January 2019 News

The Feast of Fools

In the later Middle Ages, a highly controversial festival was celebrated on January 1. The Feast of Fools featured heavy drinking, gambling and cross dressing.  The festival was  both condemned and celebrated as a disorderly, even transgressive Christian festival, in which revelling clergy elected a burlesque Lord of Misrule, presided over the divine office wearing animal masks or women's clothes, sang obscene songs, swung censers that gave off foul-smelling smoke, played dice at the altar, and otherwise parodied the liturgy of the church. Afterward, they would take to the streets, howling, issuing mock indulgences, hurling manure at bystanders, and staging scurrilous plays.
The Feast of Fools disappeared in the 15th century after heavy suppression by the church.
We're delighted to advise that  the 2019 Rare Book Fair will be held at Wilson Hall, Melbourne University, from Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July.
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