The Ship of Fools

March 8, 2006

Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools was one of the most important and influential books to emerge from the printing revolution of the 15th century in Europe. Brant’s book was published in Basel in 1494. An English translation by Alexander Barclay appeared in 1509.

In my nastier moments, I think this would be a perfect banner for a certain leftie blog that I frequent, especially in view of the discussion here.

A fine woodcut from the title page, but possibly not by Albrecht Durer. Durer did contribute some cuts to the 1494 edition, one of which is ‘The Regretful Fool’:

A fool is he who mourns all day
For things that he cannot allay
Or rues that he has done some good
To one who has not understood.

It probably read better in the original, but you get the idea. Requiem for a Howard-hater.


One comment

  1. […] Sounds like The Ship of Fools writ large. They’d have fitted right in. […]

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