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"The Praise of Folly and Other Writings (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – 31 Jan 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Critical Ed edition (31 Jan. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393957497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393957495
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 714,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

This Norton Critical Edition provides a wide selection of Erasmus's writings, translated from the Latin into fresh, modern, and witty English. Adams has made these selections to emphasize the humane, rather than the doctrinaire, side of the first and greatest humanist.

About the Author

Robert M. Adams was Professor of English (Emeritus) at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was the author of many books, including Ikon: John Milton and the Modern Critics; Strains of Discord; Proteus, His Lies, His Truth: Discussion of Literary Translation; The Land and Literature of England; and Shakespeare-The Four Romances. In addition to the Norton Critical Edition of Utopia (he was translator and editor of the First and Second Editions), Professor Adams was editor of five other Norton Critical Editions, including The Prince by Machiavelli, Candide by Voltaire, and The Praise of Folly and Other Writings by Erasmus, the texts of which he also translated. He was a founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Dec. 2015
Format: Paperback
I received the Folio Society edition of Erasmus' "In Praise of Folly" some time ago as a gift which gave me the opportunity to reread the work after a first reading many years ago. The Folio Society edition is lavishly put together in a slipcase, with large print, on quality paper, and with beautiful color illustrations and made a lovely gift. For reading purposes, however, this Penguin edition will do just as well. With the exception of the artwork, it includes the same material as the folio edition -- the introductions, translations, notes, and Erasmus "Letter to Martin Van Dorp". "In Praise of Folly" rewards reading and rereading.

Erasmus (1466 - 1536) wrote the book in 1509 while he was recovering from an illness and revised and expanded the work some years later. He dedicated the work to his friend and fellow-scholar Sir Thomas Moore. The book was translated from the Latin for this edition by Betty Radice (1912 -- 1985) who tutored in philosophy, classics, and English before she became joint editor of Penguin Classics in 1964.

"In Praise of Folly" can be read as a work addressing issues of its time in the Renaissance and Reformation, but the work's significance goes beyond the events of the day. It is a delight to read and still has much to teach.

The work is a satire and a long speech delivered by Folly, the illegitimate daughter of avarice and freshness, in praise of herself and of her pervasive influence on human life. At first, Folly is a satirical figure and the reader and the author aren't meant to like her much. She points out the endless lust, greed, and self-aggrandizement committed under her influence as opposed to the use of reason. Folly talks about the power of sexuality and money-making which are her children.
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'In Praise of Folly ' written in the 16th century by the Humanist Desiderius Erasmus, and here translated from the Latin makes a very strong statement of religious practice and ideals during the early Reformation period of the 16th century. This, as well as his other contributions to Late Medieval literature was to inspire the great reformers in the years that followed.
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Arrived in good time, satisfied with purchase.
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Excellent and comprehensive.
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