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PRAYSE OF FOLIE. MORIAE ENCOMIUM. Moriae Encomium, a Booke Made in Latine by that Great Clerke Erasmus Roterodame. Englished by Sir Thomas Chaloner Knight

Erasmus Desiderius (Roterodamus)

Published by London Unto the three Cranes in the Vintree, by Thomas Dawson and Thomas Gardiner 1577, 1577
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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VERY RARE third printing (first in 1549, second around 1557) of the first English translation of Erasmus' most famous work, Moriae Encomium / In Praise of Folly. This is the ONLY version with this particular spelling of the title. Gothic type. 8vo, in contemporary flexible vellum, two small holes for ties in the front cover and corresponding holes in the back cover, ties no longer present. A8-08, P2. 114 unn. leaves. An authentic copy of this very rare book. This example, with very little age-toning, and the text remarkably clear. With wear and a bit of loss to the corners and top of the spine panel, some wear to the edges of the vellum, last 2 blank leaves with some small amount of loss at the corners, some wear to last 6 leaves with small loss of text in a 1"x1.5" area at the corners, small loss at corners of preceding 10 leaves measuring approximately 1/3"x1", affecting the subheading of 1 leaf at the margin, some softening and mellowing or evidence of age. VERY RARE PRINTING IN ENGLISH FROM THE 1500'S OF ONE OF THE CORNERSTONE WORKS IN THE HISTORY OF PRINTING. The first English translation was that of Sir Thomas Chaloner, printed by Thomas Berthelet in 1549 with a preface in which the translator warned the reader to look beneath the folly to the wisdom in the book. It was twice reprinted, in the later 1550s and in 1577." The next translation was not printed until almost a century later, in 1668. Interestingly, Dawson was given the Stationers' Company's permission to reprint the Chalqner translation to provide work for his men in 1576. From Devereux (Renaissance English Translations of Erasmus, 1983), p. 134): "Moriae encomium is most certainly Erasmus' greatest and most enduring work, a brilliant paradoxical declamation on two subtly blended themes, "that of salutary folly, which is true wisdom, and that of deluded wisdom, which is pure folly." It was written in 1509 as a visitor's gift to Thomas More, whose [Latin] name Morus was so aptly similar to the Greek 'novas, folly. An edition was printed by Giles de Gourmont in Paris, probably in 1511, and numerous other editions followed to spread the book through Europe." Erasmus was perhaps both the most brilliant and most important leader of German Humanism. In 1498 he traveled to England, with money for the trip earned by acting as tutor to three Englishmen from whom he also obtained valuable letters of introduction. During his stay he made the acquaintance at Colet of Oxford, Thomas More, Latimer, and others, and with each he developed a relationship which ripened into lifelong friendship. Colet showed him how to reconcile the ancient faith with humanism by abandoning the scholastic method and devoting himself to a thorough study of the scriptures. Consequently, on his return to the Continent he took up with ardour the study of Greek at Paris and Louvain. In 1509 Erasmus wrote PRAISE OF FOLIE for the amusement of his learned friend Thomas More (author of UTOPIA). He wrote in the character of Folly, daughter of Money and Youthfulness. Folly declaims on the foibles of mankind-- sometimes in a light and humorous vein and sometimes taking careful and deadly aim at beliefs and abuses of the time. The work remains one of the greatest examples of historic satire ever penned, Jonathan Swift is among the very few who can rightfully claim to have surpassed it. Erasmus doesn't let up. He catalogues every type of fool, every kind of folly, and has room to spare. The work is both funny and profound, it gives a new respect for all those idiotic decisions humans have made over all those many centuries of making idiotic decisions. Bookseller Inventory # 25779

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Publisher: London Unto the three Cranes in the Vintree, by Thomas Dawson and Thomas Gardiner 1577

Publication Date: 1577

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