bourgeois ideology—­namely, Milton’s concluding praise of the second Lord Brooke, Robert Greville. Milton’s appeal to repeal parliament’s regulation of the printing industry follows four main lines of argumentation, varying in orientation, which can be summarized as follows: first, censorship has not been inherited from the great, ancient cities of Greece and Rome, but from the “tyrannous” Inquisition, and it is therefore anti-­English; second, reading in general (even “promiscuous” reading of bad books displaying evil) ought to be “left arbitrary” in order for man to exercise his own temperance, his own choice, as a religious trial of sorts; third, licensing is simply ineffective, requiring too much scholarly manpower, especially when books would circulate regardless in the emerging global market; and fourth, Truth, if not revealed until Christ’s coming, is re-­membered through the exchange of various ideas, while censorship turns religious belief into “obedient unanimity” and “fine conformity.”108 The rhetoric here calls on nationalist, humanist, economic, and Protestant arguments in order to compel parliament to reconsider its recent licensing ordinance. In the text’s strategic exposition, Milton rallies readers on several grounds, then, but as any reader quickly notices, Areopagitica is characterized by a surfeit of rhetorical strategies and figurative comparisons that ultimately escape these four basic lines of argumentation. The best evidence for this is the remarkable string of analogies in which Milton compares the “brotherly search after truth”109 with a building being made of diverse stones, with a plant of strong roots, with a city protected against siege, with a body renewing itself, with another body—­and one shifting genders at that—­waking from sleep, and with an eagle flying into the sun. This abundance of protean analogies, in no more than five consecutive paragraphs, is clearly a rhetorical display that seeks and seeks and seeks the best comparison, which finally escapes Milton. Whether we point to this remarkable passage as an example of textual indeterminacy as Stanley Fish does,110 or as a moment of something like the revolutionary sublime, it is these moments of rupture, excess, and figurative comparison that most critics focus on to understand the logic and brilliant literary flourish of Milton’s pamphlet.

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This is certainly the case in the scholarship on the economic reasoning of Areopagitica—­which is by no means the purview solely of Marxist critics. Price has argued that Milton “mobilizes dislike of monopolies” through “the adroit use of images and terms drawn from commerce.”111 For example, in one passage, we find Milton resisting the taxation and state control of the book trade, claiming that “Truth and understanding are not such wares as to be monopolized. . . . We must not think to make it a staple commodity of all the knowledge in the land, to mark and license it like our broadcloth and our woolpacks.”112 As Sherman, Hoxby, Dunn, and Hill all point out, this statement is best understood as an attack on monopolies, not a statement against the commodification of knowledge per se. For by the end of the speech, Milton is equating the quest for truth and the exchange of ideas precisely with an open market. He explains: “There is yet behind of what I purposed to lay open, the incredible loss and detriment that this plot of licensing puts us to. More than if some enemy at sea should stop up all our havens and ports and creeks, it hinders and retards the importation of our richest merchandise, truth.”113 The effect of such passages is to establish an essential congruity between the search for religious truth and the circulation of goods in a globally expanding and accelerating marketplace.114 In Mammon’s Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton, Hoxby persuasively explains the historical context that brought together free speech and free trade discourses. The Licensing Order of 1643, he asserts, “used a grant of privilege to align the economic interests of the Stationers’ Company with Parliament’s aim of controlling the press: it erected an economic monopoly and imposed an intellectual restriction in a single measure.”115 In effect, this guarded the Stationers’ Company against “renegade” or interloping publishers cutting into its members’ patent-­produced profit, while keeping the book trade under the dominion of the state by preserving parliament’s ability to suppress any work—­especially works of a royalist or separatist persuasion. According to Hoxby, it was in Areopagitica that “Milton responded not just with a vindication of liberty in the face of oppression but with a model of intellectual exchange that, relying on the theories and arguments of free trade advocates, contended that men could best generate truth when they were left free to exercise their industry and employ their skill in producing, venting, and purchasing ideas in an open market.”116 Indeed, this vexing portrait of imprimaturs obstructing the production of truth is remarkably clear in passages where Milton likens “old patentees and monopolizers in the book trade” to “men who do not . . . labor in an honest profession to which learning is indebted.”117 If such damning claims

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suggest the influence of the Hartlib circle on Milton’s tract (a group known for their belief that the free circulation of knowledge would ultimately better the commonwealth), I think we can also see the spirit of Robert Greville at work in these antimonopoly passages. The famous tribute to Lord Brooke near the end of Areopagitica has rarely been interpreted as anything other than a plea for the toleration of religious sectarianism.118 This tendency certainly makes sense, given the reference’s placement in the middle of Milton’s own strategic argument for a leniency toward separatists. The panegyric is unquestionably a sign of Milton’s rejection of Presbyterian intolerance and his appeal to the Erastian faction in the Long Parliament, while testifying to his own religious unorthodoxy. Invoking the legacy of Brooke, Milton calls on a martyr’s ghost, for the popular parliamentarian officer had been killed by royalist gunfire at Lichfield Castle in March of 1643: I only shall repeat what I have learned from one of your own honorable number, a right noble and pious lord, who, had he not sacrificed his life and fortunes to the church and commonwealth, we had not now missed and bewailed a worthy and undoubted patron of this argument. Ye know him I am sure; yet I for honor’s sake, and may it be eternal to him, shall name him, the Lord Brook. He, writing of the episcopacy, and by the way treating of sects and schisms, left ye his vote, or rather now the last words of his dying charge (which I know will ever be of dear and honored regard with ye) so full of meekness and breathing charity that next to his last testament who bequeathed love and peace to his disciples, I cannot call to mind where I have read or heard words more mild and peaceful. He there exhorts us to hear with patience and humility those, however they be miscalled, that desire to live purely, in such a use of God’s ordinances as the best guidance of their conscience gives them, and to tolerate them, though in some disconformity to ourselves. The book itself will tell us more at large, being published to the world and dedicated to the parliament by him who, not for his life and for his death, deserves that what advice he left be not laid by without perusal.119

Milton here beseeches parliament to recall Brooke’s A discourse opening the nature of that episcopacie, which is exercised in England, published in 1641. Highly critical of English prelates, and especially the bishops’ participation in state matters, this tract argues for state toleration and sympathy toward religious radicals, whom Brooke understood as central to the Protestant Reformation and the parliamentary movement. In fact, Brooke dares to blame the

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episcopacy for the proliferation of religious difference, writing, “our Prelates have been so farre from preventing Divisions; that they have been the Parents and Patrons of Most Errors, Heresies, Sects and Schismes, that now disturbe This Church and State.”120 We clearly find echoes of these religious and political sentiments in Areopagitica, where Milton himself advocates for the toleration of schisms, and even suggests that the Licensing Order “may prove a nursing mother to sects.”121 Given the length and sincere praise of this tribute to Brooke, I think it is fair to say that Brooke comes to model the ideal aristocrat in Milton’s pamphlet, while his general spirit of tolerance and duty to church and state pervade Areopagitica. Yet it seems necessary, then, to also consider Milton’s beatifying portrait of Brooke against what we know of the revolutionary martyr himself, to better understand the larger function Brooke serves in the tract. George Whiting has made a case for the probable friendship and mutual intellectual indebtedness of “the man of affairs and the student of politics and religion” by charting the overlaps between Milton’s Of Prelaticall Episcopacy and Areopagitica and Brooke’s Discourse.122 If nothing else, it is clear that the two men knew one another’s writing well, although we can probably safely assume that Milton knew a great deal more than that about Brooke, given that he was a prominent opponent of Charles I and a well-­known, wealthy military officer with strong connections to Puritan aristocrats, including John Pym; Oliver St. John; Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick; and William Fiennes, Lord Saye and Lord Sele.123 Another major component of Brooke’s legacy, which Milton was undoubtedly familiar with, was his integral participation in several private colonial ventures. For example, Brooke was one of a group of opposition nobles involved with the Providence Island Company, a puritan privateering enterprise in the Caribbean, established in the early 1630s and designed to intercept Spanish imperial trade. Along with fellow parliamentarians such as Pym and Fiennes, Brooke also obtained a patent to fund a settlement in New Haven, Connecticut, and he would later command (in absentia) the Additional Sea Adventure to Ireland, another private colonial expedition led by opposition parliamentarians. What I am proposing here is that the presence of Lord Brooke in Areopagitica is another means through which we can see Milton mobilizing an early capitalist argument in defense of the freedom to publish unlicensed works in the English commonwealth’s budding public sphere. In short, Brooke’s aristocratic capitalism may provide contextual evidence in support of textual readings that identify economic endorsements of capitalist markets or an emerging

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bourgeois civil society in Areopagitica. For the person of Lord Brooke figures an alliance between Puritan aristocrats, interloping merchants, and sections of the London masses that represented the unity in “disconformity” that would staunchly oppose the royalist cause. We can find all of these interests explicitly and implicitly appealed to in the rhetoric of Milton’s 1644 pamphlet. Marxist historian Robert Brenner has discussed this seemingly unlikely political partnership in his massive book Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Oversea Traders, 1550–­1653. Brenner’s historical survey—­which has gained shockingly little attention from literary critics—­is a corrective to the traditional social interpretation of the English Revolution (associated with writers like Christopher Hill, R. H. Tawney, and Lawrence Stone), and to revisionist critiques of this Whig and Marxist social history. While Brenner troubles the reductive narrative of a revolutionary bourgeoisie in conflict with landed aristocratic classes as the Civil War’s motivating cause, he is even more critical of historical accounts which abandon economic explanations entirely to focus exclusively on “contingent” explanations focused on political, religious, or personal conflicts of interest. Merchants and Revolution doesn’t offer a simple story about the decline of the feudal landed class in the wake of mercantilism, then; instead, it offers a complex analysis that takes into consideration the political, religious, and economic factors that contributed to the break between supporters and opponents of English absolutism in the early 1640s. Brenner argues, for example, that we can better understand seventeenth-­century politics by “reassociat[ing] constitutional and religious ideas with the sociopolitical and economic contexts from which they arose—­the experiences they were designed to comprehend, the interests they were shaped to further, and the structures they in effect defended or tended to transform.”124 Lord Brooke, as it turns out, is one of many key figures in Brenner’s narrative of this politically, religiously, and economically motivated opposition alliance. The central conflict of the Civil War, as Brenner explains, can for the most part be understood by examining the competing interests of two major alliances. On the one hand, the commercial and landed elite with politically constituted property tended to support a patrimonial monarchy that preserved the monopolies of overseas company traders and centralized power in the state. The monarchy, in short, granted these companies a chartered monopoly on trade in exchange for a share of the profits, producing an economic relationship to which royalists and company merchants remained loyal. On the other hand,

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members of the parliamentary aristocracy with radical religious perspectives and/or absolute forms of private property often joined with nonchartered colonial merchants and London’s retailers to contest arbitrary taxation, restraints on trade, and the Crown’s slow-­moving efforts at what they considered godly colonial expansion. Members of parliament, according to Brenner, were split by two sets of interests, even as they were, for the most part, united on the defense of proprietary and personal liberties, the defense of parliamentary rights to protect those liberties, and the defense of Protestantism to secure the entire sociopolitical order. They were, however, far from unanimous as to whether these goals should be combined with the pursuit of a strong military and commercial position internationally, requiring a more powerful state, or with a less ambitious, more defensive international stance, requiring a smaller, cheaper state. . . . The fact remains that, especially as the seventeenth century wore on, those within the parliamentary classes who were committed to a more ambitious overseas program tended increasingly to find allies and supporters among urban commercial elements often associated with Puritanism and Dissent, and perhaps subversion. As a result, division within parliamentary classes over the government’s international commitments, finance, and taxation, took on a more permanent political and ideological character.125

Brenner’s major advancement here is the distinction between absolutist merchants—­working with official trading companies (like the Levant-­East India combine and the Merchant Adventurers) under charters, and a new group of “interloping” London-­based merchants operating under capitalist imperatives of competition in the New World. It was this new group of capitalist merchants, at the center of which was the English slave trader and sugar plantation owner Maurice Thomson (an associate of Brooke’s), who accelerated the conflict between royalists and parliamentarians into a Civil War in the early 1640s. Opposing the Crown’s regulation of trade, these new merchants, along with the London crowd of shopkeepers and small traders, backed the landowning English gentry and nobility who were opposed to “extra-­economic forms of coercion . . . which threatened the principle of unconditional rights in property,” or who were dissatisfied with the monarch’s foreign and religious policies.126 These interloping merchants, many of them engaged in Puritan settlements in North America, had “no economic reason for loyalty to the monarchy,”127 and therefore became a bulwark for opposition nobles like Brooke. Brooke, Brenner explains, was intimately involved in challenging the mo-

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nopolies of the merchant elite—­especially the leadership of the East India Company—­in March of 1629 when the Commons was refusing to be dissolved by the king.128 Forming an alliance with small investors, parliamentarian aristocrats like Brooke came to represent the interests of emergent capitalists. In other words, Brenner’s account calls on us to revise our understanding of the economic conflict of the English Revolution (and the emergence of capitalism more generally) as one that pitted feudal aristocrats against capitalist merchants, for not all aristocrats backed absolutism and not all merchants rebelled against the authority of the King. Ultimately, Brenner argues that Cromwell’s Commonwealth was the political body of this uneasy alliance between the landed opposition, interloping merchants, and London’s tradesmen, but it came to adopt the intermediary position of the merchants as its mantra. He writes: “In its non-­democratic republicanism, its relative religious toleration, its partiality towards Independency, the desire of at least some of its key leaders to make the law more efficient and progressive, and its militant commercial imperialism, the Commonwealth was a near-­perfect embodiment of the new merchants’ interests and ideals.”129 The Civil War should, then, at least partially be understood as a crisis of emergent capitalism—­in which older, politically constituted property relations were replaced by genuinely capitalist private property, resulting in a transformation of social relations that brought about new class interests and new class conflicts. This contextual explanation of the revolutionary aristocrat-­merchant alliance establishes a backdrop against which we can understand Milton’s tribute to Lord Brooke, and the rhetorical excess and complex politics of Areopagitica more broadly. If we find Areopagitica directly addressing anti-­royalist nobles and parliamentarians and urging them to model themselves after the tolerant Brooke, by rescinding their governing power to regulate the book trade and to mandate the Protestant religion, we also find the tract appealing to a much wider audience beyond the traditional political sphere. After all, as Milton himself attests, “writing is more public than preaching.”130 This partially explains the seminal argument of Hill’s Milton and the English Revolution, in which Hill makes the case that Milton’s “radical parliamentary thinking” shares concerns with popular, unorthodox groups like the “Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Seekers, Behmenists, Muggletonians, Socinians, some Baptists, some Quakers.”131 As Hill explains, “Milton was not himself an extreme radical, Leveller, Digger or Ranter. He agreed with these groups on some issues, but only on some. What I suggest is that this is the milieu in which we should set Milton.”132 While it may

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appear contradictory to square this popular, radical appeal with Milton’s “aristocratic element,”133 or his often-­noted learned elitism, Brenner’s account helps us explain the transitional history which occasioned this confluence of social groups and causes (one that in 1644 still included the alliance of radical sectarian plebeians and capitalist parliamentarians). Moreover, the Commonwealth’s combined political ideals of republicanism, relative religious toleration, and commercial trade, as described above, are evidenced in Milton’s tract, which portrays prepublication censorship as an affront to each of these agendas.134 In a sense then, Brenner is rejuvenating that old Marxist category of the revolutionary bourgeois subject—­committed to political and economic liberalism, to free trade and private property—­acting as a willful agent of historical change in the transition from feudalism to capitalism, even as Brenner complicates the category by expanding it. Of course, the bourgeoisie, as Marx and Engels famously articulate it in The Communist Manifesto, is not “a genuinely revolutionary class” (a category reserved only for the proletariat), even if it “historically, has played a most revolutionary part.”135 As Marx himself suggests, the bourgeois agenda must be understood as one which combined liberation and a new form of domination. Milton’s portrait of a “meek,” “peaceful,” “mild,” and charitable Lord Brooke certainly exemplifies this essential contradiction, given Brooke’s involvement in imperialist enterprises in the New World and Ireland—­not to mention his hand in the slave trade. In idealizing Brooke, Milton endorses not only sectarian toleration and parliamentary constitutionalism but, implicitly, these other capitalist and imperialist policies as well. This is not to dismiss Milton’s anti-­clericalism, republicanism, or defense of certain civil liberties as an “alleged radicalism” as some have,136 but to acknowledge the shortcomings and the particular shape of Milton’s status as a seventeenth-­ century revolutionary. Milton’s Anti-­Utopian Utopianism Just as Milton’s tract seems to give even fuller expression to the commodification of knowledge and more firmly attacks monopoly rights in trade and censorship than does Plattes’s Macaria, Milton more extensively modifies the utopian pattern as well. While there is no known association between Milton and Plattes, we know that the poet was certainly no stranger to Hartlib. In fact, he dedicated “Of Education” to the Prussian-­born scholar, praising him in uncannily utopian terms as “a person sent hither by some good providence from

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a far country to be the occasion and the incitement of great good to this island.”137 If here Milton seems to suggest that news of other worlds possesses a utilitarian, transformative possibility for national reform, and if here he seems to identify himself with the utopian brotherhood of the Hartlib group, Areopagitica elsewhere denies the revolutionary capacity of the utopian form: “To sequester out of the world into Atlantic and Utopian polities, which never can be drawn into use, will not mend our condition.”138 At the same time, this denial of utopia is also an implicit rejection of the colonial project as a viable solution, collapsing Puritan colonialism and utopianism in the same breath. Yet this apparent denial may actually be better understood as a critical revision of utopianism rather than a total dismissal of it, just as Milton’s stance on colonialism was actually quite supportive.139 Milton’s revolutionary critiques of the episcopacy, divine right, and absolutism and his notable defense of various civil liberties and sectarian toleration, after all, balance the negative and positive discourses of utopianism, combining critique with radical hope. Indeed, Merritt Hughes has observed the “tremendous utopian drive”140 in several of Milton’s prose works and especially Areopagitica, where Milton envisions a history of constant reform and total cultural revolution. Hughes produces a recuperative portrait of Milton as a “radical idealist,” whose “prime concern was with the perfection of state and of the individual.” 141 Boesky, in her essay “Milton’s Heaven and the Model of the English Utopia,” has pursued Milton’s stance on the utopian form at even greater length, explaining how “Milton’s response to utopianism was divided.”142 She substantiates this point by citing a claim in An Apology for Smectymnuus (1642), where Milton praises the “great and noble invention” and the “greatest and sublimist wits in sundry ages” of Plato, More, and Bacon against the “idlest and paltriest mime” of Bishop Hall’s Mundus alter et idem.”143 When one considers the revolutionary propositions of Milton’s writings, his stance on utopias in Areopagitica begins to resemble Marx and Engels’s later ambivalent disavowal of the form and discourse. Let us briefly consider Marx and Engel’s interrogation, which has been poignantly characterized by Stephen Lukes as an “anti-­utopian utopianism,”144 so as to understand the relationship between utopianism and revolution in another context. This is not to claim that Milton’s utopianism is of a Marxist variety, or more aptly, that Marxist utopianism is of a Miltonic variety, but that in the revolutionary writings of the mid-­seventeenth and also the mid-­nineteenth century, the utopian form underwent critical interrogation and, just as importantly, reinvention.

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As Immanuel Wallerstein has noted, Marxism historically has been charged with being both too utopian and not utopian enough,145 but in many ways, a position of anti-­utopian utopianism has been and continues to be the relationship Marxists hold with the concept. Darren Webb’s introduction to his Marx, Marxism and Utopia and Jameson’s introduction to his Archaeologies of the Future also employ this dialectic to describe the Marxist kinship with utopianism. Webb lucidly explains this view as follows: “a utopian becomes someone who creates or describes . . . [a better, imaginary] state or society and utopianism refers to the general act of creating and describing such societies.”146 Hence, an anti-­utopian utopianism rejects the concrete description of another world (or utopian polity) or a finished future state, but does promote the revolutionary condition of being as a process of emancipation. For Webb, one of the central predicaments Marx and Engels grappled with was the problem of balancing radical hope and the spirit of revolution with the project of “proletarian self-­ emancipation and self-­determination.”147 In a work like Frederick Engels’s Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, for example, the attempt to differentiate utopian socialism from historical materialism is rather messy, for utopianism remains a lurking, politically necessary instrument of Marxist rhetoric and practice. Distancing scientific socialism from late eighteenth-­and early nineteenth-­ century utopian socialism, Engels writes: The solution of social problems, which as yet lay hidden in undeveloped economic conditions, the utopians attempted to evolve out of the human brain. Society presented nothing but wrongs; to remove these was the task of reason. It was necessary, then, to discover a new and more perfect system of social order and to impose this upon society from without by propaganda, and, wherever it was possible, by the example of model experiments. These new social systems were foredoomed as utopian; the more completely they were worked out in detail, the more they could not avoid drifting off into pure phantasies.148

If this sounds like a rather damning dismissal of the merits of the utopian socialists, Engels reserves even more venom for “the literary small fry” who “solemnly quibble over these phantasies.”149 In contrast, he traces Marx’s pioneering work back to Bacon’s empiricism (thus representing Bacon as the father of materialism), arguing that the task of scientifically grounded socialism is “no longer to manufacture a system of society as perfect as possible, but to examine the historico-­economic succession of events from which these classes and their antagonisms had of necessity sprung, and to discover in the eco-

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nomic conditions thus created the means of ending the conflict.”150 Science, not utopianism, becomes the key intellectual tool in social emancipation. Engels obviously overlooks the fact that modern science and utopianism jointly claim this “inventor.” As many other writers have observed, however, Engels ends up producing a prophetic, and arguably utopian vision of historical progress, explaining how the capitalist appropriation of socialized production will eventually create an anarchy of production, a class antagonism, and a “crisis from plethora” 151 so great that the state will necessarily take direct possession of all productive forces. When the state becomes a true representative of society—­distributing the gains associated with modernized production—­and attuned to the community’s and the individual’s needs, Engels predicts that it will eradicate class differences and eventually “render itself unnecessary.”152 “The state is not abolished,” he writes, “It dies out.”153 Thus, we find a teleological end point in which scientific socialism reaches—­however inadvertently—­a resounding future state of utopia. Although the path is paved with historical, scientific explanation, Engels’s journey ends in the awfully millennial “kingdom of freedom.”154 Setting aside the problems with this rather teleological vision of passive historical progress, (a problem many Marxists and non-­Marxists have already attended to), what we find is that even in an attempt to dissociate a revolutionary historical vision from utopian idealism, utopian discourse or a radical appeal to a better way is essential to the revolutionary agenda. In more recent years, Marxist theorists and critics—­especially Bloch, Marcuse, Jameson, and Wallerstein have therefore defended both the utopian form and the utopian impulse, even as they recognize their dangers. For instance, building on Karl Mannheim’s discussion of utopia, Wallerstein endorses an “efficacious utopia” and a notion of “utopia as a process.”155 “The Marxist utopia of the era of a thousand Marxisms” he endorses “is a utopia in search of itself.”156 As a result, we find that critiques of utopia remain central to the theoretical and political considerations of Marxists, just as the discourse remains committed to utopia as a necessary component of efficacious strategies of change. In his dismissal of sequestered utopian fictions, Milton, like Engels, seems troubled by outside impositions to change, choosing immanence over externalities, revolution over idealism. In fact, his disavowal of utopias draws on Plato’s denunciation of overreaching legal imperatives: “Impunity and remissness, for certain, are the bane of the commonwealth; but here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what

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things persuasion only is to work.”157 The trouble with utopia, in other words, is the trouble with licensing, though even here, Plato offers a solution (in “those unwritten, or at least unconstraining, laws of virtuous education, religious and civil nurture”158). Laws, punishment, and compulsion are to be replaced with education, nurture, persuasion, virtue, and discernment on the path to truth. Hence Milton’s praise for Spenser’s description of the iconoclast knight Sir Guyon in the cave of Mammon, over and above the utopian model of imposed reform. Thus, Milton relocates a kind of utopian commitment to reformation within the self and also in the commonwealth that fosters virtue precisely by way of setting minimal regulations. For Milton, “we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.”159 The good society is not a matter of speculative invention or otherworldly being, and it does not come from outside; rather, it is a process of learning what has already been made available by God, and found again only through the free circulation of ideas. Might not we also read this call for “trial by the contrary,” however, as a critical revision of utopianism, a discursive staging of difference, where the good and the corrupt meet? To understand how the sectarian spirit of the early revolutionary Areopagitica might be thought of as a critical utopianism, we can also consider Milton’s last political tract—­The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth—­a work that by its title promises a programmatic utopia. Composed, published, and revised just as the Rump Parliament was being dismantled under General George Monck’s leadership in the winter of 1660, the tract, in rather frantic, self-­effacing urgency, desperately extols the dangers of rule by monarchy while outlining Milton’s vision of the happiest commonwealth. The juxtapositions with Areopagitica are strong: opposed to the “reforming of reformation itself,” The Ready and Easy Way commends the virtues of a settled government that does not “breed commotions, changes, novelties and uncertainties,” while it ironically attacks the anonymous publication of “infernal pamphlets” of a royalist persuasion.160 Rather, the “foundation and main pillar” of Milton’s ideal state is the free election of a Grand Council, comprised of gentry of merit, who will serve in perpetuity, a proposition he praises in terms of creating national stability and safety. At his most aristocratic moment, Milton also calls for efforts to “well-­qualifie and refine elections: not committing all to the noise and shouting of a rude multitude.”161 Worries over “backsliding” replace Areopagitica’s calls for constant reformation and incessant labor, so that what emerges is less a critical or ambivalent utopianism than what James Holstun has identified as an “anti-­utopian jeremiad.”162 Holstun explains

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that Milton “does not attempt to unite a community around some program of political innovation . . . or renovation. . . . Rather, he creates for himself the identity of a lone prophet who withdraws from his community and stands prophesying its ruin.”163 In other words, in The Ready and Easy Way, Milton signs off and could be said to “sequester” himself out of the world of politics into the poetic and religious polity of paradise. All of this is to be contrasted with the ready endorsement of political identity in Areopagitica. Utopia adopts a remarkably different shape in the earlier tract: this time as a heuristic and historical process of re-­membering truth. Perhaps the most compelling and fascinating passages of Areopagitica are those which address a personified, if elusive and ultimately unrepresentable truth. I would like to conclude here by examining how Milton images the quest for truth in explicitly religious, political, and economic terms, in order to explore further Areopagitica’s revolutionary bourgeois ideology and its critical reinvention of utopia. While this discussion of truth has received extensive interpretation, often being characterized as the most radical, innovative notion of Areopagitica, it is usually understood as a testament to Milton’s unorthodox, millenarian beliefs in an otherworldly and temporarily unknowable truth. Political readings of Milton’s figuration of truth, such as Norbrook’s, take it as a sign of “the reconstituted body of a reformed state,” or as the paradigmatic expression of the birth of institutions for semi-­public debate.164 David Loewenstein has also argued that the text’s stress on “triall . . . by what is contrary” is an imperative to parliament “to respond creatively to history as a dynamic process where an ideology of conflict may have regenerative rather than tragic consequences in the present and future ages of reformation.”165 In contrast, Fish understands the shape-­shifting figuration of truth as evidence of Milton’s desire to enact a diacritical debate—­within the text itself—­over the subject of censorship, a debate in which Milton’s reader must grapple with Areopagitica’s own difficulty, as practice in the trials of “constituting . . . human virtue.”166 Throughout the tract, Fish argues, Milton encourages “the reader to a premature act of concluding or understanding which is then undone or upset by the introduction of a new and complicating perspective.”167 The strategic indeterminacy of this self-­reflexive text trains the reader in the lesson that “truth is not the property of any external form, or even of a form that proclaims this very truth.”168 In properly poststructuralist terms, Fish’s rendition of Milton’s truth claims that truth can only be understood when multiplied differentially, when the desire to totalize or literally “idolize” truth is relentlessly resisted.

