Thomas More’s Portrayal in a Twentieth-Century Translation of Utopia



Thomas More, Ramón Esquerra, Utopia, Spanish translation, the twentieth century


Ramón Esquerra i Clivillés (1909-1938), a Spanish intellectual born and raised in Barcelona, published in 1937 Utopia (El Estado Perfecto), a translation of Utopia (1516) by Thomas More. The translator prepared a large prologue in which he minutely details the life and personality of the humanist and introduces Utopia and its reception in Spain. As a result, this illuminating introductory section becomes a brief piece of literary criticism. The way More is presented and how Esquerra emphasizes some of his most personal features creates a particular image of the humanist: that of a saint. The information shown was carefully chosen by the translator, serving from of More’s latest published biographies to construct a useful context for the reader. 


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Author Biography

María Inmaculada Ureña-Asensio, Universidad de Jaén

Mª Inmaculada Ureña-Asensio is a second-year PhD candidate at the University of Jaén working on the field of Thomas More Studies and Digital Humanities. For her thesis dissertation, she is preparing a digital scholarly edition of the first Spanish translation of Thomas More’s Utopia (1637) by means of the TEI Standard. 


Esquerra i Clivillés, Ramón. Iniciación a la literatura. Apolo, 1948.

Genette, Gérard. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Trans. Jane Lewin. Cambridge UP, 1997.

Lillo Castañ, Víctor. “Una traducción castellana inédita del siglo XVI de la Utopia de Tomás Moro: estudio del manuscrito II/1087 de la Real Biblioteca de Palacio.” Moreana, vol. 55, no.2, 2018, pp. 184-210.

Molla Rodríguez, Guillem. Ramon Esquerra (1909-1938?): Geografia Vital i Crítica d’un Esperit Comparatista. Doctoral dissertation. Universitat de Girona, 2010.

---. “Ramon Esquerra, comparatista català d’entreguerres.” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, vol. 19, no. 2, 2013, pp. 139–57.

More, Thomas. Utopia (El Estado Perfecto). Trans. Ramón Esquerra i Clivillés. Apolo, 1937.

---. Utopia de Thomas Moro. Trans. Gerónimo de Medinilla. Salvador de Cea, 1637.

---. Utopia Trans. Josep Pin i Soler. L’Avenç, 1912.

Surtz, Edward, and Jack Hexter, eds. The Complete Works of St. Thomas More. Utopia. Yale UP, 1965.

The Center for Thomas More Studies: Homily at the Canonization of St. Thomas More. Ed. The Center for Thomas More Studies. University of Dallas, Accessed 14 December 2021.




How to Cite

Ureña-Asensio, M. I. (2021). Thomas More’s Portrayal in a Twentieth-Century Translation of Utopia. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 28, 127–144. Retrieved from