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Sacred FollyA New History of the Feast of Fools$
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Max Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449567

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.001.0001

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Mother Fool

Mother Fool

Chapter:
(p.272) Chapter 25 Mother Fool
Source:
Sacred Folly
Author(s):

Max Harris

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801449567.003.0025

This chapter examines the supposed historical connection between the Infanterie Dijonnaise and the Feast of Fools in Dijon's Sainte-Chapelle. More specifically, it considers the Infanterie Dijonnaise's claim of direct descent from a privileged clerical Feast of Fools in Dijon's Sainte-Chapelle and how this claim radically distorted subsequent scholarly histories of the Feast of Fools in general. The chapter first provides an overview of the Infanterie Dijonnaise, more commonly known by the name of its elected leader, the Mère Folle (Mother Fool). It then considers the steps taken to safeguard the chapel's feast and whether the bâtonnier and his clerical fools in the Sainte-Chapelle dressed and acted like secular fools. It also looks at plays staged by Dijon's law clerks as a likely ancestor of the Mother Fool and the Feast of Fools' final appearance in the supposed prehistory of Mother Fool.

Keywords:   plays, Infanterie Dijonnaise, Feast of Fools, Dijon, Sainte-Chapelle, Mère Folle, clerical fools, secular fools, Mother Fool

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