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But as mentioned earlier, the economic readings of truth’s figuration tend to focus on truth’s analogized relationship to a commodity in unobstructed circulation, troubling Fish’s assertion that Milton never renders truth as an externalized object in Areopagitica. Fish is, however, surely right to stress the process of a proliferating, constantly reforming, indeterminate truth. For Areopagitica also codes truth as ceaseless labor—­as a process of production. Take, for instance, the comparison of the search for knowledge and virtue to Psyche’s “incessant labor.” “Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up together almost inseparably,” Milton writes, “and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed on Psyche as an incessant labor to cull out and sort asunder, were not more intermixed.”169 Later, of course, Milton famously appropriates the personification of Truth from Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris, to portray her as a perfect female body, dismembered by the wicked into a “thousand pieces,” and scattered, which the godly must attempt to piece back together in preparation for Christ’s second coming. While only the Master can perfectly reassemble the body of Truth, Milton nevertheless advocates: “Suffer not these licensing prohibitions to stand at every place of opportunity, forbidding and disturbing them that continue seeking, that continue to do our obsequies to the torn body of our martyred saint.”170 Similarly, the rhetorical comparison of religious truth to the temple being made of “moderate varieties and brotherly dissimilitudes” involves “cutting,” “squaring,” and “hewing” stone, emphasizing the sweat and toil that goes into the building’s construction.171 If Psyche’s labor is incessant, if the body of Truth ultimately cannot be reassembled, then it is also crucial to recognize that for Milton, truth is nevertheless immanent in the relentless labor of searching. What is also interesting about these figurations is that they suggest multiple methods of godly labor, suggesting that the act of reading and the exchange of ideas (figured in Psyche’s sorting and in the reassembling of Truth’s body) can also be understood as a form of production, as an active assembling process, integral to the construction and revelation of knowledge. We find this notion reiterated, for example, in Milton’s statement that “a wise man, like a good refiner, can gather gold out of the drossiest volume,” and also later in his equation of the search for truth with “the hardest labor in the deep mines of knowledge.”172 The production of truth is a profitable enterprise, for as Milton ruminates: “Seeing no man who hath tasted learning but will confess the many ways

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of profiting by those who, not contented with stale receipts, are able to manage and set forth new positions to the world.”173 Like the antimonopoly passages of this tract, these statements attack licensing as a restraint on the productive circulation of truth in the emerging marketplace of ideas. We can also see this characterization of truth as the outcome of labor in Milton’s attack on licensing as a “slothful” measure.174 That which stands in the way of intellectual exchange, clings to custom—­the fruit of “dull ease.”175 Milton warns parliament, “do not make us affect the laziness of a licensing church,”176 before launching into an attack on an imprudent clergy, neglectful of their duty (here echoing the attack on false ministers who starve their flocks in “Lycidas,” his earlier pastoral elegy). The Miltonic parable in which a misguided, wealthy man treats religion as an externalized “dividual movable,” by leaving the “stock” and “trade” to a parish minister, is another example of Areopagitica’s stress on the necessity for religious labor.177 Milton uses the episode to illustrate what happens when the wealthy “give over toiling,” resigning “the whole warehouse of . . . religion with all the locks and keys into [another’s] custody.” 178 While it may be tempting to read this as an argument against financing or usury—­it ultimately suggests that the wealthy man’s error lies in his unwillingness to deal in the “piddling” and “mysterious” “traffic and “trade” of religion.179 In a sense, then, Max Weber’s influential thesis about the Protestant work ethic applies to the economic representations of a trafficked and produced truth in Areopagitica. Weber famously argues that the historical emergence of modern capitalism, along with its rationalistic ordering of all elements of life and its regularization of the relentless pursuit of profit, was the (unintended) outcome of certain religious ideas—­in particular, those of Puritanism. In order to become a dominant system, he explains, capitalism needed the scaffold of an ethos, or an imperative to certain forms of moral conduct; in this case, a sense of worldly duty toward acquisition and “hard frugality.”180 According to Weber, the Protestant Reformation in its various strains of Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Methodism, provided this spiritual underpinning, by initiating the concept of the religious “calling,” or the notion that the only life acceptable to God was one that fulfilled worldly obligations, rather than one that withdrew from the social sphere. In the Calvinist doctrine of the predestined elect, this resulted in a rigorous, disciplined method of moral conduct, in which traditional, monastic forms of asceticism were transformed into religious practices in the world, whereby faith, grace, and Godly favor could be proved only by the individual’s lifetime of success, labor, and accumulated wealth. If Milton breaks with Cal-

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vinism on several counts, his rhetorical emphasis on the relentless labor for truth versus the idleness of tradition appeals to a similar notion of the religious worldly obligation to produce. In this way, Milton’s restless, mutable representation of truth may itself be understood as a testament to the emerging bourgeois ideology present in Areopagitica. Loewenstein has convincingly made the case for the tract’s revolutionary and “resilient capacity to embrace conflict as the essential element of the historical process.”181 But the pamphlet’s dynamic historical consciousness may also share something with Marx and Engel’s famous description of the bourgeois approach to history in The Communist Manifesto: Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-­formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.182

Of course, for Milton, constant reformation does not possess the end goal of secularization, but there is certainly a way in which his tract suggests a remarkable focus on the crucial, reforming activity of this world. In its combined attacks on political, religious, and economic traditions, in its appeal to an earthly governing body, and in its idealization of the Puritan aristocratic capitalist Lord Brooke, Areopagitica exhibits something of this particular revolutionary quality. At the same time, it is this emphasis on constant change, growth, and interrogation that fundamentally retools utopia so that it becomes “the reforming of reformation itself ”183 rather than an externally projected social order. The reformation of reformation suggests a constant desire for both self-­and national innovation, as opposed to Macaria’s paradoxical desires for dynamism and stasis, for debate and universal agreement. As capitalist relations come more fully into being, the capitalist utopia’s depiction of another world must simultaneously melt into air.


It should be observed, however, that as capitalist social relations and those state policies that facilitated them gained a greater foothold in England during this revolutionary moment, the first resolutely anticapitalist English utopia was also drafted: Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652). The Law of Freedom, like other works by Winstanley, a bankrupt London freeman turned cow herdsman, puts to print many of the ideals that motivated the commoning activities of the most radical mid-­seventeenth century group, the Diggers. In the year of Charles I’s execution, multiple Digger communes sprang up across the English countryside, with Winstanley participating in the sowing of common land on St. George’s Hill in Surrey and, later that year, a short distance away on Cobham Heath. As a result of local landowner abuse, by 1650, the Digger colony on Cobham was abandoned. Winstanley’s utopia does not follow the utopian literary format of the fictitious dialogue, though it is self-­consciously an ideal society whose earnestness speaks both to his rather desperate circumstances and his commitment to see his plan put (back) into action. Dedicated to Oliver Cromwell, The Law of Freedom offers a “Platform of Government” for “the Original Righteousness and Peace in the Earth,” which begins with the fundamental principle that a “True Commonwealths Freedom lies in the free Enjoyment of the Earth,” or in other words, that land is held in common.184 The first chapter of The Law of Freedom also directly challenges the utopian vision of the more moderate revolutionary factions, opposing those who believe

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that freedom “lies in the free use of Trading, and to have all Patents, Licenses, and Restraints removed” as a “Freedom under the Will of a Conqueror.”185 Free trade is for him a false utopia, or merely another form of subjection. Indeed, as Holstun has observed, Winstanley appropriates and turns on its head the improving arguments of bourgeois revolutionaries.186 While he attacks idleness and keeps rural labor at the foundation of his improved commonwealth, he values common preservation above self-­preservation. In Winstanley’s society, the fruits of labor are consolidated in public storehouses and the practice of hired labor has been replaced with laws that protect each person’s right by birth to have access to the land. Like most ideal societies, Winstanley’s utopia of the hook and plow calls on a variety of past states to support his future vision, depicting his society as a restored Eden, Israel, and pre-­Norman England. In fact, some of the most radical aspects of The Law of Freedom stem from Winstanley’s conception of England itself as a conquered territory. In his account, the Norman invasion resulted in a long line of “Tyrant Kings” and lords who, like “cruel step-­fathers and step-­mothers,” usurped control of land that belonged, by birthright, to the oppressed children of England.187 Now without a king, he hopes that the “Commoners of England in this age of the World . . . have cast out that invasion of the Duke of Normandy, and have won their Land and Liberties again by the Sword, if they do not suffer their Councels to befool them into slavery again upon a new accompt.”188 As this statement suggests, Winstanley’s vision of the commons spreads beyond England to also imagine a global community of production that is principled on a wholly common Earth. While there is still a latent nationalism to his rhetoric, and at times, a suggestion of Christian-­imperialistic longing,189 the law that is to “go forth from England to all the Nations of the World” is intended to spread “abundance of peace and plenty,” and England is to be a model for all the rest of “the Nations of the Earth.”190 Winstanley describes these global aspirations in The True Levellers Standard: It was shewed us by Vision in Dreams, and out of Dreams, That that should be the Place [George’s Hill] we should begin upon; And though the Earth in view of Flesh, be very barren, yet we should trust the Spirit for a blessing. And that not only this Common, or Heath should be taken in and Manured by the people, but all the Commons and waste Ground in England, and in the whole World, shall be taken in by the people in righteousness, not owning any Propriety; but taking the Earth to be a Common Treasury, as it was first made for all.191


Compared to More’s non-­hierarchical but intentionally fortressed island, Winstanley’s vision certainly presents readers with a more radical utopia in the form of a global commons. The Law of Freedom, then, continues to possess a utopian function, educating our desire for a world without walls, classes, starvation, and violence. In fact, a presentist reading of this text, and indeed, this tradition of literature, is hardly difficult. As most students quickly observe, the experience of reading utopian texts like Winstanley’s or More’s, centuries after their publication, is one of encountering a strangely refracted version of our own problems, debates, and desires. These works uncannily register the crises and questions at the heart of our most entrenched political debates: Is there a place for radical ideas within institutions of power? How is a better world made: from the top down or through mass revolt? What can be done to address unemployment, and simultaneously, to reduce the burden of labor for all? How is crime best prevented and punished? What can be done about “the conspiracy of the rich,” of those who seem to have so little interest in actually remedying the problems of the poor? Is private property the only way, and/or the most just? Thomas More would famously leave most of these questions unresolved at the end of his book, postponing discussion for a later time, but seemingly to the purpose of inviting readers—­and future writers—­to join in the task of debating answers. Do not mistake this as a simple argument for the universality of early English utopias or for their transhistorical appeal. Advanced capitalism has brought with it old and new forms of accumulation that make considerations of plausible alternatives—­and particularly, the commons—­all the more relevant and radical. In our own moment, we continue to witness neocolonial land grabs in the Global South and other forms of “new enclosures”192 that privatize the once customary or collective property of indigenous peoples, resulting in their expulsion and enforced entrance into a wage-­oriented, labor-­commodified marketplace. Under neoliberalism, we have also seen the intensified corporatization and commodification of public assets, including resources like water and air, social services like education and health care, and formerly public institutions such as schools, prisons, and the military. Financial capitalism, too, is an extension of what David Harvey labels “accumulation by dispossession,” in that its tactics of speculation, predation, and often outright theft have served to redistribute the wealth of modest income earners upward to the one percent.193 If in some ways our world seems as far away from the world of More’s time as Utopia was from sixteenth-­century England, then, many of these early utopias

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stretch out across the gulf of history to reveal what little progress we have made when we have counted on elites, and the capitalist state, to address the needs of the dispossessed, the jobless, the ill, the homeless, the vagrant, and other precarious or marginalized populations. Which is to say, early English utopias remind us that primitive accumulation is an ongoing process, and one which still requires critical estrangement and creative, utopian solutions. The study of early utopias then demands that contemporary readers consider the malleability of their own present, and both the progress and shortcomings of contemporary capitalism, against the societies experienced and envisioned by the subjects of early modern England. In this view, even the less radical, bourgeois literary utopias contest, through fictional counter-­examples of social being, the ideals and institutions inherited as (natural) history, and in so doing, they also inevitably reorient our histories into narratives of multiple possibilities and desires, both fulfilled and unmet. More than that, though, the genre of utopia has historically offered readers and writers a transformational and transitional social imaginary. May utopias of the past continue to task readers with the challenge of imagining what an equitable world might look like.

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Introduction 1. Robert Gray, A Good Speed to Virginia (London: 1609), B1. 2. James Holstun often refers to this spirit as one of “DIY millennialism.” See Holstun, A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-­Century England and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). 3. For example, see William Symonds’s Virginia. A Sermon Preached at White-­ Chapel (Southwark: 1609); and John Donne’s “To the Honorable Company of the Virginian Plantation,” in Three Sermons upon Speciall Occasions (London: 1623). Peter Mancall also surveys this rhetorical tendency in Envisioning America: English Plans for the Colonization of North America, 1580–­1640 (Boston: Bedford Books, 1995), 12–­14; as does Timothy Sweet in “Economy, Ecology, and Utopia in Early Colonial Promotional Literature,” American Literature 71 (1999): 403. 4. Gray, Good Speed to Virginia, B4. 5. Ibid., B2. 6. Andrew Escobedo, Nationalism and Historical Loss in Renaissance England: Foxe, Dee, Spenser, Milton (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004), 5–­7. 7. William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. (New York: Norton, 1997), 1.5.189. 8. Patrick Collinson, “John Stow and Nostalgic Antiquarianism,” in Imagining Early Modern London: Perceptions and Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598–­1720, ed. J. F. Merritt (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 37. 9. Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (New York: Verso, 2005), xii. 10. Ruth Levitas, The Concept of Utopia (New York: Philip Allan, 1990). 11. Holstun, A Rational Millennium, 12. For J. C. Davis’s strict genre taxonomy, see

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his Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing 1516–­1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). 12. Frank Manuel and Fritzie Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1979), 13. 13. Louis Marin, Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces, trans. Robert Vollrath (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1984). See also Fredric Jameson, “Of Islands and Trenches: Neutralization and the Production of Utopian Discourse,” in The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 1971–­1986, vol. 2, The Syntax of History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 75–­101. 14. Christopher Kendrick, “More’s Utopia and Uneven Development,” boundary 2 13.2 (1985): 233–­266. 15. Chapter 1 offers further discussion of these readings and the notion of utopian origins more broadly. Like capitalism’s overdetermined and uneven origins, Utopia, too, can be traced to other textual forms, epistemologies, and practices, despite More’s reinvention of the form at a very specific historical conjuncture. 16. Throughout this study, I will use the names of the two main speakers as they are given in More’s original Latin text, given their important, ambiguous wordplay. 17. Thomas More, Utopia, ed. George Logan and Robert Adams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 22. 18. Ibid., 18–­19. 19. Ibid., 22. 20. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Ben Fowkes (New York: Penguin Classics, 1976), 879–­880, 898. 21. Christopher Kendrick, “Tendencies of Utopia: Reflections on Recent Work in Modern Utopian Fiction,” Cultural Logic: An Electronic Journal of Marxist Theory and Practice (2006): 15. 22. For some of Halpern’s excellent discussion on chronological dislocation, decoding, and deterritorialization in the early sixteenth century, see Richard Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation: English Renaissance Culture and the Genealogy of Capital (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 67–­69 and 73–­74, along with the chapter on More, “Rational Kernel, Mystical Shell,” 136–­175. 23. See also Christopher Kendrick, “More’s Utopia and Uneven Development,” which offers a particularly clear, concise, and early explanation of this historical scene. 24. See Marina Leslie’s Renaissance Utopias and The Problem of History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998) on the trouble with genre and the uncommon ambiguity of More’s book. 25. Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 161. 26. Russell Jacoby, Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-­Utopian Age (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005). 27. Russell Jacoby, The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy (New York: Basic Books, 1999). 28. Jameson, Archaeologies, xvi. The phrase also references the final chapter title in

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Robert Elliott’s The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 129. 29. Jacoby, Picture Imperfect, 85. 30. Ibid., 32. 31. Jameson, Archaeologies, xiii. 32. Jameson, for instance, equates utopianism with a communal impulse throughout his oeuvre. 33. See Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge, trans. Louis Wirth and Edward Shils (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985); Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight, vol. 1–­3 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986); and Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981). 34. Marina Leslie, Renaissance Utopias and the Problem of History, 3. 35. And this remains the case. See, for example, Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk’s anthology, Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism (New York: New Press, 2007), which features a series of essays on the utopian schemes of contemporary capitalists. 36. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 121. 37. Ibid., 125. 38. Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1:177. 39. Williams, Marxism and Literature, 129. 40. Ibid., 132. 41. Ibid., 126, 134. 42. Maurice Dobb would amusingly refute Smith’s “prior accumulation” by claiming, “There is no historical evidence of capitalists having hoarded spinning machines or looms or lathes or stocks of raw material in gigantic warehouses over a period of decades until in the fullness of time these warehouses would be full enough for factory industry to be started.” See Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism (New York: International Publishers, 1963), 177. 43. Marx, Capital, 934. 44. Ibid., 931. 45. The next chapter, on More’s Utopia, deals with Smith’s account and Marx’s critique at greater length. 46. A chapter-­length overview of this early theory can be found in Ellen Meiksins Wood’s The Origin of Capitalism (New York: Verso, 2001), 11–­33. 47. Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism, 38. 48. Ibid., 42–­43. 49. Paul Sweezy et al., The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism (London: Verso, 1978), 42. 50. Many of these voices, and others, have been collected in The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism and in T. H. Aston and C.H.E. Philpin, eds., The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-­Industrial Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

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51. Robert Brenner, “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-­ Industrial Europe,” in The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-­Industrial Europe, ed. T. H. Aston and C.H.E. Philpin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 10–­63; and “The Origins of Capitalist Development: A Critique of Neo-­Smithian Marxism,” New Left Review 1.104 (1977): 25–­92. 52. Jim Blaut surveys this context in “Robert Brenner in the Tunnel of Time,” Antipode 26.4 (1994): 351–­376. 53. André Gunder Frank, World Accumulation, 1492–­1789 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978), 239. In his seminal 1966 chapter “The Development of Underdevelopment,” Frank explained: “This hypothesis seems to be amply confirmed by the former super-­satellite development and present ultra-­underdevelopment of the once sugar-­ exporting West Indies, Northeastern Brazil, the ex-­mining districts of Minas Gerais in Brazil, highland Peru, and Bolivia, and the central Mexican states of Guanajuato, Zacatecas, and others whose names were made world famous centuries ago by their silver. There surely are no major regions in Latin America which are today more cursed by underdevelopment and poverty; yet all of these regions, like Bengal in India, once provided the life blood of mercantile and industrial capitalist development—­in the metropolis. These regions’ participation in the development of the world capitalist system gave them, already in their golden age, the typical structure of underdevelopment of a capitalist export economy. When the market for their sugar or the wealth of their mines disappeared and the metropolis abandoned them to their own devices, the already existing economic, political, and social structure of these regions prohibited autonomous generation of economic development and left them no alternative but to turn in upon themselves and to degenerate into the ultra-­underdevelopment we find there today.” See Frank, “The Development of Underdevelopment,” in Paradigms in Economic Development. ed. Rajani Kanth (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1994), 157. 54. See Immanuel Wallerstein, Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization (New York: Verso, 1995); and also his World-­Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004). 55. Brenner, “The Origins of Capitalist Development,” 26. 56. Brenner, “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development,” 11. 57. “It is only with the emergence of free wage labour, labour power as a commodity,” Brenner writes, “that there is a separation of the producers from the means of subsistence and production; that production must be marketed to make possible reproduction; that there is, in a true sense, production for exchange.” See Brenner, “Origins of Capitalist Development,” 50. 58. Ibid, 76. 59. These differences also lead to another: in Brenner’s work, primitive accumulation is consistently represented as a founding, past stage of capitalism (where the coercive pressure of “absolute” surplus-­value marks the end of feudalism and initiates a more compulsory system of “relative” surplus-­value), whereas dependency and world-­ systems theorists consider primitive accumulation an ongoing practice, not a stage in the history of capitalism’s development. Frank advances this interpretation, calling for a

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distinction between precapitalist primitive accumulation and “primary accumulation,” a name for capitalist accumulation that relies on noncapitalist relations of production that are a constant companion to the wage labor dynamic; see Frank, World Accumulation, 1492–­1789 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978), 241. Primitive accumulation is also adapted by Robin Blackburn, who advances the concept of “extended primitive accumulation” to discuss the role of colonial slave plantations in the history of British industrialization. See Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492–­1800 (New York: Verso, 1997), 515. David Harvey’s The New Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) also rejuvenates the concept of ongoing primitive accumulation to explain the process of what he calls “accumulation by dispossession,” or the neoliberal drive to privatize public assets. 60. Marx, Capital, 875. 61. Ibid., 915. 62. Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies,” in Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula Treichler (New York: Routledge, 1992), 279–­280. 63. Crystal Bartolovich, “‘Travailing’ Theory: Global Flows of Labor and the Enclosure of the Subject,” in A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion, ed. Jyotsna G. Singh (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), 50. 64. See Brenner’s “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development,” 22–­23; and “The Origins of Capitalist Development,” 76. 65. Ellen Meiksins Wood, The Origin of Capitalism (New York: Verso, 2001). 66. Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of our Times (New York: Verso, 1994). 67. Scholars of medieval culture seem more inclined toward the British Marxist tradition. The emphasis of Rodney Hilton, for instance, is felt throughout the discipline. 68. One such exception is the anthology edited by Richard Burt and John Michael Archer, Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994). David Hawkes, also, opens his Idols of the Marketplace: Idolatry and Commodity Fetishism in English Literature, 1580–­1680 (New York: Palgrave/ St. Martin’s Press, 2001) with a lengthy overview of Dobb’s, Sweezy’s, and Tawney’s work on the rise of capitalism. James Holstun’s Ehud’s Dagger: Class Struggle in the English Revolution (New York: Verso, 2000) and Crystal Bartolovich’s “Travailing Theory” also pursues lines of connection between early modern culture and Marxist histories of the transition. 69. Louis Montrose, “Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture,” in The New Historicism, ed. H. Aram Veeser (New York: Routledge, 1989), 15–­36. 70. John Brannigan, however, has also persuasively argued that for all of New Historicism’s rejection of epochal analysis, it “replaces one grand narrative of historical progress with another grand narrative of power.” See his New Historicism and Cultural Materialism (New York: Palgrave, 1998), 217. 71. Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (London: Macmillan, 1996), 33–­34.

