The Who's Who you've been waiting for

Fools Are Everywhere included a table of named jesters to help keep track of these elusive types as they cavorted through the court, sometimes niftily passing from monarch to successor.  

The aim of that book meant that accounts of their interactions with the Head Honchos of History were served up on thematic platters, which led to the obvious idea, along with that tantalizing table, that they deserved their own Who’s Who in Fooldom.

Aims and approaches

This then, will be it. There were some 333 of these characters in the Table of Named Jesters, and we continue to find new examples.  

As we feed stories, quotations and anecdotes through the pipeline, these initially slender and sketched out biographies will fill out to their full stature. Copyright restrictions and reproduction fees permitting, we will also add images. 

CAVEAT:   I have had to overcome the Perfectionist’s Reticence in creating biographies before they have the completeness of encyclopaedic entries.  To do this, I invite you to view these not as ‘entries’ but as ‘files’; The Fool Files, if you will.  A file by its nature is a work in progress, an open dossier.  Ah, that feels better: now I can plough ahead and ‘open a file’ rather than ‘publish an entry’.  

This will lead to a searchable and cross-referenced index of jesters – historical, fictional, folk and legendary, and sometimes a mix.  And eventually something we can really call Biographies.

First up – Chunyu Kun – China

Chunyu Kun

Next up – Birbal – India


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Book cover - Beatrice Otto - Fools Are Everywhere - University of Chicago Press


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Colours and fonts were chosen for aesthetic strength and because their names reflect the mission of Fonts: Quipley I Lustria I Wild Pen. Colours include: Jester Yellow by Faeriepuffs I New Laughter by Ilara ... you get the picture




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