Vilified by generations of philosophers and moralists, the goddess Folly decides to climb onto the pulpit and vindicate herself, since humankind stubbornly refuses to acknowledge her many indisputable virtues. Doesn't she make life a blessing by giving men and women illusions, by filling them with vain ambitions, and by preventing them from taking the world's sorrows and evils too seriously? Isn't she the one whom superstitious clerics, pedantic grammarians, hair-splitting lawyers, self-conceited poets, and religious charlatans should be adoring? A satire on the intrinsic vanity of the social order and an exhortation towards a humanistic Christianity, Erasmus's Praise of Follywritten in 1509 and put on the index of forbidden books by the Council of Trent in 1559 after becoming the greatest literary success of the Humanistic Ageis the towering achievement of one of the most brilliant minds of all time, and one of the most influential books ever written. Published here in a new translation by Roger Clarke which brings out the underlying humor of the original, Erasmus's masterpiece is presented in this volume with one of his lesser-known satirical dialogues, Pope Julius Barred from Heaven, and with a selection from his other great work, the Adagia.
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