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72. Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 2. 73. Ibid., 69. 74. Ibid. 75. The early modern period is at the center of the transition debate because the pivotal development of an English proletarianized workforce occurred during this time. Yet it should be noted that most economists and historians necessarily adopt a wider lens to consider the historical development of capitalist relations in England, first considering fourteenth-­century demographic, agricultural, and social changes, and then continuing to chart the rise of industrial capitalism through the eighteenth century. 76. Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism, 11. 77. Ibid., 21. 78. This follows Edward Said’s assertion that “the enterprise of empire depends upon the idea of having an empire,” and therefore, “the processes of imperialism occurred beyond the level of economic laws and political dimensions,” that is, at the “significant level  .  .  . of national culture.” See Said’s Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf, 1993), 11, 12. 79. There are also, of course, domestically rooted utopias. Gerrard Winstanley’s Digger society during the Civil War years constitutes a seventeenth-­century example (noted for its anti-­imperial framing), but the sixteenth century also offers up an example in Isabella Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament,” as Crystal Bartolovich has persuasively proposed. See her “‘Optimism of the Will’: Isabella Whitney and Utopia,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 39.2 (2009): 407–­432. Still, in general, early modern utopias predate the nineteenth-­century shift when, as Northrop Frye writes, “the utopia . . . tend[s] increasingly to be a journey in time rather than space, a vision of the future and not of a society located in some isolated spot on the globe.” See Frye, “Varieties of Literary Utopias,” in Utopias and Utopian Thought, ed. Frank Manuel (Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1965), 28. 80. Joseph Hall, Another World and Yet the Same: Bishop Joseph Hall’s Mundus Alter et Idem, ed. and trans. John Millar Wands (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 14. 81. Chloë Houston, “Traveling Nowhere: Global Utopias in the Early Modern Period,” in A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion, ed. Jyotsna G. Singh (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), 95. 82. Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton (London: Pearson Education, 2001), Proem to Book 2 (lines 15–­18). 83. Ibid., (lines 24–­26). 84. Francis Godwin, The Man in the Moone, or, a Discourse of a Voyage Thither (London: 1638), 2. 85. Ibid. 86. John Wilkins, A Discourse Concerning a New World and Another Planet (London: 1638), 7. 87. Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, in Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader, ed. Sylvia Bowerbank and Sara Mendelson (Guelph: Broadview Press, 2000), 151.

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88. Michael Drayton, “To the Virginian Company,” The Works of Michael Drayton, ed. J. William Hebel, vol. 2 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1961), 363–­364. 89. John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity” (1630), Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Hanover Historical Texts Collection, https://history.hanover.edu/texts/winthmod.html. 90. In addition to the works by these authors cited above, see Jeffrey Knapp, An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996); Denise Albanese, New Science, New World (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996); Chloë Houston, New Worlds Reflected: Travel and Utopia in the Early Modern Period (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2010).

Chapter 1 The phrase “peninsula made an island” is taken from John Speed, The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine presenting an exact geography of the kingdomes of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the iles adioyning (London: 1612), 1. 1. In the section of the Grundrisse dealing with the “original accumulation of capital,” Marx provides this exposition: “Just as, on one side the pre-­bourgeois phases appear as merely historical, i.e. suspended presuppositions, so do the contemporary conditions of production likewise appear as engaged in suspending themselves and hence in positing the historical presuppositions for a new state of society.” In other words, to understand the presuppositions of capitalist accumulation, one needs a historical hindsight that also grasps the fundamental principles of the present economy. Marx’s more famous evolutionary metaphor, also from the Grundrisse—­“Human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape” (105)—­more succinctly captures this explanation of an epochal historical method. 2. Patricia Ingham, “Making All Things New: Past, Progress, and the Promise of Utopia,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.3 (2006): 481. 3. This definition is reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’s claim that utopia is essentially just a “holiday work . . . which starts many hares and kills none.” English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954), 168. 4. Karma Lochrie, Nowhere in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). 5. Karma Lochrie, “Sheer Wonder: Dreaming Utopia in the Middle Ages,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.3 (2006): 494. In Nowhere in the Middle Ages, Lochrie writes, “Utopus-­like, scholars of More’s Utopia . . . sever his narrative utopia from his historical past, too, creating of it a conceptual and generic enclave alongside that other coeval birth, ‘nascent modernity.’” See Nowhere in the Middle Ages, 3.

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6. James Simpson, Reform and Cultural Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 3. 7. Ibid., 2. 8. Ibid., 191, 193. 9. Ibid., 193. 10. A similar claim is made by Phillip Wegner at the start of “Utopia and the Birth of Nations,” in Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). 11. Key utopian studies here include Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-­ Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); James Holstun, A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-­Century England and America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Jeffrey Knapp, An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Denise Albanese, New Science, New World (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996); Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996); Marina Leslie, Renaissance Utopias and the Problem of History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998); and Robert Appelbaum, Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-­Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 12. This line of criticism should not be confused with an older thread of pro-­ communist readings—­within which Kautsky should be included, as well as A. L. Morton, both of whom interpreted the text as an earnest endorsement of a classless society. See Louis Marin, Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces, trans. Robert Vollrath (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1984); Karl Kautsky, Thomas More and His Utopia (New York: Russell and Russell, 1959); and A. L. Morton, The English Utopia (London: Seven Seas Books, 1968). 13. For more on the contentious, politically charged history of criticism on Utopia, see Peter Wenzel, “‘Utopian Pluralism’: A Systemic Approach to the Analysis of Pluralism in the Debate About Thomas More’s Utopia,” Erfurt Electronic Studies in English 10 (1996): http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/edoc/ia/eese/artic96/wenzel/10_96.html. 14. Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1968). 15. Though this term is often employed to describe a later subjective and cultural circumstance of globalization, especially in the era of communications technologies, as in the work of Anthony Giddens and John Tomlinson, I will attempt to explain the deterritorializing and reterritorializing experience of sixteenth-­century primitive accumulation by building—­in particular—­on Richard Halpern’s reading of More. 16. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 456. 17. Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (New York: New York Review Books, 2001), 85, 97. 18. Chloë Houston also explores anxieties about the utopian genre in John Milton’s Areopagitica and John Webster’s Academiarum Examen. See her “Could ‘Eutopian

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politics [ . . . ] never be drawn into use’?: Utopianism and Radicalism in the 1640s,” in Cromohs Virtual Seminars. Recent Historiographical Trends of the British Studies, ed. M. Caricchio and G. Tarantino (2006–­2007): 1–­4, http://www.fupress.net/public/journals/49/Seminar/houston_utopias.html. 19. Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. Allan Bloom, 2nd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 1991), 275. 20. Ovid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, ed. Madeline Forey, trans. Arthur Golding (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002), 34. 21. J. C. Davis offers perhaps the best account of the key distinctions between utopian narratives and earlier modes of the ideal society, explaining: “In utopia, it is neither man nor nature that is idealized but organization.” See his Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516–­1700, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 38. 22. J. H. Hexter, More’s Utopia: The Biography of an Idea (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), 65. 23. Appelbaum, Literature and Utopian Politics, 6–­7. 24. Leslie, Renaissance Utopias and the Problem of History, 8. 25. Ibid., 8–­9. 26. Fredric Jameson, “Of Islands and Trenches: Neutralization and the Production of Utopian Discourse,” in The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 1971–­1986, vol. 2, The Syntax of History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 75–­101; and “Morus: A Generic View,” in Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (New York: Verso, 2005), 22–­41. 27. Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (New York: Verso, 2005), xiv. 28. Fredric Jameson, “Marxism and Historicism,” in The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 1971–­1986, vol. 2, The Syntax of History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 173. 29. Another name for this is sublation, or in Hegel’s scheme, Aufhebung. 30. Ingham, “Making All Things New,” 483. 31. Ernst Bloch, “Nonsynchronism and the Obligation to Its Dialectics,” trans. Mark Ritter, New German Critique 11 (1977): 22; and Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). 32. Ingham, “Making All Things New,” 488. 33. Kautsky, Thomas More and His Utopia, 79. 34. Ibid., 206. 35. Halpern also discusses this passage at length, arguing that Marx distorts Smith’s structural account of the division of labor, even scapegoats him, thus jeopardizing his own efforts to demystify capital’s origin by prying it away from the choices of individual subjects and reorienting it around systemic dynamics. For Halpern, Marx’s “primitive accumulation” is also its own “originary” myth, and though useful, he suggests that “Marx’s narrative seems merely to identify a space where a history ought to be.” See Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation: English Renaissance Culture and the Ge-

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nealogy of Capital (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 86–­87, 66. While it is crucial to understand primitive accumulation as a historicist concept, I am less inclined to see Capital’s extensively materialist history as merely a rhetorical concept or genealogy, nor do I find evidence that Marx blames Smith for capitalism’s violent origins, only that his polemics mean to highlight Smith’s bad historicism on the specific matter of precapitalist accumulation. Halpern’s study remains the most important book on Renaissance culture’s anticipatory role in the creation of capital, but my sense is that it remains profoundly ambivalent about materialist history. 36. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. Books I–­III, ed. Andrew Skinner (New York: Penguin Books, 1999), 430, 437. 37. Ibid., 441. 38. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Ben Fowkes (New York: Penguin Classics, 1976), 873–­874. 39. Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), trans. Martin Nicolaus (London: Penguin Books, 1993), 463. 40. Marx, Capital, 926. 41. Ibid., 876, 934. 42. Ibid., 876. 43. The disbanding of feudal retinues under Henry VII and the rise of royal power, which provoked opposition from many of the greatest feudal lords according to Marx, created an “incomparably larger proletariat” than that which existed in the late Middle Ages. See Marx, Capital, 878–­882. During this century, the expansion of the wool trade in Flanders and the selling of church lands during the Reformation also accelerated the forcible expulsion of commoners from the land and into wage labor. 44. Ibid., 879. See also Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 154. 45. Thomas More, Utopia, ed. George Logan and Robert Adams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 16–­17. 46. Hexter, More’s Utopia, 42. 47. Ibid. 48. See, for instance, Romauld Ian Lakowski, “Sir Thomas More and the Art of Dialogue,” Early Modern Literary Studies (1995): 91. 49. Andrew McLean covers the various uses of diverse dialogue forms in the book, citing these ancient influences. See his “Thomas More’s Utopia as Dialogue and City Encomium,” in Acta Conventus Neo-­Latini Guelpherbytani, ed. Stella Revard, Fidel Radle, and Mario Di Cesare (Binghamton: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1988), 91–­97. Also see Elizabeth McCutcheon’s “More’s Rhetoric,” in The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More, ed. George Logan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 55. 50. R. Bracht Branham, “Utopian Laughter: Lucian and Thomas More,”  Moreana 22.86 (1985): 26–­27. 51. See Robert C. Elliott, The Shape of Utopia: Studies in a Literary Genre (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 33. 52. George Logan, “Utopia and Deliberative Rhetoric,” Moreana 31.118 (1994): 105.

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53. For more on Renaissance dialogues, see Quentin Skinner’s Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 99. 54. After all, the prefatory letters, along with the Utopian alphabet and the much analyzed maps of the island in the early editions—­what Elizabeth McCutcheon refers to as the book’s parerga, are another kind of frame. McCutcheon explains: “These materials . . . offer a variety of views of Utopia and constitute another indication that the work is a metautopia, to be approached as an open-­ended and polysemous dialogue that explores what are in fact many-­faceted and still unresolved political and philosophical questions.” McCutcheon, “More’s Rhetoric,” 57. 55. More, Utopia, 8. 56. Kautsky, Thomas More and His Utopia, 123. 57. For more on this situation, see J. Churton Collin’s introduction to his 1904 edition of Utopia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904), xv. 58. More, Utopia, 9. 59. My understanding of these events is mainly informed by Edward Surtz’s “St. Thomas More and His Utopian Embassy of 1515,” The Catholic Historical Review, 39.3 (1953): 272–­297. 60. More, Utopia, 40. 61. Kendrick tracks a different path to a similar conclusion, arguing that More’s text gestures “toward the fluid moment of English absolutism’s overdetermination by agrarian capitalism as its authoring context.” See Christopher Kendrick, Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 38. 62. Robert Brenner’s account of the English Civil War in Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550–­1653 (New York: Verso, 2003) informs my understanding of these events. Gabriel Plattes, as I address in the last chapter of this study, gives expression to this absolutist threat in the mid-­seventeenth century when he recuperates and elaborates on Hythlodaeus’s brief paragraph on the Macarians, the Utopian neighbors who represent a limited monarchy where trade flourishes. 63. Perry Anderson’s Lineages of the Absolutist State (London: Verso, 1979) explains that absolutism was both a consequence of late feudalism and a pivotal force in the history of feudalism’s demise, for it fractured the political and economic unity of parcelized sovereignty under aristocratic landowners that had characterized feudal relations. To put it another way, power centralized upward in the state because the feudal order’s fusion of surplus extraction and political coercion was to some extent driven apart by several causes linked to the emergence of agrarian capitalism. These causes included the end of serfdom, the conversion of copyholds to rent leases, the small-­scale and large-­scale enclosure of land, and the expansion of trade. But the consequence of this was not necessarily an antipathy between mercantilist interests and the state, as some later bourgeois economists would have it; as Anderson suggests, the result of absolutism was “a reinforced apparatus of royal power, whose permanent political function was the repression of the peasant and plebian masses at the foot of the social hierarchy” (19). The economic policies of what would only later be called mercantilism resulted in the collusion of merchants and strong sovereigns.

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64. More, Utopia, 9. 65. Ibid., 14. 66. For more on this point, see Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 155, and Holstun, A Rational Millennium, 34–­35. Both scholars explore deterritorialization and displacement as organizing principles of Utopia, though Halpern employs a chiefly English agrarian view and Holstun a transatlantic perspective. 67. Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-­Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). In Greenblatt’s reading, the commonwealth of Utopia—­which at first appears as a radical counterpoint to a European “conspiracy of the rich”—­begins gradually to constrict all individual freedom, resulting in a “drastic diminution of self-­differentiation and private inwardness,” or what Greenblatt names as a “strategy of imagined self-­cancellation” (45). An infrastructure of ever-­ present surveillance and a society that coerces subjects’ behaviors and thoughts by way of an ethos of shame, according to Greenblatt, comes to stand in for a subject’s own need to control his or her thoughts and actions, a belief strongly associated with More’s fervent Catholicism and a symptom of its private manifestations of guilt (51). Another compelling biographical interpretation can be found in Jon Freeman’s “More’s Place in ‘No Place’: The Self-­Fashioning Transaction in Utopia,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 34 (1992): 197–­217. 68. More, Utopia, 21. 69. Ibid., 15. 70. See the account of these events in Anthony Fletcher and Diarmaid MacCulloch, Tudor Rebellions, 4th ed. (London: Pearson Education, 1997), 15. 71. See Peter Ackroyd’s biography The Life of Thomas More (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 185, which describes the summer of 1516, when More was writing Book One, as a particularly harsh year of drought, corn shortages, and sweating sickness. 72. Ruth Mohl, Three Estates in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (New York: F. Ungar, 1962), 7; Jill Mann, Chaucer and Medieval Estates Satire: The Literature of Social Classes and the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales (London: Cambridge University Press, 1973). 73. Eric Hobsbawm, “From Feudalism to Capitalism,” in The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism (London: Verso, 1978), 161–­162. 74. For a concise account of the prime mover of feudalism, see Rodney Hilton, “A Comment,” in The Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, by Paul Sweezy et al. (London: Verso, 1978), 109–­117. 75. In naming himself Morus in the Latin original, More is also self-­deprecatingly suggesting his surname’s connotation of foolery. The joke is picked up and continued from Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly, where Erasmus observes in the dedicatory letter to his English friend, that the idea for the book came from More’s name since it “came so near the word Moriae (folly) as you are far from the thing.” See Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, trans. John Wilson (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961), 1–­2. 76. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. A. C. Cawley (London: Everyman, 2004), 252.

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77. “The Simonie,” in Medieval English Political Writings, ed. James M. Dean (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1996), lines 1–­6, http://d.lib.rochester.edu/ teams/text/dean-­medieval-­english-­political-­writings-­simonie. 78. Ibid., line 258. 79. More, Utopia, 109. 80. The interlude was once attributed in its entirety to Rastell, who oversaw its printing, but most scholars now agree that it was co-­written with Heywood. See Rachel Greenberg, “From Subject to Earthly Matter: The Plowman’s Argument and Popular Discourse in ‘Gentleness and Nobility,’” Early Theatre 15.2 (2012): 15. Peter Happé explains the loose familial connections here: More’s sister, Elizabeth, was married to John Rastell, while Heywood married Rastell’s daughter Joan sometime around 1523. More is also known to have promoted Heywood at court in 1518. See Happé, “Heywood, John (b. 1496/7, d. in or after 1578),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., 2004, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/13183?docPos=1. 81. A similar ethical inversion is at work throughout Hythlodaeus’s exchange with the lawyer, which traces idleness not to thieves themselves (as the lawyer will insist), but to “the nobility and gentry, yes, and even some abbots though otherwise holy men, [who] are not content with the old rents” or who live in a state of wanton luxury (More, Utopia, 19). 82. John Rastell, Of Gentleness and Nobility (London: 1525), Biir. 83. Ibid., Ciiv. 84. Greenberg, “From Subject to Earthly Matter,” 15. 85. For more on the smallholders’ complaint, see Andrew McRae’s God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500–­1660 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996); and Janette Dillon, “The Ploughman’s Voice: Language and Class in Of Gentleness and Nobility,” in English Literature and the Other Languages, ed. Ton Hoenselaars and Marius Buning (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999), 13–­26. 86. More, Utopia, 15. 87. Greenberg makes this case. “From Subject to Earthly Matter,” 27. 88. Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 43, 44. 89. Phillip Wegner, Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 59. 90. See Wegner, Imaginary Communities, 43–­45. 91. Elliott, more than any other scholar, argues for the “indivisible” modes of satire and utopia, arguing that Utopia, like the formal verse satires of Horace and Lucian, joins “negative” criticism on folly with “positive” standards of excellence. See Elliott, The Shape of Utopia, 22. 92. More, Utopia, 26. 93. Interestingly, Morton is presented as an ideal reader here: he is open to trying out some of Hythlodaeus’s ideas but he also treats him as a spinner of tales, maintaining that “nobody has tried . . . out” the system of the Polylerites, despite Hythlodaeus’s insistence that he has observed them in his travels through Persia. See More, Utopia, 23–­25.

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94. Miguel Abensour, Utopia from Thomas More to Walter Benjamin, trans. Raymond N. MacKenzie (Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing, 2017), 36. 95. Williams theorizes these hegemonic and counter-­hegemonic possibilities in Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 121–­127. 96. Halpern, however, offers a different, fascinating translation of the name. Hythlos in Plato’s Theaetetus, he explains, referred to “idle talk” and “old wives’ chatter,” respectively. He proposes that a better translation of Hythlodaeus’s surname would be “skilled in pleasant speech.” See Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 142. 97. Lucian’s Saturnalia was translated by Erasmus in 1514. 98. I am strongly persuaded by both Robert Elliott and Miguel Abensour’s critical interpretations of Morus’s weak, concluding rebuke of Hythlodaeus’s description of Utopia. Both argue that here “the author ironically satirizes himself and thus invalidates his own judgement,” in framing the character’s unspoken disbelief as a matter of “popular opinion” and custom rather than reason. Abensour, Utopia from Thomas More to Walter Benjamin, 50. See also Elliott, The Shape of Utopia, 46–­48. 99. Elizabeth McCutcheon, “Thomas More, Raphael Hythlodaeus and the Angel Raphael,” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900 9 (1969): 21. 100. Carlo Ginzburg has explored the signs of both truthfulness and deception in More’s book, elsewhere expressed for instance in the first, full title of Utopia, which declared the work to be “a truly golden handbook, no less beneficial than entertaining, on the best state of a commonwealth and the new island of Utopia.” Ginzburg understands the “beneficial” and “entertaining” purposes of Utopia as a “ritual of inversion” which helped More see a “paradoxical, inverted reality: an island where sheep devoured human beings.” See his No Island Is an Island: Four Glances at English Literature in a World Perspective, trans. John Tedeschi (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 23. 101. It also, as Hexter has demonstrated, stacks the deck in favor of Hythlodaeus, who in his worldliness suggests that an idealized English past is not the only reference point for social stability. Hythlodaeus does indeed justify his defense of the commons as “not eccentric to the point of folly” by comparing it to the doctrines of Christ and the Republic of Plato, yet his innovation is to apply religious and philosophical principles directly to a model of state. See Hexter, More’s Utopia, 36. Hence, the focus of Book One is on policy, or the legal, penal, property, and foreign policy reforms that have the capacity to make England a more just and stable nation. 102. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions, 5. 103. R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2005), 61. 104. Geoff Kennedy, Diggers, Levellers, and Agrarian Capitalism: Radical Political Thought in Seventeenth Century England (New York: Lexington Books, 2008), 110. 105. More, Utopia, 33. 106. Ibid., 14. 107. Gerard Wegemer and Stephen Smith, eds., A Thomas More Source Book (Washington, DC: Catholic University of American Press, 2004), 249–­250.

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108. See his Latin Poems, #109–­115, collected in the Yale edition of his Complete Works, vol. 3.2, and anthologized by Wegemer and Smith in A Thomas More Source Book, 235–­236. 109. Wegemer and Smith, A Thomas More Source Book, 238. 110. More, Utopia, 35. 111. In Peter Giles’s quatrain in the Utopian language, which appeared as front matter in the 1516 edition, the Utopian island says of itself, “Alone among nations resplendent I stand / Making virtues as plain as the back of your hand” (More, Utopia, 123). 112. Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other, trans. Richard Howard (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999). 113. Susan Bruce, “Utopian Justifications: More’s Utopia, Settler Colonialism, and Contemporary Ecocritical Concerns,” College Literature 42.1 (2015): 26. 114. Mark Netzloff, England’s Internal Colonies: Class, Capital, and the Literature of Early Modern Colonialism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 11. 115. Enrique Dussel, “Beyond Eurocentricism: The World-­System and the Limits of Modernity,” Cultures of Globalization, ed. Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 4. 116. Knapp, An Empire Nowhere, 21; Timothy Sweet, “Economy, Ecology, and Utopia in Early Colonial Promotional Literature,” American Literature 71 (1999): 403; Antonis Balasopoulos, “Unworldly Worldliness: America and the Trajectories of Utopian Expansionism,”  Utopian Studies  15.2 (2004): 8; Jameson, Archaeologies, 205; Bruce, “Utopian Justifications,” 37. 117. See Balasopoulos, “Unworldly Worldliness,” 11; Wegner, Imaginary Communities, 37; and Marin, Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces, 211. 118. Balasopoulos, “Unworldly Worldliness,” 12. 119. David Beers Quinn, “Renaissance Influences in English Colonization,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 26 (1976): 75. 120. More, Utopia, 56. 121. David Armitage, “Literature and Empire,” in The Origins of Empire, ed. Nicholas Canny (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 109. 122. More, Utopia, 56. 123. Armitage, “Literature and Empire,” 102. 124. John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government is perhaps the most popular example of this use of natural law to defend rights to dominion over “waste” land. 125. Sweet, “Economy, Ecology, and Utopia,” 408. 126. Richard Hakluyt, Discourse of Western Planting, National Humanities Center, 2006, http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/amerbegin/exploration/text5/hakluyt. pdf. 127. Hakluyt, “Discourse of Western Planting,” 2. 128. More, Utopia, 80. 129. See Holstun, A Rational Millennium, 34–­39, for a more comprehensive account of how “displaced populations” are the prime subject of early modern transatlantic utopias.

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130. Ibid., 58. 131. Amerigo Vespucci, The First Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci translated from the rare original edition, (Florence 1505–­6) (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1893), 11. 132. Francis Augustus MacNutt’s translation of the Decades explains this publication history. See Peter Martyr, De Orbe Novo, vol. 1: The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D’Anghera, trans. Francis Augustus MacNutt, Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg. org/files/12425/12425-­h/12425-­h.htm. 133. Ibid. 134. See Johannes Fabian’s Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). 135. J. H. Elliott, The Old World and the New 1492–­1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 26. 136. Ibid. 137. More, Utopia, 56–­57. 138. Bruce, “Utopian Justifications,” 37–­38. 139. Kennedy, Diggers, Levellers, and Agrarian Capitalism, 112. 140. Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 141. He arrives at this claim through sustained, sophisticated examinations of Utopians’ chamber pots and the organization of their markets, both of which rupture with an unconscious desire for expenditure and excess as opposed to the Utopians’ supposed privileging of need and use value. 141. For Wegner’s interpretation of the trench, see the chapter “Utopia and the Birth of Nations,” in his Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 27–­61. 142. The island status of Utopia as a meditation on domestic enclosure is also proposed in the following sources: Holstun, Rational Millennium, 70–­73; Christopher Kendrick, “More’s Utopia and Uneven Development,” boundary 2 13.2 (1985): 241; Antonis Balasopoulos, “’Utopiae Insulae Figura’: Utopian Insularity and the Politics of Form,” Transtext(e)s Transcultures, Special Issue (2008): 22–­38. 143. More, Utopia, 43. 144. Jameson, “Of Islands and Trenches,” 101. This article is the source of the present section’s title. 145. Marin, Utopics, xiii. 146. While Knapp in An Empire Nowhere and Jonathan Scott in When the Waves Ruled Britannia: Geography and Political Identities, 1500–­1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 36–­38, have both observed the resonances between Utopia’s trench and Elizabethan and Jacobean chorographers’ belief that England was once joined to the continent, to my understanding, no scholar has yet examined how More himself inherits and adapts the narrative of a prehistorical promontory between Britannia and Gaul. 147. This history, for instance, is the one provided by the US Geological Survey. See USGS, “Historical Perspective,” last modified August 7, 2012, http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/ dynamic/historical.html.

