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Thirty-first Annual Erasmus Birthday Lecture: The First French Translations of the Praise of Folly

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This essay studies the two sixteenth-century translations of Erasmus’ Praise of Folly: the anonymous De la Declamation des louenges de follie, printed in 1520, and Jean Thenaud’s translation of 1517, which survived in three manuscripts intended for the royal family. It examines their translation practices and use of sources, and it addresses questions of (co-)authorship, such as the possible identification of Georges Haloin as the translator of the Declamation and the role of François Rabelais in his friend Thenaud’s translation. Furthermore, this essay pays particular attention to the illustrations that appear in the printed editions of the 1520 translation, which were copied from the French editions of Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools.


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