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In Praise of Folly (1511)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140446087, Paperback)Erasmus of Rotterdam (c. 1466 1536) is one of the greatest figures of the Renaissance humanist movement, which abandoned medieval pieties in favour of a rich new vision of the individual's potential. Praise of Folly, written to amuse his friend Sir Thomas More, is Erasmus's best-known work. Its dazzling mixture of fantasy and satire is narrated by a personification of Folly, dressed as a jester, who celebrates youth, pleasure, drunkenness and sexual desire, and goes on to lambast human pretensions, foibles and frailties, to mock theologians and monks and to praise the folly' of simple Christian piety. Erasmus's wit, wordplay and wisdom made the book an instant success, but it also attracted what may have been sales-boosting criticism. The Letter to Maarten van Dorp, which is a defence of his ideas and methods, is also included.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:58 -0400)
This sixteenth-century religious satire by a Renaissance critic and theologian is "a masterpiece of humor and wise irony" (Johan Huizinga, Dutch historian). At the onset of his hugely successful satire of medieval European society, Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus invokes the goddess Folly, daughter of Youth and Wealth, who was raised by Drunkenness and Ignorance. She's followed by idolatrous companions, including Self-love, Flattery, Pleasure, and Laziness. Through Folly's wry and humorous speech, Erasmus denounces the superstitions and nonsensical eccentricities of his contemporary theologians and churchmen, monastic life, and the condition of the Catholic Church. An immensely influential humanist text, In Praise of Folly helped lay the groundwork for the Protestant Reformation and marked a transitional time between medieval beliefs and modern ideals.
2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.
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