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148. Abraham Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, The theatre of the vvhole world: set forth by that excellent geographer Abraham Ortelius (London: Printed by John Norton, 1608). 149. Abraham Ortelius, Thesaurus Geographicus (Antwerp: 1596). 150. Plato, Timaeus, trans. Benjamin Jowett, in the Internet Classics Archive, http:// classics.mit.edu/Plato/timaeus.html. 151. Madeline Forey, ed. Ovid’s Metamorphoses, trans. Arthur Golding (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002), 341. 152. William Fulke, Meteors, or, A plain description of all kind of meteors as well fiery and ayrie, as watry and earthy (London: 1655), 46. Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79, likewise described how Ionia, the Greek city on the Aegean shore in present-­day Turkey, withdrew “from the sea islands known as the Desiderae and joined them to the mainland.” He also reported that Alexander the Great cut through a plain near Mount Mimas, turning a peninsular promontory into a series of islands. See The Natural History of Pliny, vol. 1, trans. John Bostock and H. T. Riley (London: Taylor and Francis, 1855), 468–­469. 153. The first translation is from Virgil, Virgil’s Eclogues, trans. Len Krisak (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), 8–­9; and the second is from Virgil, Eclogues and Georgics, trans. James Rhoades (Mineola: Dover Thrift Press, 2005), 3. 154. Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Eclogues of Vergil, ed. Georgius Thilo (1881), Perseus Digital Library, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=P erseus%3Atext%3A2007.01.0091%3Apoem%3D1%3Acommline%3D66. 155. I am grateful to my classicist colleagues Julia Scarborough and John Oksanish at Wake Forest University for their assistance in helping me locate, translate, and think through Servius’s commentary on Virgil. 156. Knapp, An Empire Nowhere, 34–­35. 157. As described and translated by Knapp, An Empire Nowhere, 34. See the discussion of Knapp’s analysis on the next page. 158. Brian Copenhaver, “The Historiography of Discovery in the Renaissance: The Sources and Composition of Polydore Vergil’s De Inventoribus Rerum, I–­III,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 41 (1978): 203. 159. For more on these discoveries, see Quirin Schiermier, “The Megaflood That Made Britain an Island,” Nature, July 18, 2007, http://www.nature.com/ news/2007/070716/full/news070716-­11.html; and Paul Marks, “Dam-­busting ‘Megaflood’ Made Britain an Island,” New Scientist, July 18, 2007, https://www.newscientist. com/article/dn12289-­dam-­busting-­megaflood-­made-­britain-­an-­island. 160. Arthur Ferguson, Utter Antiquity: Perceptions of Prehistory in Renaissance England (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993), 30–­32. 161. Camden explains, “For betweene the said Fore-­land of Kent and Calais in France it so advanceth it selfe, and the sea is so straighted, that some thinke the land there was pierced through, and received the seas into it, which before-­time had beene excluded.” His account draws on Servius, Claudian, and Virgil. See William Camden, Britain, or A chorographicall description of the most flourishing kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the ilands adjoyning (London, 1637), A1.

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162. Norden mainly builds on the writings of John Twyne, and though he asserts that “no doubt [it] is true” that Britain was a “sometime Peninsula annexed unto the maine of Fraunce,” he still ponders why Pliny and Ptolemy describe the sea between the two lands. The belief, he suggests, stems instead from poets, namely Antonius Volscus and the commentaries of Servius. See John Norden, Speculum Britanniae. The first parte an historicall, & chorographicall discription of Middlesex (London: Printed at Eliot’s Court Press, 1593), 2. 163. See “The Site and Circuit of Great Britaines Monarchie” in Speed’s Historie of Great Britain (London: 1611), 155. Also, in the first chapter of the Theatre he writes, “And albeit the Ocean doth at this present thrust it selfe betweene Douer & Callis, diuiding them with a deepe and vaste entrenchment so that Britain thereby is of a supposed Penisle made an Iland: yet diuers haue stifly held, that once it was ioined by an arme of land to the continent of Gallia.” Speed goes on to cite this stanza from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene: Ne was it Iland then, ne was it paisd Amid the Ocean waues, ne was it sought, Of Marchants far, for profits therein praisde, But was all desolate, and of some thought, By Sea to haue bin from the Celticke Mainland brought. Interestingly, Spenser’s description of Britain’s past suggests two possible ruptures, both from France at the Strait of Dover and from Ireland. See Speed, The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine, 1; and Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton (London: Pearson Education, 2001),–­9. 164. As does Raphael Holinshed in “The description of Britaine” from his The firste [laste] volume of the chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande conteyning the description and chronicles of England (London: 1577), 2, though he is more concerned with proving that England should be seen as an extension of Europe, despite its seabound, Atlantic position. I should note, too, that the Virgilian description of Britain—­if not of a possible trench, the idea of the island as otherworldly and geographically distinct—­ also circulated in the Middle Ages. The fourteenth-­century English Benedictine monk, Ranulf Higden, harkens back to this idea of Britain as a Roman outpost, describing the “Bryttysshe Anglia” similarly as an “other world,” lying beyond the cliffs of France, which were once thought to have been, following Solinus, “the ende of the worlde yf the ylonde of brytayn ne were not whiche is worthy to haue the name of another world.” See Ranulf Higden, The descrypcyon of Englonde (1498), A2r. 165. Knapp, An Empire Nowhere, 12. 166. Ibid., 31, 267n23. 167. Or, as Shakespeare described the blessed state of this “sceptered isle”: “This other England, demi-­paradise, / This fortress built by Nature.” The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. (New York: Norton, 1997), 2.1.40–­41.

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168. Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, vol. 3 (New York: Harper and Row, 1982), 353. 169. Ibid. 170. Giovanni Arrighi, following Braudel, also argues that England would begin to recognize and exploit “the advantages of its insular position at the main crossroads of world commerce,” with Elizabeth’s efforts to redirect former ambitions of European expansion (in an era of Iberian, French, and Dutch hegemony) into territorialist expansion closer to home. See Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Time (New York: Verso, 1994), 185. 171. Shell cites Herodotus’s Inquiries, along with medieval sources on Xerxes and Mount Athos by Nicephorus Gregoras and Henricus Martellus. See Marc Shell, Islandology: Geography, Rhetoric, Politics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014), 60, 100–­ 101, and 107. 172. Richard Verstegan, A restitution of decayed intelligence: In antiquities. Concerning the most noble and renowned English nation (Antwerp: Printed by Robert Bruney, 1605), 111–­112. 173. See Peter Heylyn, Cosmographie in four books (London: 1652), 23, 187, 102; and Aylett Sammes, Britannia antiqua illustrata (London: 1676), 26–­33. While Sammes supports the idea that Sicily and the Isle of Wight—­both these names connote a breach—­were severed from mainlands, he doubts Verstegan’s evidence for the conjoining of England and France. An account of the geological competition can be found in David Page, Chips and Chapters: A book for amateur and young geologists (Edinburgh: William Blackwell and Sons, 1869). 174. See Patrick O’Brien, Urban Achievement in Early Modern Europe: Golden Ages in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 109. 175. Shell also argues that More’s trench was likely inspired by the island city of Venice and its extensive waterways, given its already strong association with commercial prosperity. His study also references other “big digs” of the early middle ages, including Offa’s Dyke, which bordered Mercia and Wales, and Charlemagne’s Karlsgraben, an eighth-­century canal built to connect the Rhine and Danube basins. See Shell, Islandology, 61–­62 and 141. 176. For more on the Dutch dream of island-­making, see my article, “Of Islands and Bridges: Figures of Uneven Development in Bacon’s New Atlantis,” Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 12.3 (2012): 28–­29; and the introduction to Allister Sparks, The Mind of South Africa (New York: Knopf, 1990). 177. More, Utopia, 50. 178. Marin, Utopics, 99. 179. Wegner, Imaginary Communities, 49. 180. Jonathan Scott, When the Waves Ruled Britannia, 7. 181. David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (London: Verso, 2006), 107.

212   NOTES

182. Ibid., 106. 183. Fredric Jameson, “Marxism and Historicism,” 175.

Chapter 2 An excerpted version of this chapter originally appeared as “Of Islands and Bridges: Figures of Uneven Development in Bacon’s New Atlantis” in the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies 12.3 (2012): 28–­59. I am grateful to the University of Pennsylvania Press for permission to reprint that material here. The chapter epigraph is from Ernest Mandel, “Capitalism and Regional Disparities,” Southwest Economy and Society 1 (1976): 43. 1. John R. Gillis, “Islands in the Making of an Atlantic Oceania, 1400–­1800,” paper presented at the Historical Cooperative conference “Seascapes, Littoral Cultures, and Trans-­Oceanic Exchanges,” Washington, DC, February 12–­13, 2003, https://forums. skadi.info/showthread.php?t=43271. Steven Mentz and Philip Steinberg also contextualize shifting meanings of island ideologemes and explain the appeal of sea-­and island-­based narratives for figuring the territorial, social, and geopolitical contests and configurations of early modernity. See Steven Mentz, “Toward a Blue Cultural Studies: The Sea, Maritime Culture, and Early Modern English Literature,” Literature Compass 6.5 (2009): 997–­1013; and Philip Steinberg The Social Construction of the Ocean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 2. Antonis Balasopoulos, “Utopiae Insulae Figura: Utopian Insularity and the Politics of Form,” Transtext(e)s Transcultures, Special Issue (2008): 19. 3. In addition to More’s founding work and Bacon’s New Atlantis, canonical island utopias include Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Henry Neville’s The Island of Pines, and Johann Valentin Andreae’s Christianopolis. Balasopoulos accounts for this Utopian predilection to sea narratives by examining the perceived social and territorial instability of oceans, describing the sea as a “place of non-­place in the cognitive map of the early modern.” See his “‘Suffer a Sea Change’: Spatial Crisis, Maritime Modernity, and the Politics of Utopia,” Cultural Critique 63 (2006): 134. 4. The introduction to this book presented an overview of a long line of economic historians, such as Paul Sweezy, André Gunder Frank, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Jim Blaut, who have explained the way that even early capitalism possessed geographic centers of concentration and transfers of exploited surplus which are clearly perceived under more recent relations of globalization. While Robert Brenner and Ellen Meiksins Wood have challenged these more macroscopic studies of commercial circulation and imperialism as the mainsprings of capitalist social relations (asserting instead that capitalism’s origin must be traced to the expropriation of peasantry and, thus, the transformation of labor into a commodity), early modern utopias seem to trouble the idea of a self-­contained national economy. While there are many theories of uneven geographical development, I employ the concept to refer mainly to what David Harvey considers the “constructivist” (or dependency

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theory) understanding of capitalism’s often imperialistic or colonial or neocolonial exploitation of whole populations and territories—­a perspective that gains a great deal from Harvey’s attempt to also consider the geopolitical, environmental, and spatial dynamics of “accumulation by dispossession.” See David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (London: Verso, 2006), 72. 5. Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (London: Verso, 1989), 10–­11. 6. Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, in Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays, ed. J. B. Stearne (New York: Penguin, 1986), 5.2.109. 7. Ibid., 1.5.124. 8. Ibid., 2.1.68–­69. 9. Ibid., 3.2.73. 10. Ibid., 3.1.6–­21. 11. Ibid., 3.2.5. 12. I am thinking, in particular, of Francis Godwin’s Man in the Moone and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World. 13. Samira Al-­Khalwaldeh has also suggested that the character of Faustus registers the rather unambiguous “imperialist ‘wishful’ thinking” of early modernity that can be juxtaposed with later “civilizing” rhetorics of high colonialism. See Al-­Khalwaldeh, “Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus: A Postcolonial Reading.” Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literature 2.1 (2010): 32. 14. Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, 1.1.81–­84. 15. Ibid., 1.1.120. 16. Ibid., 1.3.104–­109. 17. This is not to claim that Marlowe or Doctor Faustus endorses imperialism; for convincing examinations of Marlowe’s critical and frequently parodic representations of imperial desire, see Emily C. Bartels, Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism, Alienation, and Marlowe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); William Tate, “Solomon, Gender, and Empire in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus,” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900 37.2 (1997): 257–­276; and Toni Francis, “Imperialism as Devilry: A Postcolonial Reading of Doctor Faustus,” in Doctor Faustus: A Critical Guide, ed. Sara Munson Deats (New York: Continuum, 2010). Marlowe was not the only writer to represent imperial fantasies in the form of an intercontinental bridge. Gerald of Wales’s The Journey Through Wales (1188), attributes a similar fantasy to Britain’s Norman king William II, who envisioned English conquest as a bridge connecting Wales and Ireland. Chronicling the history, landscape, and customs of a Welsh territory under threat, Gerald writes: “In clear weather the mountains of Ireland can be seen from St. David’s. The Irish Sea can be crossed in one short day. William Rufus, the son of King William the Bastard and the second of the Norman Kings in England, penetrated far into Wales in his own day. He looked around him, and from these rocky headlands could just make out Ireland. He is supposed to have said: ‘I will collect a fleet together from my own kingdom and with it make a bridge, so that I can conquer that country.’” See Gerald of

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Wales, The Journey Through Wales and The Description of Wales, trans. Lewis Thorpe, ed. Betty Radice (New York: Penguin, 1978), 168–­169. Almost as if to channel Marlowe, there is a brilliant, full-­page graphic panel that opens the first issue of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s imperial satire and alternative history The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (La Jolla: America’s Best Comics, 2000), which features a partially constructed bridge stretching out from the White Cliffs of Dover, presumably to France. The panel is titled “Empire’s Dream,” but the bridge is displayed as a failed, abandoned project, too massive to achieve. 18. John Donne, “To the Honorable Company of the Virginian Plantation,” in Three Sermons upon Speciall Occasions (London: 1623), 44. 19. Bronwen Price, “Introduction,” in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Bronwen Price (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 4. 20. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, ed. Gunzelin Schmid Noerr, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 1. 21. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis, in Three Early Modern Utopias: Utopia, New Atlantis, The Isle of Pines, ed. Susan Bruce (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 177. See William Leiss’s The Domination of Nature (New York: Braziller, 1972) for more on Bacon’s discourse of domination. 22. Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 23. 23. Sustained readings of The Great Instauration frontispiece can be found in James Holstun, A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-­Century England and America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 48–­50; Denise Albanese, New Science, New World (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), 97–­98; and Stephen McKnight, The Religious Foundations of Francis Bacon’s Thought (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006), 47–­51. Holstun and McKnight both stress the religious framing of this discovery, suggesting that Bacon’s take on knowledge was not merely a modern break with ancient learning and religion, but a representation of knowledge as a restoration of pure, prelapsarian humanity. Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker provide another informative reading of the image, focused on the appropriations of the ancient myth of Hercules by early modern architects of colonial capitalism. See Linebaugh and Rediker, The Many-­Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon, 2000), 2–­7. 24. See Sarah Irving, “‘In a Pure Soil’: Anxieties of Empire in the Work of Francis Bacon,” History of European Ideas 32 (2006): 249–­262. This legacy was honored in a 1910 stamp commemorating three centuries of British rule in Newfoundland, which featured a bust of Bacon and granted him the title “The Guiding Spirit in the Colonization Scheme.” 25. Francis Bacon, “Of Plantations,” in Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 407. 26. Ibid. 27. Irving, “In a Pure Soil,” 262.

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28. Ibid., 261. 29. Ibid. Also see Richard Serjeantson, “Natural Knowledge in the New Atlantis,” in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Bronwen Price (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 82–­105. 30. See Linebaugh and Rediker, Many-­Headed Hydra, 61. 31. Bacon, New Atlantis, 151. 32. Ibid., 167. 33. Of course, this is not to assert that Bensalemite society is every reader’s (or for that matter, this reader’s) ideal, only to emphasize that Bacon and his narrator reserve only praise for King Solamona’s scientific, social, and religious orders. However, the text certainly opens itself up to readings against the grain; modern readers are guaranteed to find much that is undesirable in Bensalem. Jerry Weinberger, for instance, humorously describes the citizens of the island as “contented cows” and “zombies” who appear to have been “lobotomized.” See his “On the Miracles in Bacon’s New Atlantis,” in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Bronwen Price (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 107. 34. I am employing exceptionalism in both general and specific senses. The term is now closely associated with the myth of American exceptionalism, examined in Sacvan Bercovitch’s seminal The Puritan Origins of the American Self (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975) and, more recently, in Donald Pease’s book on post–­World War II “state fantasies,” The New American Exceptionalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009). Both of these books, among others, consider the myth of state (and its relation to religious election) in moments of imperialism. By applying the term to Bacon, I am purposefully identifying a similar tendency in the New Atlantis to create a mythical justification for the geographically centered accumulation strategies of global capital. At the same time, Giorgio Agamben’s work on the state of exception may provide another interesting framework for the study of utopias, since the isolated yet nevertheless colonial islands of the early genre seem driven by an inclusive state dynamic that depends upon the exclusion and suspension of others’ rights, whether political or territorial. See Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-­Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998). 35. Bacon, New Atlantis, 152. 36. Ibid., 156. 37. David Renaker, “A Miracle of Engineering: The Conversion of Bensalem in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis,” Studies in Philology 87.2 (1990): 188, 182. 38. Bacon, New Atlantis, 160–­161. 39. Ibid., 161. 40. See Travis DeCook, “The Ark and Immediate Revelation in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis,” Studies in Philology 105.1 (2008): 103–­122. 41. Francis Bacon, Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (Adelaide: The University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection, 2014), last modified December 17, 2014, https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/bacon/francis/valerius. 42. Holstun, A Rational Millennium, 50.

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43. See Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Talcott Parsons (London: Routledge, 1992). 44. Travis DeCook also analyzes how this event recalls the Ark of the Covenant, linking Bensalem to the Israelites, and thus granting the island nation a “divinely elect status.” See DeCook, “The Ark and Immediate Revelation,” 112, 110. José María Rodríguez García locates suggestions of Exodus, Genesis, and 1 Kings in Bensalem’s narrative of conversion as well, arguing that Bacon attempts to reconcile (without complete success) “two epistemologies, experimental science and revealed religion.” See García, “Patterns of Conversion in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis,” Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory 17.2 (2006): 188–­189, 193. 45. Weber, The Protestant Ethic, 68. 46. Bacon, The New Atlantis, 161. 47. Ibid., 164. 48. Ibid. 49. Ibid. 50. Albanese, New Science, New World, 100. 51. Bacon, The New Atlantis, 164. 52. Ibid., 165. 53. Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), trans. Martin Nicolaus (London: Penguin, 1993), 84. 54. Bacon, New Atlantis, 183. 55. Ibid., 167–­168. 56. John Michael Archer, Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 143. 57. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996), 73. 58. Bacon, New Atlantis, 186. 59. See Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism. 60. Bacon, New Atlantis, 156. The narrative of the Merchants of Light in effect gives further testimony to the plea of Caliban in The Tempest when he reminds Prospero that it is he who has “showed thee all the qualities o’th’isle” and thus challenges the magician’s claims to superior knowledge and ownership of the island. William Shakespeare, The Tempest, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. (New York: Norton, 1997), 1.2.337. 61. Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism (New York: Routledge, 1998), 61. 62. Immanuel Wallerstein, World-­Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004), 17. 63. André Gunder Frank, World Accumulation, 1492–­1789 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978). For further discussion on Wallerstein, Frank, and world-­systems theory, see the introduction to this study. 64. Francis Bacon, “Of Empire,” in Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 35. 65. Bacon elsewhere metaphorically equates the search for knowledge with the ac-

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quisition of commodities: “Shall we not as well discern the riches of nature’s warehouse, as the benefit of her shop? Is truth ever barren? Shall he [a man] not be able thereby to produce worthy effects, and to endow the life of man with infinite commodities?” See “In Praise of Knowledge,” 123. The metaphor appears again in “Of Travel,” in Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 375. 66. Bacon, New Atlantis, 177, 184. 67. Ibid., 159. 68. Ibid., 185. 69. Ibid., 151. 70. Bronwen Price, “Introduction,” in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 10–­11. 71. But as Claire Jowitt explains, “in the text . . . both narrator and reader want to be allowed to see the social and political benefits of scientific rule first-­hand.” Jowitt, “‘Books will speak plain’? Colonialism, Jewishness and Politics in Bacon’s New Atlantis,” in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Bronwen Price (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 134. 72. Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1994). 73. Netzloff offers a recuperative critique of Wallerstein’s overly stable distinction between core and periphery, arguing that material and discursive forms of “internal colonialism undermine . . . the typical association of colonialism with geographic and cultural distance.” See Mark Netzloff, England’s Internal Colonies: Class, Capital, and the Literature of Early Modern English Colonialism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 4. 74. Bacon, New Atlantis, 166. 75. Ibid. 76. Francis Bacon, “Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature,” in Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 364. 77. Bacon, New Atlantis, 158. 78. Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992), 4. 79. Ibid., 172. 80. Jowitt, “‘Books will speak plain’?,” 147. 81. Raymond Williams, “Utopia and Science Fiction,” in Science Fiction: A Critical Guide, ed. Patrick Parrinder (New York: Longman, 1979), 56. 82. Ibid. 83. Christopher Kendrick also argues that the House of Salomon “presents itself as something like a state joint-­stock guild,” and thus he sees the text as registering a “desire for a new class, a new sort of class being.” See his “The Imperial Laboratory: Discovering Forms in The New Atlantis,” ELH 70.4 (2003): 1027, 1025. 84. David Harvey, Spaces of Hope (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 160. 85. Bacon, New Atlantis, 177.

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86. Leiss, Domination of Nature, 70. 87. Bacon, New Atlantis, 176. 88. Ibid., 178. 89. See Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution (San Francisco: Harper, 1980), 164–­165. 90. Marx, Grundrisse, 410. 91. Bacon, New Atlantis, 186. 92. See André Gunder Frank, “The Development of Underdevelopment,” in Paradigms in Economic Development, ed. Rajani Kanth (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1994), 149–­164.

