Moriae Encomium, or The Praise of Folly, by Erasmus, 1953 Heritage Press edition.


Written by Desiderius Erasmus. Translated by Harry Carter. Woodcut illustrations by Franz Masereel. Printed by Joh. Enschede En Zonen, Haarlem, Holland, for The Heritage Press.

The Praise of Folly is a famous satirical essay by Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch humanist and theologian. It was written in 1509 and published in 1511. The essay mocks various aspects of human society, such as superstition, religious hypocrisy, and worldly ambition, yet praises the simplicity and sincerity of Christian faith.

Desiderius Erasmus lived from 1466 or 1469 to 1536. He was born in Rotterdam, received a classical education, and became a Catholic priest in 1492. He devoted most of his life to studying and writing about classical and biblical texts. He was the first editor of the Greek New Testament, which he published in 1516 along with his own Latin translation and annotations. He also wrote influential works, in addition to Praise of Folly, such as Adagia, Handbook of a Christian Knight, Education of a Christian Prince, and Colloquies. He was widely respected and admired by his contemporaries and later generations as one of the greatest scholars and humanists of the Renaissance.

Franz Masereel (1889 - 1972) was a Belgian artist and activist. He studied art in Ghent and Brussels, and became involved in the socialist and pacifist movements. He moved to Paris in 1911, where he met and befriended many writers and artists, such as Romain Rolland, Stefan Zweig, and Georges Duhamel. Masereel is best known for his wordless novels, which are sequences of black-and-white woodcuts that tell a story without any text. He created over 20 wordless novels, such as Passionate Journey (1919), The Idea (1920), The City (1925), and The Sun (1926). His wordless novels express his social and political views, and influenced many other artists, such as Lynd Ward, Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, and Eric Drooker.
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Condition: Very Good/Very Good. Slipcase: On the back, shadow left by small label. Quarter-bound brown on tan cover boards: Letter "E" in ink at tail of the spine is an artifact from previous owner's library system. Name on back fly leaf else pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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