The History of Court Fools by John Doran
This is a 389-page monster of a book written by Dr. John Doran (1807-1878) and published in 1858. Doran was a prolific writer of popular social histories. No illustrations, not even the one to the right.
I used this book when researching chapter one of Clowns, but it should come with a warning: it's heavily anecdotal, with nothing in the way of footnotes or bibliography. Like a lot of books about fools and jesters, it tends to romanticize its subject and rarely questions the accuracy of a story so long as it's a good one.
It was republished just last year by Cornell University Library in book form — you know, with double-sided printing, a cover, a binding and all that. Your choice: buy it for $27 on Amazon or download and print it right here.
John Doran's History of Court Fools
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