Chapter 3 A section of this chapter originally appeared in “Utopia, Ireland, and the Tudor Shock Doctrine: Spenser’s Vision of Capitalist Imperialism,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42.2 (2012): 461–­486. I would like to thank Duke University Press for permission to reprint this material. ©2012, Duke University Press. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. 1. Indeed, in 1598, an Irish rebellion led by the Gaelic chieftain Hugh O’Neill burned Spenser’s castle to the ground, the poet and most of his family narrowly escaping to England. 2. Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf, 1993), 7. 3. Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland, ed. Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), 101–­102. In the text of this chapter, I refer to this prose pamphlet by its more popular 1596 title, A View of the Present State of Ireland. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid., 102. 6. For example, see James Holstun, A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-­Century England and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987); Jeffrey Knapp, An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Denise Albanese, New Science, New World (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996); Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996). Sarah Barber’s “‘Nothing but the First Chaos’: Making Sense of Ireland,” Seventeenth Century 14.1 (1999): 24–­42, however, considers the utopian schemes of seventeenth-­century humanists, Calvinists, and in particular, Hartlibian “virtuosos,” who imagined Ireland as a site for the advancement of learning and republican experimentation, though their ideals were quickly disillusioned in a context of recalcitrant Catholicism. 7. For example, see Glenn Burgess, ed., The New British History: Founding a Modern State, 1603–­1715 (New York: I. B. Tauris, 1999), 9; Ellen Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital (New York: Verso, 2003), 78; and Nicholas Canny, “The Ideology of English

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Colonization,” William and Mary Quarterly 30.4 (1973): 575–­598, which describes the apprenticeship of New World colonists like Gilbert and Raleigh in sixteenth-­century Ireland. This characterization is in no small part derived from William Petty’s expressed desire for Ireland to be “a kind of laboratory, where . . . economic experiments could be made to yield usable results.” See Patricia Coughlan, “‘Cheap and Common Animals’: The English Anatomy of Ireland in the Seventeenth Century,” in Literature and the English Civil War, ed. Thomas Healy and Jonathan Sawday (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 220–­221. 8. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance (New York: Basics Books, 2009), 13. 9. Deana Rankin, Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth-­Century Ireland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 11. 10. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions, 2. 11. Russell Jacoby, Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-­Utopian Age (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 2. 12. Frank Manuel and Fritzie Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1979), 9. 13. See Mary Dewar, Sir Thomas Smith: A Tudor Intellectual in Office (London: Athlone Press, 1964), 157. 14. David Beers Quinn, “Sir Thomas Smith (1513–­1577) and the Beginnings of English Colonial Theory,” Proceedings of the American Philological Society 89.4 (1945): 543. 15. Sir Thomas Smith, A letter sent by I. B. gentleman unto his very frende Mayster R.C. esquire, wherein is conteined a large discourse of the peopling and inhabiting the cuntrie called the Ardes, and other adiacent in the north of Ireland, and taken in hand by Sir Thomas Smith, one of the queenes majesties privie counsel, and Thomas Smith esquire, his sonne (London: 1572). The broadsheet, The offer and order given for the by Sir Thomas Smyth Knighte, and Thomas Smyth his sonne, unto suche as he willing to accompanie the sayd Thomas Smyth the sonne in his voyage for the inhabiting some partes of the North of Irelande, was reprinted at the back of the Letter. 16. Smith to Burghley, 10 April 1572. S.P. 70/46/457. 17. Smith to the Privy Council, 16 April 157. S.P. 70/146/468. 18. Quinn, “Sir Thomas Smith,” 550. He might, however, be charged with overlooking literary documents, such as More’s Utopia, as earlier works that openly promote colonization. 19. Hiram Morgan, “The Colonial Venture of Sir Thomas Smith in Ulster, 1571–­ 1575,” Historical Journal, 28 (1985): 261–­278. 20. Dewar, Sir Thomas Smith, 159. 21. The letter’s opening may possibly account for this confusion: “Such doutes and exceptions frend R.C. as I have heard alleged & put for the to unhable [i.e., put forth to enable] that enterprise of peopling & replenishing with the Englishe Nation the North of Ireland, which with the assistance of Sir Thomas Smith one of her Majesties Counsell, Mayster Thomas Smith his Sonne hath undertook to bring to passe, maketh mee that I can not holde from you so singular a freende those arguments wherewith through

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conference had with him upon his sayde attempt by reason of our great familiaritie hee hath fully persuaded and satisfied mee.” If the subject of this introduction could be either Thomas Smith, the identity of I.B.’s interlocutor is later made quite clear when he claims, “I am the only sonne of Sir Thomas Smith.” See Smith, Letter sent by I.B., A2r and Fv, respectively. 22. Lisa Jardine, “Encountering Ireland: Gabriel Harvey, Edmund Spenser and English Colonial Ventures,” in Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534–­1660, ed. Andrew Hadfield, W. T. Maley, and Brendan Bradshaw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 65. 23. Smith, Letter sent by I.B., A2r. 24. Dewar, Sir Thomas Smith, 159–­161. The pamphlet had in all likelihood doomed the voyage by announcing it in advance, mobilizing those whose land was about to be expropriated. In fact, Smith’s collected colonists numbered between 700 and 800 at the scheduled date of departure in April 1572, but slowly dwindled to about 100 by time of the actual departure, a main reason why the colony is said to have collapsed so quickly. See Morgan, “The colonial venture of Sir Thomas Smith in Ulster, 1571–­1575,” 265–­266. 25. Smith, Letter sent by I.B., B2v. 26. The OED’s earliest example of the specifically economic understanding of “enterprise” as “A commercial or industrial undertaking, esp. one involving risk; a firm, company, or business,” however, is 1862. 27. Smith, Letter sent by I.B., B2v. 28. Ibid., Dr. 29. Sir Thomas Smith, A Discourse of the Commonweal of this Realme of England, ed. Mary Dewar (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1969), 60. 30. The implied permanence of the term dwelling is echoed in Jonson’s well-­known country-­house poem, “To Penshurst,” where the “ancient pile” of the Sidney home is juxtaposed with other local “built” houses, in the attempt to mystify, through naturalization, the origins of the Sidney’s wealth. As with Jonson’s “thy Lord dwells,” the Smiths’ use of the term camouflages the dispossession and pacifies the struggle upon which the project depends. See Ben Jonson, “To Penshurst,” in Ben Jonson and the Cavalier Poets, ed. Hugh Maclean (New York: Norton, 1975), 21–­24; and also Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 28–­33. 31. Smith, Letter sent by I.B., C2r-­v. 32. Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees and Other Writings, ed. E. J. Hundert (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997). 33. Neal Wood, The Foundations of Political Economy: Some Early Tudor Views on State and Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 207. 34. C.S.L. Davies advances the hypothesis that Smith may also have been behind the Vagrancy Act of 1547, the short-­lived Edwardian legislation that redefined vagrancy as joblessness. Backed—­if not masterminded—­by mid-­Tudor humanists and social reformers, this “policy of enforced employment” deemed slavery a fit punishment for even a first offense of vagrancy. Davies draws a compelling connection between punitive slavery and the commonwealth tradition, arguing that the 1547 Act revealed not only a

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widespread anxiety about idleness but also a desire to replace capital punishment with the more profitable public service of penal labor. See Davies, “Slavery and Protector Somerset; The Vagrancy Act of 1547,” Economic History Review, New Series 19.3 (1966): 536. 35. Wood, Foundations of Political Economy, 235. 36. Smith, Letter sent by I.B., Er-­v. 37. Ibid., F3v. 38. Ibid., F3v and Dr. 39. Ibid., A3r. 40. Ibid., Bv. 41. Ibid., D3r. 42. William Petty, another father of political economy, offers an interesting point of contrast here in his Political arithmetick. His economic plans for the state likewise depend on a new plan for Irish subjugation, but he actually envisions the “transplantation” of the entire Irish population to England. He writes of this dream vision for a more profitable state: “And here I beg leave, (among the several matters which I intend for serious,) to interpose a jocular, and perhaps more ridiculous digression, and which I indeed desire Men to look upon, rather as a Dream or Resvery, than a rational Proposition; the which is, that if all the moveables and People of Ireland, and of the Highlands of Scotland, were transported into the rest of Great Brittain; that then the King and his Subjects, would thereby become more Rich and Strong, both offensively and defensively, than now they are. . . . Now it troubles me, that the Distemper of my own mind in this point, carries me to dream, that the benefit of those wishes, may practically be obtained, without sinking that vast Mountainous Island under Water, which I take to be somewhat difficult.” The dream eventually slides into a “rational” argument about the need for an increased English population, and the overall argument that emerges from the text is that people are of more value to a national economy than the territory’s land. It is not land that matters so much to Petty, as it does to Smith. For Petty, England’s future lies in the control of commerce and of labor. See William Petty, Political arithmetick, or, A discourse concerning the extent and value of lands, people, buildings . . . (London: 1690), 62, 58–­59. 43. J.G.A. Pocock’s introduction to his edition of James Harrington’s The Commonwealth of Oceana calls attention to another subgenre of historical utopias, which are better understood as representations of the “immediate present or the imminent future” than a distant no-­place. Utopias of revolutionary or wartime moments, as well as utopias composed in colonial contexts, remind us of the historical pressures, and often urgencies, animating the supposedly idealistic genre. Harrington’s utopia, it is worth remembering, also contains its own proposal for Ireland, designated as Panopea in Oceana. While Petty envisioned a transplantation of the Irish to England, Harrington’s solution was to transplant the Jews of the world—­recently readmitted into London—­to Ireland, where they would, by his account, finally return to the Land of Canaan, thriving in both agriculture and trade. If Harrington’s future vision is more infused with a sense of sacred history, once again, an English desire for a profitable Ireland results in a

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utopia of mass dispossession, displacement, and a social repurposing that is both overly idealistic and xenophobic. Harrington, The Commonwealth of Oceana and A System of Politics, ed. J.G.A. Pocock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), xvii. 44. See Dewar, Sir Thomas Smith, 167; and Thomas Herron, Spenser’s Irish Work: Poetry, Plantation, and Colonial Reformation (Burlington: Ashgate, 2007), 49. 45. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 12. 46. The volume edited by Patricia Coughlan, Spenser and Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (Cork: Cork University Press, 1989), features a debate between two formidable Irish historians, Nicholas Canny and Ciaran Brady, over Spenser’s take on the mid-­century reforms implemented in Ireland. Both scholars locate Spenser’s text at a critical juncture in English writing on Ireland, seeing it as marking the moment when coercive force replaces English common law and its jurisdictional and administrative institutions as the primary instrument of reform. Although Canny denies that Spenser’s tract breaks with reform literature, preferring instead to argue for the “optimistic aspect of the text,” Brady explains how Spenser risks a complete departure from even other planters and policymakers, like Edmund Tremayne and Spenser’s fellow Munster officials (such as William Herbert and Richard Beacon), who likewise saw force as the integral, necessary tool in the reform of the Gaelic and Anglo-­Irish. Brady’s argument hinges on Spenser’s penchant for what we might term systemic change at the political and legal levels, dismissing common law as an effective tool of colonization. See Nicholas Canny, “Spenser and the Reform of Ireland,” 9–­24; and Ciaran Brady, “Road to the View: On the Decline of Reform Thought in Ireland,” 25–­45. Also see Brendan Bradshaw, “Edmund Spenser on Justice and Mercy,” Historical Studies, 16 (1987): 76–­89. 47. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 92. 48. Ibid., 13, 12 and 91, 28 and 70, 71, 85. 49. Ibid., 82, 91. 50. Ibid., 93. 51. Ibid., 77. 52. Ibid., 93. 53. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007), 20. 54. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 11. 55. Julia Reinhard Lupton, “Mapping Mutability: or, Spenser’s Irish Plot,” in Representing Ireland, ed. Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and William Maley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 101. 56. Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. Allan Bloom, 2nd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 1991), 180. 57. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 160. 58. Ibid., 85. 59. Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (New York: Verso, 2005), 12. 60. A notable exception to this rule is Thomas Herron’s excellent book Spenser’s Irish Work.

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61. See Andrew Hadfield’s Edmund Spenser’s Irish Experience: Wilde Fruit and Salvage Soyl (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). 62. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 91. 63. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions, 16. 64. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 143. 65. See Bacon’s “Of Plantations,” Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 407. 66. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 119. 67. Giovanni Arrighi highlights how fifteenth-­century Venice, in his world-­ historical perspective the “true prototype of the capitalist state,” had pioneered a similar practice of turning protection costs into revenues and “economizing in state-­making and war-­making.” See his The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Time (New York: Verso, 1994), 37–­39. 68. Wood’s study is largely a rebuttal of theories of globalization that conceive of its history as a movement toward “stateless” power—­a rather seductive idea on the Left at the time her book was published, following Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000). 69. Ellen Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital (New York: Verso, 2003), 80. 70. Ellen Meiksins Wood, The Origin of Capitalism (New York: Verso, 2001). See the introduction to the present volume for more on Wood’s role in the transition debate. 71. Wood, Empire of Capital, 80. 72. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 14. 73. Ibid., 55–­56. 74. Ibid., 149. 75. Raymond D. Crotty, When Histories Collide: The Development and Impact of Individualistic Capitalism (New York: Alta Mira Press, 2001), 101. 76. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 84. 77. Ibid., 150, 157. 78. R. H. Tawney, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1967). 79. Lupton, “Mapping Mutability,” 98. 80. Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 84. 81. Ibid., 123. 82. Ibid. 83. Ibid., 158. 84. Ibid., 157. 85. Ibid., 148. 86. Ibid., 22. 87. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Ben Fowkes (New York: Penguin Classics, 1976), 916. 88. Ibid., 895. 89. Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, ed. A. C. Hamilton (London: Pearson

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Education, 2001),,, All quotations from The Faerie Queene are taken from this edition, and citations indicate book, canto, stanza, and line. 90. See Elizabeth Fowler, “The Failure of Moral Philosophy in the Work of Edmund Spenser,” Representations 51 (1995): 47–­76. 91. Spenser, Faerie Queene, 92. Ibid., 2.7.3–­4. 93. Ibid.,–­9. 94. Ibid., 95. Ibid.,–­5. 96. Ibid.,–­6. 97. See Hamilton, ed., Faerie Queene, 213. 98. Spenser, Faerie Queene,–­4. 99. See Barbara Fuchs, “Spanish Lessons: Spenser and the Irish Moriscos,” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900 42.1 (2002): 43–­62; and Thomas Herron, “The Spanish Armada, Ireland, and Spenser’s The Faerie Queene,” New Hibernia Review 6.2 (2002): 83–­105. 100. William Maltby, The Black Legend in England (Durham: Duke University Press, 1971), 61. 101. Spenser, Faerie Queene, and 102. Ibid.,–­7. 103. Ibid., 104. Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century, 189. 105. Like Maltby, I find it necessary to recall that the black legend “is a legend and not a myth. It sprang, as legends do, from actual events and these cannot be ignored in the interests of partisanship.” I am not, however, as interested in exploring the exaggerations and injustices of the legend; rather, my concern is with how this characterization of a cruel imperialism was put to use as a justification for another kind of cruel expansionism. See Maltby, Black Legend in England, 11. 106. Spenser, Faerie Queene, 107. Ibid.,–­9. See also Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 57. 108. Spenser, Faerie Queene,,–­5, and, respectively. See also Spenser, View of the State of Ireland, 101–­102. 109. Stephen Greenblatt, “Murdering Peasants: Status, Genre, and the Representation of Rebellion,” Representations 1 (1983): 21. 110. Spenser, Faerie Queene,–­8. 111. James Holstun, “The Giant’s Faction: Spenser, Heywood and the Mid-­Tudor Crisis,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 37.2 (2007): 335–­371. 112. See Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, in Karl Marx: A Reader, ed. Jon Elster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 278. 113. Ibid., 277.

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Chapter 4 1. Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. Thomas C. Faulkner, Nicolas K. Kiessling, and Rhonda L. Blair, vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 85–­86. For Gonzalo’s utopian daydream, see Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. (New York: Norton, 1997), 2.1.143–­167. 2. See Nicole Pohl, Women, Space, and Utopia, 1600–­1800 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006); Constance Furey, “Utopia of Desire: The Real and Ideal in Aemilia Lanyer’s ‘Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum,’” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.3 (2006): 561–­ 584; and Crystal Bartolovich, “‘Optimism of the Will’: Isabella Whitney and Utopia,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 39.2 (2009): 407–­432. 3. That is to say, long before the feminist science fiction of Marge Piercy, Ursula Le Guin, and Joanna Russ would do so. 4. Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation (New York: Autonomedia, 2004). 5. See Joan Kelly, “Did Women Have a Renaissance?” in Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 19–­49. 6. Danielle Clark, “Introduction,” in Renaissance Women Poets: Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney, and Aemelia Lanyer, ed. Danielle Clark (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), xiii. Betty Travitsky also speculates that Whitney was “apparently of the minor gentry, or perhaps of yeoman stock newly become gentry.” See Travitsky, “The ‘Wyll and Testament’ of Isabella Whitney,” English Literary Renaissance 10.1 (1980): 78. 7. Isabella Whitney, “To her Sister Misteris. A.B,” in Renaissance Women Poets: Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney and Aemelia Lanyer, ed. Danielle Clark (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), 13, lines 25–­28. Laurie Ellinghausen also argues for “the persistence with which [Whitney] reminds us of her single state. See Ellinghausen, “Literary Property and the Single Woman in Isabella Whitney’s ‘A Sweet Nosgay,’” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900 45.1 (2005): 2. 8. Betty Travitsky, “Isabella Whitney (fl. 1566–­1573),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., 2004, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/45498. 9. Travitsky, “‘Wyll and Testament’ of Isabella Whitney,” 76–­77. 10. Patricia Phillippy reads Whitney’s speaker as a voice for migratory maidservants and public female authors, positioned in a “transitional place between town and country, neither engaged in seasonal agrarian activities nor gainfully employed in the household,” but I will suggest in what follows that this reading of enforced flight as “transition” and migration into a new social role (either as rural wife or professional writer) might overlook the way that her melodramatic departure also assumes an outcome of financial ruin and even death. See Phillippy, Women, Death and Literature in Post-­Reformation England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 444. 11. Amy Louise Erickson has shown that some women, especially single women and widows, did indeed write wills in Tudor England, though women’s wills constitute only about 20 percent of wills in that period. See Erickson, Women and Property in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1995), 206. More discussion of this point appears later in this chapter.

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12. Andrew Gordon, Writing Early Modern London: Memory, Text and Community (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 60. 13. Wendy Wall, “Isabella Whitney and the Female Legacy,” ELH 58.1 (1991): 38, 53. 14. See, for example, Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight, vol. 1 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1996). 15. Wall, “Isabella Whitney,” 53. 16. Gordon, Writing Early Modern London, 101. 17. See Whitney, “Wyll and Testament,” 26, line 255. 18. Bartolovich, “Optimism of the Will,” 408. 19. Ibid., 409. 20. Bartolovich’s reading of the “Wyll” complicates historical narratives of futuristic fiction and particularly uchronias, which date their beginnings to the mid-­seventeenth century. Accounts of early temporally projected utopias, or uchronias, like Paul Alkon’s, date the first English examples to the eighteenth century, but Whitney’s poem, taken together with Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland, suggests a tradition of Renaissance predecessors, in that these works narrate potential futures without necessarily prophesying them. See Alkon, The Origins of Futuristic Fiction (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987), 3–­4, 116. 21. Bartolovich, “Optimism of the Will,” 428. 22. See Patrick Cheney’s Reading Sixteenth-­Century Poetry (Malden: Wiley-­ Blackwell, 2011) for the poem’s parallels with complaints; Wendy Wall’s “Isabella Whitney and the Female Legacy” for its relationship to the tradition of women’s deathbed legacies; and Lorna Hutson’s The Usurer’s Daughter: Male Friendship and Fictions of Women in Sixteenth-­Century England (London: Routledge, 1994) and Jill Ingram’s “A Case for Credit: Isabella Whitney’s ‘Wyll and Testament’ and the Mock Testament Tradition,” Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar 5 (2006), on the satirical roots of the “Wyll.” 23. Gordon, Writing Early Modern London, 61. 24. See her “I. W. To her unconstant Lover,” in Renaissance Women Poets, ed. Danielle Clark (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), 29–­33. 25. Cheney, Reading Sixteenth-­Century Poetry, 237. 26. See this poem in Renaissance Women Poets, ed. Danielle Clark (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), 13–­14. 27. Jan Felix Gaertner, Writing Exile: The Discourse of Displacement in Greco-­Roman Antiquity and Beyond (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 8. 28. Amy Froide, Never Married: Singlewomen in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 45. Amy Louise Erickson also supports this position, explaining, “Because married women were precluded from making a will except by special arrangement with their husbands . . . the vast majority of women’s wills were made by widows (about 80 percent) and single women (up to 20 percent).” Not that this was common: a man was still approximately “six times more likely to make a will than a widow or single woman” (Erickson, Women and Property, 204). 29. Ibid., 211–­212.

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30. Ibid., 213. 31. Whitney, “Wyll and Testament,” 26, line 256, and 23, lines 135–­136, respectively. 32. Ibid., 25, lines 201 and 229. 33. Ellinghausen, “Literary Property,” 5, 10. 34. Ibid., 19. 35. See Phillippy’s Women, Death and Literature for a discussion of “feminine responses to the Protestant gendering of grief ”; Phillippy demonstrates that “while male reformers stigmatized women’s mourning as excessive and violent, early modern women found in this acknowledged excess a rhetorical and emotional power to support their public and private expressions of loss” (9). Elizabeth Hodgson also considers “mourning’s social and literary uses” in the work of Mary Sidney Herbert, Aemelia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, and Katherine Philips. See Hodgson, Grief and Women Writers in the English Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 4. 36. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-­Smith (Oxford: Wiley-­Blackwell, 1992), 18. 37. Whitney, “The Auctor to the Reader,” in Renaissance Women Poets, ed. Danielle Clark (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), 5, lines 17–­18. 38. Ibid., 5, line 26. 39. Ibid., 6, line 38. 40. The full title of Fulke’s treatise is A goodly gallerye with a most pleasaunt prospect, into the garden of naturall contemplation, to behold the naturall causes of all kynde of meteors, as wel fyery and ayery, as watry and earthly, of whiche sort be blasing sterres, shooting starres, flames in the ayre &c. tho[n]der, lightning, earthquakes, &c. rayne dewe, snowe, cloudes, springes &c. stones, metalles, earthes &c. to the glory of God, and the profit of his creaturs (London: 1563). 41. See Francis Bacon, The essayes or counsels, ciuill and morall, of Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban (London: 1625), 4. 42. Consider this passage from the tenth decade of the third book concerning an island near Panama, recently found by Balboa and his men: “Beynge therfore ioyfull and gladde of the frendeshyppe of owre men, [the king of the island] tooke the capitaine by the hand and brought him with certeine of his familiars to the highest towre of his palaice, from whense they myght prospecte the mayne sea. Then castyng his eyes about hym on euery side, and lookynge towarde the Easte, he sayde vnto them. Beholde here lyeth open before yowe the infynite sea extended beyond the soonne beames. Then tournyng hym toward the Southe and Weste, he sygnyfied vnto them that the lande which laye before their eyes, the toppes of whose great montaynes they myght see, was exceadynge large. Then coommynge sumwhat nearer, he sayde: Beholde these Ilandes on the ryght hande and on the lefte, whiche all obeye vnto owre empyre, and are ryche, happye, and blessed, if yowe caule those landes blessed whiche abounde with golde and perle. Wee haue in this Ilande lyttle plentie of golde.” From Peter Martyr, The Decades of the newe worlde or west India . . . , trans. Richard Eden (London: 1555), 140v. 43. William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. (New York: Norton, 1997), 2.2.18. Allan

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Shickmann argues that Shakespeare likely had the mirror in mind here. See his “The Perspective Glass in Shakespeare’s Richard II,” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900 18.2 (1978): 217–­228. 44. George Puttenham, The Art of English Poesie (London: 1589), 14. 45. Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces,” trans. Jay Miskowiec, in Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité 5 (1984): 4. 46. Ibid. 47. Karma Lochrie has proposed an enduring tradition of “perspectival utopianism.” See Lochrie’s chapter titled “Nowhere Earth,” on Macrobius and Kepler, in her Nowhere in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 15–­48. 48. Whitney, “Wyll and Testament,” 20, lines 28, 41, and 49. 49. Ibid., 21, line 62. The Royal Exchange is implied by her reference to “the pawne.” 50. Ibid., 21, lines 69 and 73–­74. 51. Ibid., 20–­21 lines 29, 40, and 59. 52. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 93–­94. 53. Ibid., 105. 54. Foucault, “Of Other Spaces,” 3. 55. Whitney, “Wyll and Testament,” 24, lines 174–­192. 56. See China Miéville, The City & the City (New York: Del Rey, 2010). 57. Whitney, “Wyll and Testament,” 26, lines 253–­268. 58. Ibid., 27, lines 297–­304. 59. Ibid., 23, lines 131–­132. 60. Ruth Levitas, The Concept of Utopia (New York: Philip Allan, 1990), 53. 61. See Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 146. 62. My understanding of these contexts is particularly indebted to Jessica Malay’s “Positioning Patronage: Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum and the Countess of Cumberland in Time and Place,” Seventeenth Century 28.3 (2013): 251–­274. Malay’s history of these events relies mainly on the private letters of Margaret. See also Barbara Lewalski’s “Re-­writing Patriarchy and Patronage,” Yearbook of English Studies 21 (1991): 90. 63. Susanne Woods suggests this strong possibility in Lanyer: A Renaissance Women Poet (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 30–­31. 64. Lanyer, “The Description of Cooke-­ham,” in The Poems of Aemelia Lanyer: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, ed. Susanne Woods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 130, line 11. 65. Ibid., 131–­132, lines 32–­46. 66. See Lewalski, “Rewriting Patriarchy and Patronage,” 88; and Woods’s discussion titled “Founding a Genre” in Lanyer: A Renaissance Women Poet, 115–­125. 67. Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 31–­32. 68. “Under a beech’s stretching branches, there you lie, / Tityrus, trying, on the slimmest reed, to court / The forest muse, while I must leave, saying good-­bye / To home, with its dear fields.” See Virgil, Virgil’s Eclogues, trans. Len Krisak (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), 3, lines 1.1–­4.

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69. See Williams’s The Country and the City, 17, on the “contrast within Virgilian pastoral . . . between the pleasures of rural settlement and the threat of loss and eviction.” 70. Cheney, Reading Sixteenth-­Century Poetry, 96. 71. Lanyer, “Description of Cooke-­ham,” 134, lines 98–­101. 72. Ibid., 133, lines 85 and 78. 73. The clearest expression of intention in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum can be found in Lanyer’s prefatory address to her own sex, “To the Vertuous Reader,” 48–­50. Lanyer also describes Cookeham explicitly as “Paradice” near the beginning of her long poem (Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, 52, line 21). 74. Lanyer, “Description of Cooke-­ham,” 138, line 194. 75. See Lewalski, “Re-­writing Patriarchy and Patronage,” 90. 76. Lanyer, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, 86, line 801. 77. See Barbara Lewalski, “Literature and the Household,” in The Cambridge History of Early Modern Literature, ed. David Loewenstein and Janel Mueller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 616. 78. Lisa Schnell, “‘So Great a Difference Is There in Degree’: Aemelia Lanyer and the Aims of Feminist Criticism,” Modern Language Quarterly 57.1 (1996): 29. See also Patricia Pender’s overview of this debate, in Pender, Early Modern Women’s Writing and the Rhetoric of Modesty (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 124, 190. 79. Lanyer, “Description of Cooke-­ham,” 137–­138, lines 189–­190. 80. Barbara Lewalski, “Imagining Female Community: Aemelia Lanyer’s Poems,” in Writing Women in Jacobean England (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 216. 81. Lanyer, “Description of Cooke-­ham,” 138, lines 205–­210. 82. Nicole Pohl considers how Lanyer here allies herself to Christ. See her Women, Space, and Utopia, 32. 83. Hodgson, Grief and Women Writers, 70. 84. Pohl, Women, Space, and Utopia, 32. 85. Ibid., 31. 86. Diane Griffin Crowder, “Separatism and Feminist Utopian Fiction,” in Sexual Practice, Textual Theory: Lesbian Cultural Criticism, ed. Susan J. Wolfe and Julia Penelope (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993), 242. 87. Raffaella Baccolini, “Finding Utopia in Dystopia: Feminism, Memory, Nostalgia, and Hope,” in Utopia Method Vision: The Use Value of Social Dreaming, ed. Tom Moylan and Raffaella Baccolini (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2007), 175–­176. 88. Furey, “Utopia of Desire.” 89. See Fredric Jameson, “The Great Schism,” in his Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (New York: Verso, 2005), 57–­71. 90. G. W. Pigman III describes the form in just this way, and as a “mixed genre incorporating aspects of epideictic and deliberative rhetoric,” refusing to subordinate lament to panegyric. See his Grief and English Renaissance Elegy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 41. 91. Decades before Raymond Williams, Lewis Mumford argued that “the Country House idolum involves a dissociation between the Country House and the community

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in which it is placed.” See Mumford, The Story of Utopias (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922), 205.

