The Praise of Folly
A satire on the pretensions of Erasmus's contemporaries in the Church and philosophy
"Delicate and witty, running through the heart like a polished rapier and killing dead in the politest manner in the world . . . . The most effective of all Erasmus' writings. Through the printing-press it flew over Western Christendom . . . and like an explosion of spiritual dynamite, it left monks and clergy in wreck and confusion, the objects of universal laughter."
"Folly . . . a name for all misdirected effort, for all man's elaborate pains to gain the wrong thing. There are the flabby-breasted old women, painted, plucked and corsetted who valiantly chase men and their own lost youth from bar to bar. There are the descendents of the Best Families, as senseless as the busts of their ancestors . . . . Here is a man who carefully manages to marry a dowry instead of a woman . . . . The Praise of Folly is a lively and valuable commentary on our own times."
—Leonard F. Dean
"A masterpiece of humour and wise irony . . . . In The Praise of Folly Erasmus gave something that no one else could have given to the world."
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