It is hard to imagine what the English court looked like in the sixteenth century without the works of Hans Holbein the younger. The images we have of Henry VIII, Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and many others have been constructed by him. But how come this German born painter ended up in the English court and why is his work considered the greatest among his peers?
Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the All Saints church door in Wittenberg exactly 500 years ago in 2017. Germany commemorates this fact with festivities ranging from expositions to concerts and much more. You can wait another year, but if you want to beat the crowds you might want to consider visiting Germany this summer. The German National Tourist Board has created a truly superb website on which you can map out your own tour following the footsteps of Luther and his quest to start the Reformation. You can find it here
There are plenty of reasons why one would shy away from reading a philosophical work like Utopia. One might find it to be difficult and time consuming, the topics might be irrelevant in today’s world and of course Wikipedia satisfies our main curiosity. So why would one want to read a 16th century trail of thought written up by some guy named Thomas whats his name?
First of all that guy is actually pretty interesting, not only because king Henry XIII chopped his head off on a charge of high treason, but more so because Thomas More took the risk to be critical again and again knowing this could cost him his life.