Chapter 5 1. See Russell Jacoby’s Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-­Utopian Age (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), for a study on anti-­utopianism in writings by Arendt, Berlin, and Popper. 2. See Milton Friedman’s introduction to F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 6. 3. F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 16. 4. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 5. 5. Ibid., 19. For Harvey, the utopian theorization of deregulation and privatization has been a flimsy justification for these political ends, and when faced with real political situations—­whether in Chile in the 1970s or in the War in Iraq—­violence, state force, and authoritarianism have been used to dis-­embed capital from constraint. A hands-­off vision, in other words, requires a fist. 6. He first invokes the poet as one of the many writers, from Cicero and Tacitus to Montaigne and Locke, who claim that individualism has been the foundation of Western civilization from ancient times through the Renaissance. In fact, he here describes socialism as a “counter-­Renaissance,” to the extent that it ostensibly substitutes collectivism and planning for individualism and free choice. In other references to Milton, Hayek even more explicitly associates the poet with a peculiarly British nationalist brand of liberal doctrine. After bemoaning the vanishing of Miltons and Shakespeares from twentieth-­century England, he says, in a footnote, that “it is difficult to resist the temptation to add here one more quotation [from Milton], a very familiar one, which nowadays nobody but a foreigner would dare to cite: ‘let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.’” While a discussion of empire is oddly absent from Hayek’s mid-­century account of the global benefits of free trade, we here see some hint of where he stands on the subject of cultural imperialism, if not the British empire itself. This quotation from The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, however, celebrates England’s historical tendency to study, inquire into, and reconsider religious doctrine, a spirit Milton wants to reignite, in hopes of ending what he considers a domestic tyranny, the prohibition of divorce. Ironically, the quote Hayek selects appears in close proximity to a paragraph where Milton mocks “the narrow intellectuals of quotationists and common placers,” a group he juxtaposes with those of a “liberall profession” who truly study the statutes of God and “ballance and define good and evill, right and wrong, throughout every state of life.” See Hayek, Road to Serfdom, 17, 237; and John Milton, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, in The Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), 700–­701. 7. Hayek, Road to Serfdom, 231.

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8. John Milton, Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Publishing, To the Parliament of England, in The Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), 732–­733. 9. Ibid., 733. 10. This theme is arguably echoed in the concluding lines of Milton’s Sonnet 19, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent.” 11. Hayek’s mentor, Ludwig Von Mises, also references Areopagitica favorably in his book The Anti-­Capitalist Mentality (Auburn: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 2008), 55. 12. George Orwell, “Review: The Road to Serfdom,” in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, vol. 3 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 117–­119. In other essays, the author of what remains today the most recognized anti-­utopian novel would also cite Areopagitica as the ultimate defense of intellectual liberty, twice mentioning his attendance at a PEN club celebration of the seventeenth-­century pamphlet. See Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, 282, and Orwell, “The Prevention of Literature,” in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, vol. 4 (New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1968), 59. 13. This preface has been included in most subsequent editions. See, for example, the edition cited in this chapter: Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), xxviii–­xliv. 14. Hayek also repeatedly takes aim at Utopian socialists and thinkers like Henri de Saint-­Simon and Karl Mannheim. See Road to Serfdom, 25, 28, and 76. 15. David Norbrook, “Areopagitica, Censorship, and the Early Modern Public Sphere,” in The Administration of Aesthetics: Censorship, Political Criticism, and the Public Sphere, ed. Richard Burt (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 13. 16. Joad Raymond, Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 163–­172. 17. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996), 87. 18. This pamphlet, “A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory,” is reproduced in A.S.P. Woodhouse’s Puritanism and Liberty: Being the Army Debates (1647–­49) from the Clarke Manuscripts, 3rd ed. (London: Everyman’s Library, 1986), 33. Its authorship is uncertain but has been attributed to Hanserd Knollys. For more on the puritan application of religious typology in America, see Sacvan Bercovitch’s The Puritan Origins of the American Self (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975). 19. Ruth Levitas, The Concept of Utopia (New York: Philip Allan, 1990), 191. 20. Ibid. 21. These songs (“The Clean Contrary Way,” “The Commoners,” and “The Long Parliament”) are archived in The Sealed Knot Society’s “The 17th Century Songbook,” http://www.thesealedknot.org.uk. 22. Gerrard Winstanley, A Declaration to the Powers of England (The True Levellers Standard Advanced), in The Works of Gerrard Winstanley, ed. George H. Sabine (New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), 251.

232   NOTES

23. [Gabriel Plattes], A Description of the famous kingdome of Macaria, shewing its excellent government wherein the inhabitants live in great prosperity, health, and happiness: the king obeyed, the nobles honoured, and all good men respected, vice punished, and vertue rewarded: an example to other nations between a schollar and a traveler (London: 1641), B2v. 24. Ibid., B3r. 25. Ibid., A2v. 26. Ibid., Ar. 27. Milton, Areopagitica, 728. 28. Ibid., 743. 29. Hugh Trevor-­Roper, “Three Foreigners: The Philosophers of the Puritan Revolution,” in The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Religion, the Reformation and Social Change (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999), 244. 30. [Plattes], Macaria, A2r. 31. Ibid., A2v. 32. Kevin Dunn, “Milton Among the Monopolists: Areopagitica, Intellectual Property and the Hartlib Circle,” in Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation, ed. Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie, and Timothy Raylor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 179. 33. [Plattes], Macaria, A2v. 34. Ibid., A4r. 35. Ibid., B3r. 36. See W.A.S. Hewins, “Plattes, Gabriel (c.1600–­1644),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., 2004, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22360. 37. Charles Webster, “The Authorship and Significance of Macaria,” Past and Present 56 (1972): 36. 38. Ibid., 38. J. C. Davis even maintains that Hartlib’s co-­authorship is “probable,” in a chapter titled “The Full Employment Utopia of Seventeenth-­Century England,” in his Utopia and the Ideal Society: A Study of English Utopian Writing, 1516–­1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 313. As with many of the Hartlib papers that were found carefully preserved by G. H. Turnbull in the early twentieth century, Macaria’s authorship seems to have been intentionally obscured or collaboratively claimed. 39. For instance, see Hartlib’s exchange with Cheney Culpeper in the Hartlib Papers, 20 November 1644, Ref 13/55A-­56B. 40. Gabriel Plattes, A discovery of infinite treasure, hidden since the worlds beginning whereunto all men, of what degree soever, are friendly invited to be sharers with the discoverer (London: 1639), I4r. 41. Ibid., Dr. 42. As quoted in Webster, “Authorship and Significance of Macaria,” 39. See also Charles Webster, Utopian Planning and the Puritan Revolution (Oxford: Research Publications for the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, 1979) for a longer discussion of Plattes’s likely biography. 43. Gabriel Plattes, Certaine new inventions and profitable experiments necessary to

NOT E S   2 3 3

be known of all farmers, and others, that endeavour to procure benefit to themselves, and plentie to the commonwealth (London: 1640), Ar. 44. Webster, “Authorship and Significance of Macaria,” 36. See also Charles Webster, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform (London: Duckworth, 1975). 45. Davis, Utopia and the Ideal Society, 324. 46. Amy Boesky, Founding Fictions: Utopias in Early Modern England (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996). 47. Robert Appelbaum, Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-­Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). “I could never finde so exquisite a modell of resemblance of a well ordered and flourishing Common-­wealth, as in a hive of bees,” writes Plattes, for “they are all industrious, and suffer no drones to remaine amongst them, and by this meanes their well living is no whit diminished by growing numerous” and “they are all bent to work for the generall good” (Plattes, Discovery of infinite treasure, C2v). As Christopher Hill has observed, drones was a common term employed by bourgeois pamphleteers to described noble retainers and other “blue-­blooded hangers-­on.” See Hill, The English Revolution 1640, in Marxists Internet Archive, https:// www.marxists.org/archive/hill-­christopher/english-­revolution. 48. Appelbaum, Literature and Utopian Politics, 122. 49. [Plattes], Macaria, A4v. 50. Ibid., B3r. 51. Ibid., B2v. 52. Ibid., B2v-­B3r. 53. Thomas More, Utopia, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed. George Logan and Robert Adams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 35. 54. [Plattes], Macaria, A4v. 55. For example, see Plattes, Discovery of infinite treasure, H3r. 56. Ibid., A3v–­A4r. 57. Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 161. 58. Andrew McRae, God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500–­1660 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996). 59. Ibid., 154. 60. [Plattes], Macaria, B3v. 61. Ibid., B4r. 62. Ibid., B4r-­v. 63. Ibid., A4r. 64. Plattes, Discovery of infinite treasure, F2v. 65. Ibid., Hr. 66. Ibid., H2r. 67. Ibid., F2v. 68. Ibid., F3v, A4r. 69. Walter Blith, The English improver improved, or, The survey of husbandry surveyed discovering the improveableness of all lands, some to be under a double and treble,

234   NOTES

others under a five or six fould, and many under a tenn fould, yea, some under a twenty fould improvement (London: 1653), Bv-­B2r. 70. Wast land’s improvement, or certain proposals made and tendred to the consideration of the Honorable Committee appointed by Parliament for the advance of trade, and general profits of the Commonwealth . . . (London: 1653), Ar-­v. 71. [Plattes], Macaria, B4r. 72. Gabriel Plattes, The profitable intelligencer, communicating his knowledge for the generall good of the common-­wealth and all posterity (London: 1644), A2r. 73. Appelbaum, Literature and Utopian Politics, 119. 74. William Petty, Political arithmetick, or, A discourse concerning the extent and value of lands, people, buildings . . . (London: 1690). 75. Plattes, A discovery of infinite treasure, A4r. 76. Ibid., B4r. 77. Plattes’s other long work, A discovery of subterraneall treasure (London: 1639), advises readers—­especially in the English colonies—­how to find and exploit mines where gold and coal are located. 78. David McNally, Political Economy and the Rise of Capitalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), xii. 79. [Plattes], Macaria, Ar. 80. See Andrew Milner, John Milton and the English Revolution: A Study in the Sociology of Literature (London: Macmillan, 1981), 71. 81. See the discussion of Robert Brenner’s Merchants and Revolution later in this chapter. D. Brunton and D. H. Pennington’s Members of Long Parliament (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1954) also charts different groupings of merchant MPs, including court monopolists who sided with the king and London and provincial merchants who largely backed parliament. 82. Trevor-­Roper, “The Three Foreigners,” 249. 83. Trevor-­Roper, of course, long resisted the “bourgeois revolution” and the “rise of the gentry” theses of Lawrence Stone, R. H. Tawney, and Hill, downplaying the country party’s associations with the interests of agrarian capitalism, and instead viewing the Civil War as a conflict that was more religious in nature. But Macaria suggests precisely that allies of Pym, like Hartlib and his followers, also overtly supported economic improvement and the expansion of trade. 84. [Plattes], Macaria, A4v. 85. Ibid., A3r. 86. Ibid., A3r-­v. 87. Ibid., Cv. 88. Ibid., A2r. 89. Ibid., Cr-­v. 90. Ibid., Cv. 91. John Milton, Paradise Lost, in The Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), 290, bk. 4, line 506.

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92. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, trans. Ben Fowkes (New York: Penguin Classics, 1976), 164–­165. 93. Ibid., 169. 94. [Plattes], Macaria, A4r. 95. Webster, Utopian Planning, 4–­5. 96. [Plattes], Macaria, B2r. 97. Ibid., B3r. 98. See Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie, and Timothy Raylor, eds., Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 2–­3. 99. [Plattes], Macaria, B2r. 100. Ibid., B3v. 101. Ibid., B4v. 102. Ibid., Bv. 103. Norbrook, “Areopagitica, Censorship,” 15. 104. See William Kolbrener, “‘Plainly Partial’: The Liberal Areopagitica,” ELH 60.1 (1993): 71. 105. See Norbrook, “Areopagitica, Censorship”; Kolbrener, “‘Plainly Partial’; Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (London: Faber and Faber, 1977); James Holstun, Ehud’s Dagger: Class Struggle in the English Revolution (New York: Verso, 2000); and David Loewenstein, “Areopagitica and the Dynamics of History,” SEL 28 (1988): 77–­93. 106. Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution, 95. 107. Christopher Kendrick, “Ethics and Orator in Areopagitica,” ELH 50.4 (1983): 677. See also Blair Hoxby, Mammon’s Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002); Sandra Sherman, “Printing the Mind: The Economics of Authorship in Areopagitica,” ELH 60.2 (1993): 323–­347; and Alan Price, “Incidental Imagery in Areopagitica,” Modern Philology 49.4 (1952): 217–­222. 108. Milton, Areopagitica, 727, 740. 109. Ibid., 744. 110. Stanley Fish, “Driving from the Letter: Truth and Indeterminacy in Milton’s Areopagitica,” Re-­membering Milton, ed. Mary Nyquist and Margaret Ferguson (New York: Methuen Press, 1987), 234–­254. 111. Price, “Incidental Imagery in Areopagitica,” 219. 112. Milton, Areopagitica, 736–­737. 113. Ibid., 741. 114. See Sherman, “Printing the Mind,” for more on this. 115. Hoxby, Mammon’s Music, 26. 116. Ibid. 117. Milton, Areopagitica, 749. 118. The only exception, to my knowledge, is a short passage in Holstun’s Ehud’s Dagger (111), which observes Brooke’s status as an aristocratic imperialist allied with non-­company merchants. Holstun notes, “Just as a mercantile thread runs through the

236   NOTES

imagery and the substance of Milton’s pamphlet, so a discursive ‘public sphere’ thread runs through Brooke’s aristocratic capitalism: during the superficially quiescent 1630s, innovative commercial networks integrated aristocrats like Brooke, capitalist new merchants, and Puritan ministers in such projects as the Massachusetts Bay Company, the Additional Sea Adventure to Ireland, the Bermuda Company, and the Providence Island Company.” I am grateful to his reference for setting me on this trail. 119. Milton, Areopagitica, 746. 120. Robert Greville Brooke, A discourse opening the nature of that episcopacie, which is exercised in England wherein with all humility, are represented some considerations tending to the much desired peace, and long expected reformation, of this our mother church (London: Printed by R. C. for Samuel Cartwright . . . , 1641), 98. 121. Milton, Areopagitica, 739. 122. See George Whiting, “Milton and Lord Brooke on the Church,” Modern Language Notes 51.3 (1936): 161. 123. See Ann Hughes, “Greville, Robert, second Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court (1607–­1643),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., 2004, http:// www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/11518. 124. Robert Brenner, Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550–­1653 (New York: Verso, 2003), 648. 125. Ibid., 661. 126. Perry Anderson, “Civil War, Global Distemper: Robert Brenner,” in Spectrum: From Right to Left in the World of Ideas (New York: Verso, 2005), 237. 127. Ibid., 238. 128. See Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, 273 and 683. 129. Ibid., 634. 130. Milton, Areopagitica, 741. 131. Hill, Milton and the English Revolution, 95. 132. Ibid., 99. 133. See Kendrick, “Ethics and Orator,” 687. 134. See Milner’s John Milton and the English Revolution, which also examines how these ideals extend to other works by the poet. Milner’s central thesis is that Milton was the voice of the Independents in parliament, whose program, throughout the 1640s and 1650s, embodied “most fully the class interests of . . . the English bourgeoisie” (82). 135. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm (New York: Verso, 1998), 37. 136. See Martin Dzelzainis, “Milton’s Politics,” in The Cambridge Companion to Milton, ed. Dennis Danielson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 70. 137. John Milton, “Of Education,” in The Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), 630. 138. Milton, Areopagitica, 723. 139. See J. Martin Evans, Milton’s Imperial Epic: Paradise Lost and the Discourse of Colonialism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996); and Walter Lim, The Arts of Empire: The Poetics of Colonialism from Raleigh to Milton (Newark: University of Delaware

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Press, 1998), for more on Milton’s endorsement of New World and Irish colonial ventures, particularly in Paradise Lost. 140. Merritt Hughes, “Milton as a Revolutionary,” ELH 10.2 (1943): 97. 141. Ibid., 116. 142. Amy Boesky, “Milton’s Heaven and the Model of the English Utopia,” Studies in English Literature 1500–­1900, 36.1 (1996): 91. 143. Ibid., 91–­92. Boesky, however, doesn’t note the mockery of Hall when she cites Milton’s praise of utopias. This may be because her argument is focused on the Heaven of Paradise Lost, where she reads the celestial community as a utopian model for the New Model Army. 144. See Steven Lukes, “Marxism and Utopianism,” in Utopias, ed. P. Alexander and R. Gill (London: Duckworth, 1984), 153–­167. 145. Immanuel Wallerstein, “Marxisms as Utopias: Evolving Ideologies,” American Journal of Sociology 91.6 (1986): 1301. 146. Darren Webb, Marx, Marxism and Utopia (Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, 2000), 1. 147. Ibid., 135. 148. Frederick Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, trans. Edward Aveling (New York: International Publishers, 1994), 36. 149. Ibid. 150. Ibid., 52. 151. Charles Fourier, as quoted by Engels in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, 64. 152. Ibid., 69. 153. Ibid., 70. 154. Ibid., 73. 155. Wallerstein, “Marxisms as Utopias,” 1306–­1307. 156. Ibid., 1303. 157. Milton, Areopagitica, 733. 158. Ibid. 159. Ibid., 728. 160. John Milton, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, in The Complete Poems and Major Prose, ed. Merritt Hughes (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), 888, 894. 161. Ibid., 888, 891. 162. James Holstun, A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth-­Century England and America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 247. 163. Ibid., 260. 164. Norbrook, “Areopagitica, Censorship,” 23. 165. Loewenstein, “Areopagitica and the Dynamics of History,” 79. 166. Fish, “Driving from the Letter,” 242. 167. Ibid., 243. 168. Ibid. 169. Milton, Areopagitica, 728.

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170. Milton, Areopagitica, 742. 171. Ibid., 744. 172. Ibid., 730, 746. 173. Ibid., 748. 174. Ibid. 175. Ibid., 740. 176. Ibid., 741. 177. Ibid., 740. 178. Ibid. 179. Ibid., 739. 180. Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Talcott Parsons (New York: Routledge, 1992), 30. 181. Loewenstein, “Areopagitica and the Dynamics of History,” 91. 182. Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, 38–­39. 183. Milton, Areopagitica, 743. 184. Gerrard Winstanley, The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored, in The Works of Gerrard Winstanley, ed. George H. Sabine (New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), 515, 519. 185. Winstanley, Law of Freedom, 519. 186. See Holstun, Ehud’s Dagger, 398–­400. 187. Winstanley, Law of Freedom, 557. 188. Ibid., 573. 189. For example, in an earlier broadside, Winstanley calls England “the first of Nations . . . that sets the Crown of freedom on Christ’s head, to rule over the Nations of the worlds, and to declare him to be the joy and blessing of all Nations.” See Winstanley, “An Appeale to All Englishmen,” The Works of Gerrard Winstanley, ed. George H. Sabine (New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), 414. 190. Winstanley, Law of Freedom, 525, 534. 191. Winstanley, The True Levellers Standard, in The Works of Gerrard Winstanley, ed. George H. Sabine (New York: Russell and Russell, 1965), 260. 192. See Midnight Notes Collective, “Introduction to the New Enclosures,” New Enclosures (1990): 1–­9. 193. David Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development (New York: Verso, 2006), 41, 45.


Abensour, Miguel, 47, 206n98 Ackroyd, Peter: The Life of Thomas More, 204n71 Additional Sea Adventure to Ireland, 175, 236n118 Adorno, Theodor, 9; Dialectic of Enlightenment, 75 Agamben, Georgio, 93, 215n34 Albanese, Denise, 23, 32, 80 Al-­Khalwaldeh, Samira, 213n13 Alkon, Paul, 226n20 Althusser, Louis: on overdetermination, 19 Anderson, Perry, 14; on absolutism and feudalism, 203n63; Lineages of the Absolutist State, 203n63 Anderson, Walter, 2 Andreae, Johannes Valentinus: Christianopolis, 31, 154, 212n3 Annales school, 19 Appelbaum, Robert: on Plattes’s Macaria, 156, 162; on utopian literature and politics, 32 Arendt, Hannah, 8, 146 Aristotle’s Politics, 21

Armitage, David, 54 Arrighi, Giovanni: on Elizabethan economic nationalism, 118, 211n170; on forms of capitalism, 18; on Venice, 223n67 Baccolini, Raffaella: on nostalgia and utopia, 143 Bacon, Francis: An Advertisement Touching an Holy War, 77; “Certain Considerations Touching the Plantation in Ireland”, 76; on cosmopolitanism, 87; “In Praise of Knowledge”, 75, 76, 217n65; Instauratio Magna, 75–­76, 79, 214n23; on knowledge, 74–­76, 79, 181, 217n65; on mercantilism, 84; “Of Empire”, 84; “Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature”, 87; “Of Plantations”, 76, 81, 109; “Of Truth”, 132; Sylva Sylarum, 74; on wealth, 75–­76 Bacon’s New Atlantis, 8, 33, 122, 148, 180; Bensalem, 24, 74–­75, 77–­79, 81–­83, 84–­87, 89, 91, 215n33, 216n44; vs.

