Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Independent scholar & award-winning author
Website URL
fools, jesters, court fool, court jester, humour, humor, fools and jesters
Additional Contact Information
Available for interviews and to give lively, illustrated talks.

Personal Info

About Me

Beatrice is author of Fools Are Everywhere: The court jester around the world (Chicago University Press, 2001 & 2007), winner of the American Association of Publishers award for outstanding book of the year in Scholarly Publishing: Language & Literature.

The fool as a globe-spanning archetype blazed into her consciousness the day she discovered vivid biographies of court jesters by China’s Herodotus, Sima Qian.  Flourishing over 1500 years before Shakespeare encoded Lear’s fool in our cultural DNA, they were strikingly similar to the Western court jester. This prompted five years’ research pursuing leads in half a dozen languages, including over 400 stories of Chinese jesters ranging across two millennia worth of primary sources.

Drawing on this and on new research, Beatrice is now building the most sparkling, scholarly and sweeping online resource to promote the appreciation of fools and jesters throughout history and across the world:  This is feeding thousands of primary source quotations, stories and images through the pipeline, and reviewing hundreds of papers, theses, articles and books on fools and jesters.

Modest ambitions, as you know, never got anybody anywhere.

In her spare time, she founded the literary website WritingRedux to celebrate bright writing, and the life-loving website Nuannaarpoq.

Look forward to meeting you.

Recent Publications

Overview: Erasmus – Moriae Encomium – Praise of Folly

Overview: Ma Ling – Huixie zhuan – Biographies of Humorists

Overview: Sima Qian – Guji liezhuan – Accounts of Jesters

Overview: Karl Friedrich Flögel – Geschichte der Hofnarren (1789)

Overview: Ren Erbei – Youyu Ji – Collected Sayings of Jesters

Overview: Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart – Off Evere Full…

Overview: Maddalena Rumor – No Fool Like an Old Fool

‘The court jester is universal, but is he still relevant?’, Management and Organization Review, September 2015, 11:3, pp. 559-73.


Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
China, England, France
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century
Expertise by Topic