A Social History of the Fool

by Sandra Billington
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Publisher: Faber & Faber

Publication Date: March 19, 2015

ISBN: 9780571299997

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Who is the Fool and what does he mean to us? Pre-1900 scholars thought him a Renaissance fashion, a continental import of note in the British Isles only between 1486 and the 1630s, per his appearances in Shakespeare's plays. However, as Sandra Billington shows in this pioneering study, the Fool has been with us from medieval times and has worn many guises: village idiot and sophisticated comedian, embodiment of Satan and God's own jester. He has managed, as Billington notes, 'to inspire or infect our thinking for at least eight hundred years'.