240    INDEX

Campanella’s utopia, 87; and capitalism, 75, 83, 84–­85, 90; on China, 86; Christian status of Bensalem, 77–­79; and colonialism, 76–­78, 79, 83, 84–­85, 92; and Columbus, 21; vs. England, 77, 84–­85, 86, 87, 91; era of navigation in, 80; exceptionalism in, 77–­79, 80, 81–­82, 85, 91, 215n34; Father of Salomon’s House, 85, 89, 90; Feast of the Family, 88; governor of the House of Strangers, 78, 80, 81, 82, 89; influence of, 10, 152, 153–­54; Joabin, 87–­88, 89; King Solamona, 81, 86; knowledge in, 74–­75, 76–­78, 79, 80, 82–­83, 84–­86, 87–­88, 89, 91, 217n71; labor hierarchy in, 77–­ 78, 83–­84, 88; laws of secrecy and treatment of strangers, 77–­78, 85, 86–­87; Magnalia Naturae, 83, 91; vs. Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, 82; Merchants of Light, 82–­83, 216n60; vs. More’s Utopia, 31, 33, 77, 87–­88, 90, 92, 212n3; myth of Atlantis in, 80; on nature, 90–­91; vs. Plattes’s Macaria, 152, 153–­54, 156, 169; rejection of/reliance upon outside world, 74–­75, 77–­78, 81–­84, 86, 91; Salomon’s House, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 85, 86, 88, 89, 156, 169, 216n44, 217n83; vs. Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 102, 103; social differentiation in, 86–­90; vs. Spenser’s View, 95–­96; Strangers’ House, 78, 80, 81, 82, 86; territorial domination in, 76–­77; Upper vs. Lower regions, 89; violence in, 92 Balasopoulos, Antonis: on islands, 71, 212n3; on More’s Utopia, 53 Barber, Sarah, 218n6 Bartolovich, Crystal: on England and the emergence of capitalism, 17; on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 123, 127–­28, 130, 198n79, 226n20

Beacon, Richard, 222n46 Beale, John, 155 Benjamin, Walter, 2, 9, 30, 69 Bercovitch, Sacvan: on American exceptionalism, 215n34; The Puritan Origins of the American Self, 215n34 Berlin, Isaiah, 8, 146 Bermuda Company, 236n118 Blackburn, Robin: on primitive accumulation, 197n59 Black Death, 43 Blaut, Jim, 14 Blith, Walter: The English improver improved, 161–­62, 233n69 Bloch, Ernst, 9, 28, 123, 126, 182; on abstract utopianism, 138; on nonsynchronism, 34–­35; on utopia and ideology, 10; on utopia as anticipatory consciousness, 11 Boesky, Amy: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 83; on early modern utopias, 23, 49–­50, 96; on English Civil War, 151; “Milton’s Heaven and the Model of the English Utopia”, 180; on Milton’s utopianism, 180, 236n143; on Plattes’s Macaria, 156 Boyle, Robert, 155; on Invisible College, 169 Bradshaw, Brendan: on Spenser’s View, 104 Brady, Ciaran, 222n46; on Spenser’s View, 104 Branham, Brach, 39 Brannigan, John: on New Historicism, 197n70 Braudel, Fernand, 19; Civilization and Capitalism, 64–­65; on England, 64–­ 65, 211n170 Brenner, Robert: “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-­Industrial Europe”, 14; on Lord Brooke, 177–­78; on commercial circulation and im-

I ND E X   2 4 1

perialism, 15; on English Civil War, 176–­78, 179; on labor as commodity, 15; Merchants and Revolution, 176–­ 77, 203n62; on origin of capitalism, 15–­18, 179, 196n59, 212n4; “The Origins of Capitalist Development: A Critique of Neo-­Smithian Marxism”, 14; on primitive accumulation, 196n59; on social relations of production, 15–­16; on transition between feudalism and capitalism, 179, 196n59; on wage labor, 196n57, 212n4 Brooke, Robert Grenville, Lord: Brenner on, 177–­78; A discourse opening the nature of that episcopacie, which is exercised in England, 174–­75; Milton’s Areopagitica on, 172, 174–­76, 178, 179, 187, 234n118; and Providence Island Company, 175, 236n118 Bruce, Susan: on More’s Utopia, 52, 53, 58–­59 Brunton, D.: Members of the Long Parliament, 234n81 Burton, Robert: The Anatomy of Melancholy, 31, 122–­23; on idleness of commoners, 31; “Utopia of Mine Owne” (in Anatomy of Melancholy), 31 Calvinism, 186–­87 Camden, William: Britannia, 64, 209n161 Campanella, Tommaso: Civitas Solis, 31, 82, 87 Canny, Nicholas, 218n7, 222n46 Canterbury Tales, 43; Friar Huberd, 44 capitalism: agrarian capitalism, 31, 33, 68, 159, 160, 163, 203nn61,63, 234n83; and Bacon’s New Atlantis, 75, 83, 84–­85, 90; commodity fetishism in, 167–­68; creative destruction in, 105–­6; division of labor in, 10, 20,

53, 113, 167, 201n35; emergence of, 3–­4, 5–­7, 8, 10, 12–­20, 33, 36–­37, 56, 69, 70, 83–­84, 109–­10, 114, 117–­18, 138, 149, 163, 168, 178, 179, 194n15, 196n59, 201n35, 212n4; in England, 5, 6, 15–­16, 18, 23, 31, 33, 34, 36–­37, 40–­41, 52, 60, 118, 149–­50, 160, 161, 164, 165, 168, 170, 178, 188, 198n75, 203nn61,63, 234n83; financial capitalism, 190; forms of, 18; as global, 69, 70, 91, 109, 223n68; improvement ideology, 8, 25, 53, 107, 152, 157–­59, 160–­64; and Milton’s Areopagitica, 175–­76; and More’s Utopia, 5–­7, 8, 31–­38, 68–­69, 71, 74; and Plattes’s Macaria, 150, 158–­60, 161, 163–­64, 165–­68, 170, 234n83; and primitive accumulation, 6, 12–­13, 15–­16, 19, 35–­37, 59, 114, 191, 195n42, 196n59, 199n1, 201n35; profit maximization in, 15; relationship to imperialism, 20, 24, 31, 83, 109–­10, 124, 147; relationship to nature, 90–­91; relationship to utopianism, 5–­7, 8, 10, 18–­19, 20, 23, 24–­25, 31–­38, 92, 147, 149–­ 50, 187, 230n5; relations of production in, 15–­16; and Spenser’s View, 24–­25, 109–­10, 112, 113–­14, 118; territorial vs. capitalistic logics of power, 68–­69; trade expansion in, 10, 13–­15, 25, 53, 165–­68, 177, 203n63, 234n83; uneven concentration of wealth in, 84; uneven geographic development in, 7, 14–­15, 24, 34, 68, 71, 83–­84, 212n4; utopianism as capitalist, 10, 24–­25, 92, 147, 187, 230n5; wage labor in, 6, 13, 16, 36–­37, 196n57, 197n59, 212n4; and women, 124–­25; world-­systems theorists, 53, 196n59 Cavendish, Margaret, 21, 33; Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, 22 Cavendish, William: prefatory poem to

242    INDEX

Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, 22 Caxton, William, 62 Cennini, Bernardo, 63 Certeau, Michel de, 2; The Practice of Everyday Life, 134–­35 Charles, Prince of Castile, 39–­40 Charles I, 152; execution of, 188; Star Chamber of, 171 Chaucer, Jeffrey, 46; Canterbury Tales, 43, 44 Cheney, Patrick: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 139; on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 128 Cicero, Marcus Tullius: De Officiis, 21, 39; De Oratore, 39 Clark, Danielle, 125 Claudian, 62–­63, 209n161 Cleveland, John: “The Long Parliament”, 151–­52 Clifford, George, Third Earl of Cumberland, 138, 140 colonialism: and Bacon’s New Atlantis, 76–­78, 79, 83, 84–­85, 92; colonial utopias, 10, 25, 92, 95, 96–­97, 103, 107; English colonial projects, 1, 2, 3, 13, 17, 54–­56, 58, 65, 76, 84, 86, 95, 96–­98, 100, 107, 109–­10, 114, 117, 118, 119, 162–­63, 177, 179, 214n24, 218n7, 234n77, 236n118; Marx on, 13, 36; Milton’s Areopagitica on, 180; and More’s Utopia, 31, 52–­59, 60, 67, 68, 69, 71, 74, 92; Netzloff on, 52, 86, 217n73; Plattes on, 162–­63, 164; and Spenser’s View, 94–­95, 96, 109–­10, 120. See also imperialism Columbus, Christopher, 21–­22, 52, 57 Comenius, Jan Amos, 155, 165; on pansophia, 169 common property: enclosure in England, 3, 5–­6, 13, 17, 23–­24, 36, 58, 113, 145, 159, 160, 161, 164, 203n63; enclosure in More’s Utopia, 5–­6, 23,

36, 37, 40, 45, 46, 53, 56, 58, 60, 145; More’s Utopia on, 41, 56, 206n101; Winstanley on the global commons, 189–­90 continental drift, 61–­62 Coughlan, Patricia: Spenser and Ireland, 222n46 country-­house poems, 25, 139, 142, 144, 220n30 Cromwell, Oliver, 10, 150, 161, 178, 188 Cromwell, Thomas, 97 Crossley, James, 154–­55 Crotty, Raymond: on economy of Celtic Ireland, 111; When Histories Collide, 111 Crowder, Diane Griffin: on separatist utopias, 143 cultural criticism, 18–­19 cultural materialism, 7, 11 D’Anghiera, Peter Martyr: De Orde Novo, 132 Davies, C. S. L.: on Vagrancy Act of 1547, 220n34 Davis, J. C., 23; on Plattes’s Macaria, 156, 165–­66, 232n38; on utopia, 4, 201n21 De Bry, Theodore: Balboa Punishing Indians Guilty of Sodomy, 118 DeCook, Travis, 216n44 Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe, 81 Deleuze, Gilles, 30 deterritorialization, 30, 200n15 Dewar, Mary: on Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 99 Dido and Aeneas, 128–­29 Diggers, 127, 188, 198n79 dispossession: in England, 1, 5–­6, 8, 13, 15–­16, 17, 19, 23–­24, 31, 36–­37, 58–­59, 113, 145, 202n43; in Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 25, 138–­39, 141, 142, 144–­45; in More’s Utopia, 1, 5–­6, 8, 13, 15–­16, 17, 19, 23–­24, 31, 41, 43, 45–­46, 51, 53,

I ND E X   2 4 3

54, 55–­56, 58–­59, 145, 204n66; in Spenser’s View, 94, 108–­9, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114; in Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 25, 124, 125, 127, 130, 138 Dobb, Maurice: on agrarian dispossession, 15–­16; on class struggle and historical change, 13–­14; on origin of capitalism, 13–­14, 15–­17, 19–­ 20; on Smith’s prior accumulation, 195n42; Studies in the Development of Capitalism, 13, 195n42 Donne, John: sermon to the Virginia Company, 74 Drake, Francis, 65 Drayton, Michael: “To the Virginian Company”, 22–­23 Dunn, Kevin: “Milton Among the Monopolists”, 171, 173; on Plattes’s Macaria, 154, 171 Dury, John, 155, 165, 169 Dymock, Cressy, 155 dystopias, 146 early modern utopias: geographic projection in, 58, 72, 127, 150–­51; Ireland in, 24, 94–­96, 102–­3, 218n6; islands in, 31, 53, 59–­70, 71–­72, 74, 127, 212n3; vs. medieval utopias, 27–­28; presentist reading of, 190–­91; printing’s impact on, 150; social institutions in, 3–­4, 9, 41–­42, 49–­51, 108, 122, 123, 124, 127; spatial displacement in, 20–­21, 95–­96, 103, 198n79; statesmen associated with, 122–­23; as structures of feeling, 12 East India Company, 178 Eden, Richard, 21, 57, 132 Edward II, 140 Eighty Years’ War, 117 elegy, 124, 128, 186, 229n90; Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham” as, 25, 139, 142, 143, 144

Elizabeth I, 93, 98, 100, 104, 117, 211n170 Ellinghausen, Laurie: on Whitney’s single state, 225n7; on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 130 Elliott, J. H., 58 Elliott, Robert: on More’s Utopia, 39, 205n91, 206n98; on satire and utopia, 205n91 enclosure: in England, 3, 5–­6, 13, 17, 23–­24, 36, 58, 113, 145, 159, 160, 161, 164, 203n63; in More’s Utopia, 5–­6, 23, 36, 37, 40, 45, 46, 53, 56, 58, 60, 145 Engels, Friedrich, 180–­82; Communist Manifesto, 179, 187; Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, 181–­82; on the state, 182 England: absolutism in, 35, 40–­41, 148, 149, 150, 164, 165, 176–­77, 178, 180, 203nn61–­63; vs. Bacon’s New Atlantis, 77, 84–­85, 86, 87, 91; capitalism in, 5, 6, 15–­16, 18, 23, 31, 33, 34, 36–­37, 40–­41, 52, 60, 118, 149–­ 50, 160, 161, 164, 165, 168, 170, 178, 188, 198n75, 203nn61,63, 234n83; Civil War, 150–­52, 153, 156, 164, 165, 171, 176–­78, 198n79, 234nn81,83; colonial projects of, 1, 2, 3, 13, 17, 54–­56, 58, 65, 76, 84, 86, 95, 96–­98, 100, 107, 109–­10, 114, 117, 118, 119, 162–­63, 177, 179, 214n24, 218n7, 234n77, 236n118; Cornish rebellion of 1497, 42–­43, 46; dispossession in, 1, 5–­6, 8, 13, 15–­16, 17, 19, 23–­24, 31, 36–­37, 58–­59, 113, 145, 202n43; dissolution of the monasteries in, 13, 36; enclosure of the commons in, 3, 5–­6, 13, 17, 23–­24, 36, 58, 113, 145, 159, 160, 161, 164, 203n63; feudalism in, 3, 5, 6, 13, 16, 18, 23, 33, 34, 35, 52, 60, 164, 176, 178, 198n75, 202n43, 203n63; Licensing Order

244    INDEX

of 1643, 171, 173; Long Parliament, 151–­52, 153, 154, 159–­60, 164, 171, 174, 234n81; monopolies in, 173, 176–­78; vs. More’s Utopia, 5–­7, 30, 31, 33, 49, 52, 54–­56, 58–­59, 60–­61, 62–­68, 69, 74, 206n101, 208n146; peasant uprising of 1381, 43; policies regarding Ireland, 10, 93, 97–­98, 104, 107, 109–­10, 118–­19, 121, 164, 219n7, 222n46; policies regarding Low Countries, 117; public sphere in, 150, 171–­72, 175; relations with France, 67; Royal Society, 10, 77, 91; Rump Parliament, 183; unemployment in, 1, 5–­6, 8, 37; Vagrancy Act of 1547, 220n34; women’s oppression in, 123, 127, 138, 142, 145, 147, 226n28; wool trade, 17, 40, 45, 55, 202n43 Erasmus, Desiderius, 39, 46; The Praise of Folly, 204n75 Erickson, Amy Louise, 130, 225n11, 226n28 Escobedo, Andrew: on time in Renaissance writers, 2 estates satire vs. More’s Utopia, 23, 30–­31, 38, 39–­40, 43–­52, 69 Ettin, Andrew, 142–­43 Evelyn, John, 155 Fanon, Frantz, 14 Federici, Silvia, 14; on women and capitalism, 25, 124 feminist literary criticism, 7, 23, 123 Ferguson, Arthur, 64 Fiennes, William, 175 Fish, Stanley: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 172, 184, 185 Fitzwilliam, Sir William, 99–­100, 104 Flamank, Thomas, 42 Foucault, Michel, 2; Foucauldian literary criticism, 29, 32; on heterotopias,

133, 135; on mirrors, 133; “Of Other Spaces”, 133 Fowler, Elizabeth: “The Failure of Moral Philosophy in the Work of Edmund Spenser”, 114 Francis I, 67 Frank, André Gunder, 14, 16, 84, 212n4; on development of underdevelopment, 91; on primitive accumulation, 196n59; on underdevelopment in Latin America, 15, 196n5353; World Accumulation, 196n53 Frankfurt School, 9, 75 Freeman, Jon, 204n67 Freudo-­Marxist literary criticism, 29, 32, 59 Friedman, Milton, 105, 145–­47 Frye, Northrop, 198n79 Fuchs, Barbara: on Spenser’s Faerie Queene, 116–­17 Fulke, William: on Africa, 62; A goodly gallerye with a most pleasaunt prospect, 131–­32, 227n40 Furey, Constance: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 123, 143–­44 futuristic fiction, 226n20 Gaertner, Jan Felix: Writing Exile, 129 geocriticism, 7, 23 geomorphology, 61–­62 Gerald of Wales: The Journey Through Wales, 213n17 German fascism, 146–­47 Giddens, Anthony, 200n15 Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 219n7 Gillis, John, 71 Gilman, Charlotte Perkins: Herland, 143 Ginzburg, Carlo: on More’s Utopia, 206n100 “Glimpse of Sion’s Glory, A”, 231n18 globalization, 69, 70, 91, 109, 223n68

I ND E X   2 4 5

Godwin, Francis: The Man in the Moone, 21–­22 Gordon, Andrew: on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 126 Gott, Samuel: Nova Solyma, 151, 156; on Plattes’s Macaria, 156 Gower, John, 43 Gray, Robert: on economic conditions in England, 1–­2, 3; Good Speed to Virginia sermon, 1–­2, 3, 22; on overseas settlements, 1, 2, 3 Greenblatt, Stephen: on More’s Utopia, 204n67; Renaissance Self-­Fashioning, 41; on Spenser’s Faerie Queene, 119 Grey of Wilton, Arthur, 93 Guattari, Felix, 30 Guevara, Che, 14 Habermas, Jürgen: on public sphere, 150 Hadfield, Andrew: on Spenser’s View, 108 Hakluyt, Richard, 21; Discourse of Western Planting, 54–­55 Hall, Bishop Joseph, 31; Mundus alter et idem, 21, 180, 236n143 Hall, Stuart, 17 Halpern, Richard: on More’s Utopia, 5, 6, 7, 32, 37, 59, 204n66, 206n96, 208n140; Poetics of Primitive Accumulation, 6, 19, 20, 204n66, 208n140; on primitive accumulation, 19, 201n35 Hamilton, A. C., 116 Happé, Peter, 205n80 Hardt, Michael: Empire, 223n68 Harleian Miscellany, 154 Harrington, James, 122; on Ireland, 221n43; Oceana, 150, 221n43 Hartlib, Samuel, 154–­55, 162, 165, 168, 169, 171, 174; economic agenda of, 25, 152, 156, 163, 234n83; relationship with Milton, 25, 179–­80; rela-

tionship with Plattes, 25, 155, 163, 232n38 Harvey, David: on accumulation by dispossession, 197n59, 213n4; on capitalism, 68, 190; on neoliberalism, 147, 230n5; The New Imperialism, 197n59; on primitive accumulation, 197n59; on spatial form and utopia, 88–­89; on uneven development, 83, 212n4 Harvey, Gabriel, 99 Hayek, Friedrich: on individualism, 147, 230n6; on Milton, 146, 147–­48, 149–­ 50, 230n6, 231n11; and Mont Pelerin society, 146; on Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-­Four, 148–­49; The Road to Serfdom, 146–­49; on socialism, 146–­ 47, 149, 150, 230n6, 231n14 Helgerson, Richard: Forms of Nationhood, 86; on nation-­states, 86 Henry II, 95 Henry VII: Cornish rebellion against, 42–­43; coronation, 28; feudal retinues disbanded by, 202n43 Henry VIII, 32, 39–­40, 44, 67, 145 Herbert, Mary Sidney, 227n35 Herbert, William, 222n46 Herron, Thomas: on Spenser’s Faerie Queene, 116–­17; Spenser’s Irish Work, 222n60 Hexter, J. H.: on More’s Utopia, 32, 38, 206n101 Heylyn, Peter: Cosmographie, 65 Heywood, John: Gentleness and Nobility, 44–­45, 205n80 Higden, Ranulf, 210n164 Hill, Christopher: on drones, 233n47; on English Civil War, 164, 176, 234n83; Milton and the English Revolution, 178; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171, 173 Hilton, Rodney, 14, 197n67

246    INDEX

Hodgson, Elizabeth: on mourning, 227n35 Holinshed, Raphael, 210n164 Holstun, James: A Rational Millennium, 75, 79, 204n66, 207n129, 214n23; on Lord Brooke, 234n118; on dispossession, 207n129; Ehud’s Dagger, 235n118; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171, 235n118; on Milton’s Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, 183–­84; on More’s Utopia, 32, 56, 204n66; on Spenser’s Faerie Queene, 120; on utopia as an island, 75; on utopias and will to domination, 23; on Winstanley’s Law of Freedom, 189 Homer, 62–­63 Horace, 205n91 Horkheimer, Max: Dialectic of Enlightenment, 75 Houston, Chloë, 21, 23 Hoxby, Blair: on Licensing Order of 1643, 173; Mammon’s Music, 173; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171–­72, 173 Hughes, Merrit: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 180 Hundred Years’ War, 67 Huxley, Aldous, 146 ideal commonwealth tradition, 29–­30, 32 imperialism: British Empire, 95; relationship to capitalism, 20, 24, 31, 83, 109–­10, 124, 147; relationship to utopian literature, 20, 24, 31, 53; Spanish Empire, 116–­18, 224n105. See also colonialism improvement ideology, 8, 25, 53, 107, 152, 157–­59, 160–­64 Ingham, Patricia: on More’s Utopia, 27, 28, 29, 33, 34 Ireland: Ards peninsula, 97, 99, 104; Brehon Law in, 110–­11; in early modern utopias, 24, 94–­96, 102–­3,

218n6; English policies regarding, 93, 97–­98, 104, 107, 109–­10, 118–­19, 121, 164, 219n7, 222n46; plantation system in, 95, 100, 104, 109–­10; rebellion in, 92, 93, 119, 218n1. See also Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland Irving, Sarah: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 76, 84 Jacoby, Russell: on blueprint utopias, 9; The End of Utopia, 8–­9; Picture Imperfect, 8–­9; on utopia and reform, 96 James IV, 42 Jameson, Frederic, 6, 7, 123, 182; Archaeologies of the Future, 4, 8–­9, 33, 181; definition of utopia, 4; on ideology vs. utopia, 29–­30; “Marxism and Historicism”, 34; on modes of production, 34; on More’s Utopia, 30, 33, 34, 53, 60–­61; “Morus: A Generic View”, 33; “Of Islands and Trenches”, 33; on structural vs. progressive historicisms, 34; on study of past events and forms, 69–­70; on utopia and ideology, 10; on utopianism and communal impulse, 195n32; on utopianism and history, 4, 5, 9, 33; on utopianism vs. authoritarianism, 8–­9; on utopian literature and fantasy, 144; on utopian vs. utopianism, 181 Jamestown, 1 Jardine, Lisa: on Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 99; Worldly Goods, 19 Jonson, Ben: “To Penshurst”, 220n30 Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies/”Utopias, Medieval and Early Modern” issue, 27–­28 Jowitt, Claire: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 87, 217n71 Juvenal, 137

I ND E X   2 4 7

Kautsky, Karl: on More’s Utopia, 5, 33, 35, 200n12 Kelly, Joan: on women and the Renaissance, 125 Kendrick, Christopher: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 217n83; on feudalism and capitalism in England, 4–­5, 6; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171–­72; on More’s Utopia, 6, 7, 32, 33, 203n61 Kennedy, Geoff, 50 Kenyon, Thomas, 32 Keynsian economics, 146 Klein, Naomi: on creative destruction, 105–­6; on neoliberalism, 105–­6; The Shock Doctrine, 105–­6 Knapp, Jeffrey: An Empire Nowhere, 208n146; on islands, 67, 71; on More’s Utopia, 32, 53, 63, 64, 67, 208n146; on utopias and will to domination, 23 Knollys, Hansard, 231n18 Kolbrener, William: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171 Langland, William, 43 Lanyer, Aemelia, 227n35; relationship with Alphonso Lanyer, 139; Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, 123, 140, 141, 229n73 Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 8, 138–­45, 229n73; dispossession in, 25, 138–­39, 141, 142, 144–­45; as elegy, 25, 139, 142, 143, 144; on female community, 123, 124–­25, 141, 143, 144; nostalgia in, 139, 141, 143; relationship with Margaret Russell, 138–­40, 141–­42; Margaret Russell in, 138–­42, 143, 144–­45; as topographical, 142, 145; as utopian author, 123–­25, 143–­44; vs. Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 25, 123–­25, 138, 142, 144, 145 Laud, William, 154

Lefebvre, Henri: on production of space, 130 Leiss, William: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 89 Leslie, Marina: on utopian literature, 10, 32–­33 Levant-­East India combine, 177 Levitas, Ruth: The Concept of Utopia, 151; on utopia, 4, 123, 138, 151 Lewalski, Barbara: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 141 Lewis, C. S.: on utopia, 199n3 Licensing Order of 1643, 171, 173 Linebaugh, Peter, 214n23 Lochrie, Karma: on More’s Utopia, 27–­ 28, 29, 33, 34, 199n5; Nowhere in the Middle Ages, 27, 199n5; on perspectival utopianism, 228n47 Locke, John: on natural law and dominion over land, 207n124; Second Treatise of Government, 207n124 Loewenstein, David: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171, 184, 187 Logan, George, 39 Loomba, Ania: on Western science, 83 Lucan, 62–­63 Lucian of Samosata, 46, 205n91; A True Story, 21, 48; Tyrannicida, 39 Lucretius, 132 Lukes, Stephen, 180 Lupton, Julia Reinhard: on Spenser’s View, 106, 111 Lutheranism, 186 Lyotard, Jean-­François: on petits recits, 19 Malay, Jessica: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 140, 228n62 Maley, Willy: on Spenser’s View, 108 Maltby, William: The Black Legend in England, 117, 224n105 Mandel, Ernest: “Capitalism and Regional Disparities”, 70; on unequal development in capitalism, 71

248    INDEX

Mandeville, Bernard, 101 Mandeville, John, 21 Mann, Jill: on estates satire, 43 Mannheim, Karl, 10, 182, 231n14 Manning, Brian, 164 Manuel, Frank and Fritzie: on imaginary societies, 92; on theoretical and applied utopistics, 96; Utopian Thought in the Western World, 4, 23, 92 Marcuse, Herbert, 9, 182 Marin, Louis, 4, 53; on More’s Utopia, 5, 7, 30, 34, 60–­61, 67, 68; Utopics, 6, 29–­30 Marlowe, Christopher: Faustus, 72, 82; imperialism in Doctor Faustus, 72, 73, 74, 213nn13,17; land bridge in Doctor Faustus, 24, 72–­74, 213n17; Mephistopheles, 72 Martyr, Peter: Decades of the New World, 57–­58 Marx, Karl: on bourgeois revolution, 120–­21, 179, 187; Capital, 6, 13, 16, 35–­37, 202n35; on capitalism and feudalism, 16; on capitalism and nature, 90–­91; on class, 15–­16; on colonial projects, 13, 36; on commodity fetishism, 167–­68; on communal property, 13; Communist Manifesto, 179, 187; definition of capitalism, 17; on dissolution of the monasteries, 13; The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 120–­21; on enclosure movement, 13; on feudalism, 16, 202n43; Grundrisse, 15, 27, 81, 91, 199n1; on historical hindsight, 27, 199n1; on individualism, 81; on materialist history, 202n35; on More’s Utopia, 6, 37; on primitive accumulation, 6, 12, 16, 35–­37, 114, 199n1, 201n35; on private property, 13; on relations of production, 15–­16; on utopias, 180–­82; on violence, 114; on wage labor, 13, 16, 36–­37, 163

Marxist historians, 18–­19, 33–­35. See also Brenner, Robert; Dobb, Maurice Marxist literary criticism, 10, 12, 25, 173; More’s Utopia in, 6, 7, 28, 29–­30, 33–­ 38, 69, 200n12 Massachusetts Bay Company, 236n118 McCutheon, Elizabeth: on Hythlodaeus, 48–­49; on More’s Utopia, 203n54 McFelin, Sir Brian, 99 McKnight, Stephen, 79, 214n23 McNally, David: on agrarian capitalism, 163 McRae, Andrew, 159 Mentz, Steven, 212n1 mercantilism, 84, 165, 166, 176, 203n63 Merchant, Carolyn: on Bacon and the exploitation of nature, 90, 91 Merchant Adventurers, 177 Methodism, 186 Miéville, China: The City and the City, 136 Milner, Andrew: John Milton and the English Revolution, 236n134; on Milton and the Independents, 236n134 Milton, John, 8, 122, 236n134; on Adam and Eve, 167; An Apology for Smectymnuus, 180; critical utopianism of, 26, 149–­50, 153, 180, 182–­83; The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, 230n6; on free trade, 152, 153, 173–­74, 179; on knowledge, 152, 153, 173; on law, 182–­83; on liberty, 152; “Lycidas”, 186; on monopolies, 25, 149, 152, 171, 173–­74, 179; on morality and compulsion, 147; Of Education, 179; Of Prelaticall Episcopacy, 175; Paradise Lost, 167, 236n143; The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, 183; relationship with Hartlib, 25, 179–­80; as revolutionary, 149, 179, 180, 187; on utopianism, 26, 147–­48, 149–­50,

