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Folly on Folly: The Praise of Folly, a 1509 Latin prose Work, in rhymed English verse

Folly on Folly: The Praise of Folly, a 1509 Latin prose Work, in rhymed English verse

by Charles Packard


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"Not for scholars, but for a new generation of readers unaware of Erasmus's unique genius. An innovative, ingenious update." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Packard's verse translation does what it sets out to do: enlivens what otherwise can be heavy going." - Puckerbrush Review

"Astoundingly clever." - The Classical Outlook

By his own account, Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch monk and scholar, wrote his 1509 Latin prose masterpiece, The Praise of Folly, "in seven days, more or less" while a guest at the London home of his friend and fellow humanist Sir Thomas More. Friends with whom Erasmus shared his manuscript arranged its publication in Paris in 1511 in an unauthorized edition. Erasmus, surprised but pleased by the immediate popularity of the work, revised it seven times, with thirty-six editions appearing during his lifetime.

Folly on Folly presents this classic transcript of the goddess Folly's lecture delivered in a university hall to an audience of scholars. A persona invented by Erasmus, the goddess Folly has chosen herself as her subject. Her incongruous costume-a scholar's robe with the belled hat of a jester-suggests (correctly) that her words will be a mix of the serious with the hilarious. Throughout the lecture, she makes her case that foolishness, not rational thought, benefits humankind more-with most of the human foibles she cites, whether secular or spiritual, remaining with us today.

This version of The Praise of Folly, the first in verse, was written to commemorate the 500th anniversary of this enduring work's creation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491785577
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/07/2016
Pages: 438
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.97(d)

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