I ND E X   2 4 9

153, 180, 182–­83, 237n143; “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”, 231n10 Milton’s Areopagitica, 25–­26, 171–­87; analogies in, 172; on book trade, 171, 173–­74, 178, 179; and capitalism, 175–­76; on censorship, 171, 172, 179, 184, 186; on colonialism, 180; commodification of knowledge in, 171–­72, 173, 179, 185; on Robert Grenville, Lord Brooke, 172, 174–­76, 178, 179, 187, 234n118; vs. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, 146, 147–­48, 149–­ 50; and Licensing Order of 1643, 171, 172, 173–­74, 175; on monopolies, 173–­74, 179; vs. Plattes’s Macaria, 150, 152–­53, 171, 179, 187; on printing industry, 171–­72, 173–­74; on reading, 172; on religious toleration, 174–­75, 179; republicanism in, 171, 179; on truth, 172, 173–­74, 184–­87; on utopianism, 180 Mohl, Ruth: on estates satire, 43, 44 Monck, George, 183 Mont Pelerin society, 146 Moore, Alan: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 214n17 More, Thomas: attitudes regarding history, 38; character of, 30; as Christian, 49, 204n67; Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, 50; influence of, 7, 10, 31; “Letter to Dorp”, 63; and morality, 50–­51; negotiations in Bruges, 38; poem #198, 51; on poverty and riches, 50–­51; relationship with Rastell and Heywood, 205n80; Richard III, 63; on unemployment and crime, 2, 5–­6; as wool trade negotiator, 39–­40, 41, 63, 65 More’s Utopia, 122, 123, 127, 148, 180; Abraxa, 56, 59, 66, 87, 157; on the Achorians, 67; ambiguity of, 5, 6, 7, 77; vs. Bacon’s New Atlantis, 31,

33, 77, 87–­88, 90, 92, 212n3; Book One vs. Book Two, 6, 38, 52–­53, 56, 58, 59, 67, 69; and capitalism, 5–­7, 8, 31–­38, 68–­69, 71, 74; Cardinal Morton, 5, 37, 42–­47, 50, 205n93; vs. classical forms and themes, 32, 39, 48, 62–­64, 201n21, 205n91, 206n101; and colonialism, 31, 52–­ 59, 60, 67, 68, 69, 71, 74, 92; and Columbus, 21; on common property, 41, 56, 206n101; composition of, 30, 31–­38, 56–­58, 65, 204n71; on Cornish rebellion, 42–­43, 46; on crime, 5, 37, 39, 40, 42, 45–­46, 47, 51, 55; dialogue form in, 38–­39; Dialogue on Counsel, 38, 40, 47, 50, 52; dispossession in, 1, 5–­6, 8, 13, 15–­16, 17, 19, 23–­24, 31, 41, 43, 45–­ 46, 51, 53, 54, 55–­56, 58–­59, 145, 204n66; as early modern utopia, 27–­29, 32, 49–­50; on education, 88; enclosure of land in, 5–­6, 23, 36, 37, 40, 45, 46, 53, 56, 58, 60, 145; England vs. Utopia, 5–­7, 30, 31, 33, 49, 52, 54–­56, 58–­59, 60–­61, 62–­68, 69, 74, 206n101, 208n146; vs. estates satire, 23, 30–­31, 38, 39–­40, 43–­52, 69; front matter, 203n54, 207n111; Peter Giles, 5, 38, 40, 207n111; vs. Hakluyt’s Discourse of Western Planting, 54–­55; Hythlodaeus, 5, 5–­6, 37–­39, 40, 41–­43, 45–­47, 48–­ 51, 53–­54, 55, 56, 58, 59–­60, 67, 157, 194n16, 203n62, 205nn81,93, 206nn96,101; influence of, 7, 10, 31, 152, 153–­54, 154; institutions in, 41–­42, 49–­50, 51; lawyer, 5, 37, 44, 45, 48; on the Macarians, 51, 157, 203n62; vs. Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, 72, 74; vs. Martyr’s Decades of the New World, 57–­58; vs. medieval utopias, 27–­28, 35; on monarchy, 50; on morality, 50–­51;

250    INDEX

Morus, 5, 38, 39–­41, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 161, 204n75, 206n98; name of Hythlodaeus, 48–­49, 194n16, 206n96; name of Morus, 204n75; the nation-­state in, 46, 51–­52, 55–­56, 59, 68; on noblemen, 37–­38, 47, 56, 205n81; novelty of, 5, 7, 27–­29, 31–­ 33, 35, 48, 49, 50, 69, 194n15; origin story in, 24, 31, 53, 59–­70, 71, 87; on overpopulation and colonization, 53–­54; vs. Plattes’s Macaria, 152, 153–­54, 157, 158, 161, 163–­64, 166, 203n62; on the Polylerites, 46, 55, 205n93; on pride, 44, 157; primitive accumulation in, 24, 59, 92; private property in, 6, 38, 40–­41, 45, 51, 68, 157; productivity and stability in, 51; satire in, 30, 39, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 56, 58, 67, 144, 205n91, 206n98; vs. Servius’s commentaries, 63–­64; vs. Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 102, 103; on social reform, 41–­42, 49–­51; vs. Spenser’s View, 95–­96; trench forming island of Utopia, 31, 53, 59–­70, 71, 74, 81, 87, 157, 208n146, 211n173; vs. Vespucci’s accounts of indigenous tribes, 56–­57, 58; violence in, 92; vs. Virgil’s Eclogues, 62, 63–­64; vs. Winstanley’s Law of Freedom, 190 Morgan, Hiram: on Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 101, 102; “The Colonial Venture of Sir Thomas Smith in Ulster”, 98 Morton, A. L., 200n12 Mumford, Lewis: on country-­house poems, 229n91 nation-­state, 30, 46, 51–­52, 52, 55–­56, 59, 68 Negri, Antonio: Empire, 223n68 neoliberalism, 105–­6, 147, 190, 197n59 Netzloff, Mark: on colonialism, 52, 86, 217n73

Neville, Henry, 122; The Isle of Pines, 96, 212n3 Newfoundland Colonial Company, 76, 214n24 New Historicism, 18–­19, 29, 32, 197n70 New Left Review, 14 New Spain, 10, 132, 227n42 Ngugi wa Thiong’o, 95 Norbrook, David: on English public sphere, 150; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171, 184 Norden, John: Speculum Britanniae, 64, 210n162 nostalgia, 3, 35, 43, 139, 141, 143 O’Neill, Hugh, 218n1 O’Neill, Kevin: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 214n17 O’Neill, Sir Brett, 103–­4 O’Neill, Sir Brian, 99 Ortelius, Abraham: on continental drift, 61–­62; Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 61, 62; Thesaurus Geographicus, 61–­62 Orwell, George, 146; on Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, 148–­49; on Milton’s Areopagitica, 231n12; Nineteen Eighty-­Four, 148–­49 overdetermination, 3, 6, 203n61; Althusser on, 19; of capitalism, 19, 20, 52, 194n15; and More’s Utopia, 30, 35, 49, 52, 74 Ovid, 32; Heroides, 126; Metamorphoses, 62 Past and Present, 14 Patterson, Annabel, 142–­43 Payne, Robert: A breefe description of the true and perfitt making of woade, 159 Pease, Donald: The New American Exceptionalism, 215n34 Pennington, D. H.: Members of the Long Parliament, 234n81 Petty, William, 155; on Ireland, 219n7,

I ND E X   2 5 1

221nn42,43; Political arithmetick, 162, 164, 221n42 Philip II, 117 Phillippy, Patricia: on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 225n10; on women’s mourning, 227n35 Phillips, Katherine, 227n35 Pigman, G. W., III: on elegy, 229n90 Plat, Hugh: The Floures of Philosophy, 125, 131, 132 Plato, 39, 41–­42, 148, 180; on Atlantis, 62; Critias, 62; on education, 106; on laws, 182–­83; Republic, 21, 32, 56, 106, 206n101; Theaetetus, 206n96; Timaeus, 62 Plattes, Gabriel: on agricultural improvement, 152, 157–­60, 162–­64, 170; on bees, 233n47; A Caveat for Alchymists, 155; on colonialism, 162–­63, 164; A discovery of infinite treasure, 155, 156, 158, 159–­61, 162–­ 63, 232n40, 233n47; A discovery of subterraneall treasure, 234n77; on enclosure, 161; on free trade, 152, 153, 165–­68, 170; on monopoly, 25, 152, 166; The profitable intelligencer, 162, 234n72; relationship with Hartlib, 25, 155, 163, 232n38; on self-­interest, 161; on violence, 162–­63 Plattes’s Macaria, 8, 10, 153–­70; agricultural improvement in, 25, 157–­60, 162, 164, 170; vs. Andreae’s Christianopolis, 154; authorship of, 232n38; vs. Bacon’s New Atlantis, 156, 169; and capitalism, 150, 158–­60, 161, 163–­64, 165–­68, 170, 234n83; Colledge of experience/ divines as educated elite, 168–­69; commodification of utopia as knowledge, 166–­68, 171, 179; Councell of Husbandry, 157–­58, 159, 163; economic concern in, 25, 157–­60, 162, 163–­64, 165–­68, 170; knowledge in,

152, 153, 166–­68, 170, 171, 179; vs. Milton’s Areopagitica, 150, 152–­53, 171, 179, 187; vs. Milton’s Paradise Lost, 167; vs. More’s Utopia, 31, 152, 153–­54, 157, 158, 161, 163–­64, 166, 203n62; on population growth, 162; on printing, 167; religion in, 168–­70; vs. Spenser’s View, 160, 164; structure of government in, 156–­58, 159, 163, 164, 165–­66, 168–­70; trade in, 25, 165–­68, 170 Pliny the Elder, 62–­63, 209n152 Plockhoy, Pieter: A way propounded, 156 Plutarch’s Isis and Osiris, 185 Pocock, J. G. A., 221n43 Pohl, Nicole: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 123, 142–­43, 229n82; Women, Space and Utopia, 142–­43 Polo, Marco, 21 Popper, Karl, 8, 146 postcolonial studies, 7, 23, 29, 32 poststructural literary criticism, 29, 32 Pratt, Mary Louise, 87 Price, Alan: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171–­72 Price, Bronwen: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 74, 85 primitive accumulation, 25, 92, 191, 200n15; and capitalism, 6, 12–­13, 15–­16, 19, 35–­37, 59, 114, 191, 195n42, 196n59, 199n1, 201n35; Halpern on, 19, 201n35; Marx on, 6, 12, 16, 35–­37, 114, 199n1, 201n35; in More’s Utopia, 24, 59, 92; Smith on, 12–­13, 15, 33–­36, 37, 195n42, 201n35; and Spenser’s View, 94, 112, 113–­14 printing, 150, 167, 171–­72 private property: Heywood and Rastell on, 44–­45; Marx on, 13; in More’s Utopia, 6, 38, 40–­41, 41, 45, 51, 68, 157; in Spenser’s View, 108–­12, 113 prospects, 131–­34

252    INDEX

Providence Island Company, 175, 236n118 Puritans, 171, 231n18; and capitalism, 186; in England, 151–­52, 175, 176; in New World, 148, 151, 177, 180, 236n118; and Plattes’s Macaria, 154, 156, 169 Puttenham, George: The Art of English Poesie, 133 Pym, John, 155, 175, 234n83 Quinn, David Beers: on More’s Utopia, 53; “Sir Thomas Smith (1513–­1577) and the Beginnings of English Colonial Theory”, 98; on Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 99, 102 Quintilian, 39 Quiroga, Vasco de, 10 Raleigh, Sir Walter, 95, 219n7 Rankin, Deana, 95 Rastell, John: Gentleness and Nobility, 44–­45, 205n80 Rawley, William: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 77, 85 Raymond, Joad: on English book trade, 150 Rediker, Marcus, 214n23 Reformation, 202n43 Renaker, David, 78 Ricardo, David: on individualism, 81 Rich, Robert, 175 Robinsonade genre, 81 Rodríquez García, José María: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 216n44 Russell, Anne, 138, 139, 140, 141 Russell, Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, 138–­41, 143, 144–­45 Russell of Thornaugh, William, 138 Said, Edward: Culture and Imperialism, 93, 198n78; on enterprise of empire, 198n78; on Spenser’s View, 93

Saint-­Simon, Henri de, 231n14 Sammes, Aylett, 211n173; Britannia antiqua illustrata, 65 Sartre, Jean-­Paul, 9 Schumpeter, Joseph: on creative destruction, 105 Scott, Jonathan: When the Waves Ruled Britannia, 208n146 Sea Venture wreck, 1 Sejeantson, Richard, 76 Servius Honoratus, Maurus, 63–­64, 209n161, 210n162 Shaftesbury, Lord, 102 Shakespeare, William: Bushy’s speech to the Queen in Richard II, 133, 227n43; Caliban in The Tempest, 216n60; description of England in Richard II, 210n167; Gonzalo in The Tempest, 120; Henry IV, Part I, 3.1.80–­85, 27; Richard II, 133, 210n167, 216n60, 227n43; The Tempest, 96, 120, 122, 212n3, 216n60 Shell, Marc: on More’s Utopia, 65, 211n175 Sherman, Sandra: on Milton’s Areopagitica, 171–­72, 173 Shickman, Allan, 227n43 Sicily, 62–­63, 64 Sidney, Henry, 100 Simonie, The, 44 Simpson, James: on early modern literature, 28; on More’s Utopia, 28, 29; on periodized thought, 28; Reform and Cultural Revolution, 28, 29 Skinner, Quentin, 32 slavery, 147, 179, 197n59 Smith, Adam: on individualism, 81; on moral virtue of parsimony, 36, 37; on prior accumulation, 12–­13, 15, 33–­36, 37, 195n42, 201n35; vs. Sir Thomas Smith, 101–­2; The Wealth of Nations, 12–­13, 36 Smith, Sir Thomas, 44; as ambassador in

I ND E X   2 5 3

France, 99; De Republica Anglorum, 97, 101, 102; A Discourse of the Commonweal of This Realme of England, 97, 100, 101, 102; as political economist, 101–­2; on private profit and public good, 100, 101–­2 Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 24, 97–­104, 219nn15,21, 220nn24,30; authorship of, 98–­99; and capitalism, 103; on critics of proposal in, 99–­100; on English settlements in Ireland, 97–­ 98; on financial investment, 100–­ 101, 103, 104; vs. More’s Utopia, 102, 103, 219n18; political economy in, 98, 101, 102, 104; vs. Spenser’s View, 97, 104; as utopian, 97, 98, 102–­3, 104 Smith, Thomas, junior, 97, 98, 99, 103–­4 social determination, 33, 34 Soja, Edward, 72 Solinus, Gaius Julius, 210n164 Spanish imperialism, 25, 116–­18, 224n105; New Spain, 10, 132, 227n42 Speed, John: on England, 64; Historie of Great Britain, 64; The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine, 64, 199, 210n163 Spenser, Edmund, 54, 128; as colonial administrator in Ireland, 92, 109, 218n1 Spenser’s Faerie Queene, 92, 210n163; allegories of Gluttony and Avarice, 114; on Antwerp/Low Countries, 117–­18; Artegall, 93; Carlidore, 119–­ 20; colonial Ireland in, 114, 118–­19; dismissal of greed and theft in, 25, 114–­20; Geryoneo and Belge, 117, 118; Grantorto, 118–­19; Guyon, 114, 115–­16, 183; Malengin (Guyle), 119; Mammon, 114, 116, 117, 183; Merlin’s prophesy, 121; Pollente, 118–­ 19, 120; proem to Book Two, 21, 22; Spanish imperialism in, 25, 116–­18;

Talus, 119; vs. View, 94, 114–­15, 116, 118–­19, 121; violence in, 119–­20 Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland, 8, 10, 24–­25, 104–­21; vs. Bacon’s New Atlantis, 95–­96; and capitalism, 24–­25, 109–­10, 112, 113–­ 14, 118; on cattle boolying, 110–­11; and colonialism, 94–­95, 96, 109–­10, 120; dispossession in, 94, 108–­9, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114; on division of labor, 108–­9, 112–­13; English racial superiority in, 93; Eudoxus, 92, 93, 105, 108, 112; vs. Faerie Queene, 104, 114–­15, 116, 118–­19, 120, 121; Ireland as tabula rasa in, 106–­7; Ireland in final section, 107–­21; Irenius, 92, 93, 94, 105, 107, 108–­ 9, 110, 111–­12, 113, 114, 119; on Irish Brehon Law, 110–­12; medical metaphors in, 105; vs. More’s Utopia, 95–­96; vs. Plato’s Republic, 106; vs. Plattes’s Macaria, 160, 164; and primitive accumulation, 94, 112, 113–­14; on private property, 108–­12, 113; on profit, 107, 108, 114; on reform, 94, 104–­5, 106–­7, 120; vs. Smith’s Letter Sent by I.B., 97, 104; standing army in, 100, 107, 108, 109, 111, 114; on starvation of Desmond’s rebels, 93, 119; on urbanization, 108, 111, 112–­13; as utopian, 94–­97, 106–­7, 108, 120, 121; violence in, 92, 93–­94, 104, 105, 106–­7, 113–­14, 116, 120, 121, 222n46; vs. Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 226n20 Stationers’ Company, 171, 173 Steinberg, Philip, 212n1 St. John, Oliver, 175 Stobbart, Lorraine, 32 Stone, Lawrence, 164, 176, 234n83 Stow, John, 3 structures of feeling, 12, 68 Sweet, Timothy: on More’s Utopia, 53, 54

254    INDEX

Sweezy, Paul, 84; on foreign trade, 14, 15; on origin of capitalism, 12, 13, 16, 212n4 Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver’s Travels, 144 Tawney, R. H., 111, 176, 234n83; on medieval social theory, 50; The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century, 12 Thomson, Maurice, 177 time: the present as Other, 3; present vs. past and future, 2–­3; and utopian fictions, 3 Todorov, Tzvetan: on Columbus, 52; The Conquest of America, 52 Tomlinson, John, 200n15 trade expansion: in capitalism, 10, 13–­15, 25, 53, 165–­68, 177, 203n63, 234n83; Milton on free trade, 152, 153, 173–­ 74, 179; Plattes on free trade, 152, 153, 165–­68, 170; Winstanley on free trade, 188–­89; in wool trade, 17, 40, 45, 55, 202n43 transition between feudalism and capitalism, 197n67, 198n75, 202n43, 203n63; Brenner on, 179, 196n59; commercialization model, 13–­14; relationship to utopianism, 3–­4, 6, 7, 12, 23, 34, 52, 68, 69, 94, 164; transition debate, 12–­20, 25, 124 Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, The, 14 travel writing, 20–­22, 30, 32, 56–­58, 150–­51 Travitsky, Betty, 125, 137, 225n6 Tremayne, Edmund, 222n46 Trevor-­Roper, Hugh: on English Civil War, 153, 234n83; “The Three Foreigners”, 165–­66 Turnbull, G. H., 232n38 Tusser, Thomas: on improvement, 159 Twyne, John, 64, 210n162 uchronias, 226n20

uneven geographic development, 72–­74; in capitalism, 7, 14–­15, 24, 34, 68, 71, 83–­84, 212n4; Harvey on, 83, 212n4; Wallerstein on, 83–­84, 212n4 utopianism: blueprint utopias, 8–­10, 96, 103; capitalist utopias, 10, 24–­25, 92, 147, 187, 230n5; colonial utopias, 25, 92, 96–­97, 103, 107; definition of Utopia, 4, 27, 28, 199n3; diversity of utopias, 10; historical approach to utopia, 4–­12, 33; and Marxism, 6, 10, 37, 180–­82; mechanism of utopia, 8; Milton on, 26, 147–­48, 149–­50, 153, 180, 182–­83, 237n143; relationship to capitalism, 5–­7, 8, 10, 18–­19, 20, 23, 24–­25, 31–­38, 92, 147, 149–­50, 187, 230n5; relationship to domination, 8, 23, 56, 74, 75, 76–­77, 78; relationship to transition between feudalism and capitalism, 3–­4, 6, 7, 12, 23, 34, 52, 68, 69, 94, 164; separatist utopias, 143; as totalitarianism, 8–­9, 146, 147, 150; utopia vs. ideology, 10, 29–­30; utopia-­in-­transition thesis, 3, 6, 7, 12; utopian vs. utopianism, 181; utopias as origin stories, 12, 24 utopian literature: bridges in, 24; as describing worlds that were to come, 10; vs. fantasy, 144; islands in, 24, 31, 53, 59–­70, 71; positive and negative in, 144; presentist reading of, 190–­91; relationship to Columbus, 21–­22; relationship to imperialism, 20, 24, 31, 53; relationship to travel writing, 20–­22, 30, 32, 56–­58, 150–­51; and utopian desire, 123, 137; utopian science fiction, 9; women writers, 25. See also Bacon’s New Atlantis; early modern utopias; Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”; Milton’s Areopagitica; More’s Utopia; Plattes’s Macaria; Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland; Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”

I ND E X   2 5 5

Van Riebeeck, Jan, 66 Vergil, Polydore, 63 Verstegan, Richard, 211n173; A restitution of decaved intelligence, 65 Vespucci, Amerigo, 21, 41, 56, 58 Vickers, Brian, 79 Virgil, 128; on Britain, 63–­64, 209n161, 210n164; Meliboeus in first Eclogue, 139, 228n68; on Sicily, 62–­63 Virginia Company, 1, 74, 76 Volscus, Antonius, 210n162 Voltaire’s Candide, 31 Von Mises, Ludwig, 231n11 wage labor, 43, 46, 124, 159, 202n43; Brenner on, 196n57, 212n4; in capitalism, 6, 13, 16, 36–­37, 196n57, 197n59, 212n4; Marx on, 13, 16, 36–­ 37, 163 Wall, Wendy: on Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 126, 129 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 181; on colonialism, 217n73; on uneven development in capitalism, 83–­84, 212n4; on utopia, 182 Wallerstin, Immanuel, 14, 15, 16 Warbeck, Perkin, 42 Ware, Sir James, 108 Wast land’s improvement, 161, 234n70 Wayne, Don, 142–­43 Webb, Darren: Marx, Marxism and Utopia, 181 Weber, Max: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 79, 186 Webster, Charles: The Great Instauration, 156; on Plattes’s Macaria, 155, 156; Utopian Planning and the Puritan Revolution, 156 Wegener, Alfred: on continental drift, 61; The Origins of Continents and Oceans, 61 Wegner, Phillip: on More’s Utopia, 32, 46, 59, 68

Weinberger, Jerry: on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 215n33 Whitney, Isabella, 8, 225n6; “The Auctor to the Reader”, 131; on community, 123, 124–­25; The Copy of A Letter, 125, 128; vs. Lanyer, 123–­25, 138, 144, 145; on poetry as prospect, 131–­34; single state of, 129, 129–­30, 225n7; A Sweet Nosegay, 125, 131, 133, 135; as utopian author, 123–­25, 127–­28, 135–­36, 137 Whitney’s “Wyll and Testament”, 123–­ 38, 198n79, 225n10; on Dido, 129; dispossession in, 25, 124, 125, 127, 130, 138; and exiled heroes, 128–­29; vs. female legacy, 129; vs. Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 25, 123–­25, 138, 142, 144, 145; London in, 126–­27, 128–­29, 130–­31, 132–­37, 138, 142; as lyric of exile, 128–­31, 136; vs. Ovid’s Heroides, 126; vs. Spenser’s View, 226n20; as topographical, 124, 128, 134–­35, 138, 142, 145 Wilkins, John, 155; Discourse Concerning a New World and Another Planet, 22 Williams, Raymond: on art and historical process, 11; on Bacon’s New Atlantis, 87–­88; on country-­house poems, 139, 142, 229n91; cultural materialism of, 11; on dominant-­residual-­ emergent phases of culture, 35; on improvement, 159; Keywords, 7; on More’s Utopia, 46, 48, 87–­88; on pastoral works, 142; on structures of feeling, 11–­12; The Country and the City, 46, 139; “Utopia and Science Fiction”, 87–­88 Winstanley, Gerrard: Digger society of, 188, 198n79; on England, 189–­90, 236n189; on free trade, 188–­89; on the global commons, 189–­90; The Law of Freedom, 10, 151, 188–­89,

256    INDEX

190; The True Levellers Standard, 152, 189 Winthrop, John: “A Modell of Christian Charity” sermon, 23 Wood, Ellen Meiksins: on capitalism and imperialism, 109–­10; on capitalism and the state, 114; Empire of Capital, 109–­10; on globalization, 109, 223n68; The Origin of Capitalism, 110; on origin of capitalism, 14, 18, 110, 212n4

Wood, Neal: The Foundations of Political Economy, 101 Woods, Susanne: on Lanyer’s “Description of Cooke-­ham”, 141 Woolf, Virginia: Judith Shakespeare in A Room of One’s Own, 125 Worthington, John, 155 Wroth, Mary, 227n35 Zamyatin, Yevgeny, 146 Zedong, Mao, 14