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The Fool of Quality

English translation: innocent aristocrat

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09:07 Dec 3, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / 18th century novel
English term or phrase: The Fool of Quality
Hi all. This is the title of a novel by Henry Brooke, the sentimental novelist, published 1766-1770. What I want to know is the meaning of the title, in order to be able to translate it. I have not read it nor have it available, and have not found summaries detailed enough to be able to provide a translation of the title. It would help as well suggestions about how to translate it (either into German, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese). I would appreciate an honest grading of your confidence level, for I don't know the first thing about Brooke.

Thanks in advance,

Gonzalo
Gonzalo Garcia
Local time: 23:20
English translation:innocent aristocrat
Explanation:
Maybe two double meanings here: fool/innocent (suitable for Rousseau-influenced education) and quality = aristocratic/quality of individual.
Difficult to say without wading hrough the 5 volumes, which I'm not about to do!
Selected response from:

David Sirett
Local time: 23:20
Grading comment
Many thanks to you all: Valentín (the proposal made true sense, I think), Laurel, Jane, Nancy, David, John, Giuli and all those who added some comments. I'm sorry the system doesn't allow me to select you all, but I do want to express you all my heartfelt thanks.

As a Spanish translation, I'll probably select "El inocente de calidad". Inocente = innocent + (etym.) innocens, nesciens, fool; De calidad = De nobleza de linaje; situación de la persona que goza de especial consideración y prestigio en la sociedad: ‘Una persona de calidad’" (Moliner).

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5The Fool of Quality (or the History of Henry Earl of Moreland)cologne
4 +3A noble/upper-class /aristocratic foolJohn Bowden
1 +6innocent aristocratDavid Sirett
4 +1not for kudos
DGK T-I
3 +1Plaything/Clown of the Rich and PowerfulLaurel Porter
3Le bouffon/fou de qualité
Nancy Bonnefond


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Plaything/Clown of the Rich and Powerful


Explanation:
(Fool as in jester, and Quality as in "Don't go mixin' with the quality", as people above your social level.)

BTW, there is a subtitle: ...or, the History of Henry Earl of Moreland

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Note added at 2003-12-03 09:46:29 (GMT)
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http://www.polybiblio.com/finch/7748.html

(I am unfamiliar with Brooke as well, but I looked up several synopses of this work, and came up with this interpretation of the title based on these.)

Laurel Porter
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 36

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cologne: hey you beat me:))
4 mins
  -> squeaked in under the wire! okay, bedtime - nearly 2 a.m. here!

neutral  David Sirett: The hero is son of an earl; there are few people he could encounter who would be above his social level!
17 mins
  -> Aha, someone who actually knows the work
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38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
the fool of quality
The Fool of Quality (or the History of Henry Earl of Moreland)


Explanation:
some facts: the novel was inspired by the theories of Rousseau, reveals Brooke’s acute awareness of the political and social situation of his day.

Brooke's novel was first published 1766-72. Its fame resides not in any of the usual novelistic virtues of believability and interest of plot, for it rather lacks these, but in the frequent interpolated passages on a wide variety of subjects, including in the latter part of the book on the mystical aspects of Christianity, and in the Sterne-like device of discussions between the author and a 'friend' on passages in the book itself. Full of benevolent sentiment, the book breathes the spirit of Rousseau, the revolt against oppression and suffering, and anticipates the doctrines of Godwin and Paine. (http://www.polybiblio.com/finch/7748.html)The characters of this book, which relates the education of an ide~al nobleman by an ideal merchant-prince, are gifted with a passionate and tearful sensibility, and reflect the real humour and tenderness df the writer.

I think there are five volumes, I have only read a bit of the first one. These links should help you a bit


    Reference: http://www.bartleby.com/220/0310.html
    Reference: http://catterall.net/CHEL/X/0310.html
cologne
Germany
Local time: 23:20
Native speaker of: Swedish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Laurel Porter: look how brilliant you are, my very ref!
2 mins

agree  Pippin Michelli
5 hrs

agree  Henrik Brameus
8 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
20 hrs

agree  DGK T-I: Laurel & Jane's refs are superb ~
1 day 56 mins
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Le bouffon/fou de qualité


Explanation:
Has to do with games I think.

Like one would say "I'm a fool for you"
here it would be "I'm a fool for quality"

Nancy Bonnefond
France
Local time: 23:20
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +6
innocent aristocrat


Explanation:
Maybe two double meanings here: fool/innocent (suitable for Rousseau-influenced education) and quality = aristocratic/quality of individual.
Difficult to say without wading hrough the 5 volumes, which I'm not about to do!

David Sirett
Local time: 23:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 301
Grading comment
Many thanks to you all: Valentín (the proposal made true sense, I think), Laurel, Jane, Nancy, David, John, Giuli and all those who added some comments. I'm sorry the system doesn't allow me to select you all, but I do want to express you all my heartfelt thanks.

As a Spanish translation, I'll probably select "El inocente de calidad". Inocente = innocent + (etym.) innocens, nesciens, fool; De calidad = De nobleza de linaje; situación de la persona que goza de especial consideración y prestigio en la sociedad: ‘Una persona de calidad’" (Moliner).

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  John Bowden: Cold be: fool = innocent.
46 mins

agree  DGK T-I: could be
4 hrs

agree  Christopher Crockett: "Innocent" and "fool" in the sense of being [a] Naive, I should think. Seems like you could have read at least three or four of the volumes before you ventured an opinion, David. Could have raised your confidence level to a 2.
4 hrs
  -> The entry on 'Fool of Quality' in The Oxford Companion to English Literature is much shorter!

agree  Laurel Porter: Sounds good - but the ref Jane and I cite mentions a lot of "revolt against repression" etc. - is the hero not affected by this subjugation?
7 hrs

agree  Nado2002
10 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
20 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
A noble/upper-class /aristocratic fool


Explanation:
"The Quality" is an old-fashioned way of referring to the "upper echelons" of society, mainly the nobility - so this simply means the person is, for some reason, a foolish person who comes from an aristocratic background.

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Note added at 2003-12-03 10:52:48 (GMT)
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and \"fool\" used to mean \"innocent, naive\" (as \"silly\" did before its meaning became restricted to being stupid)

John Bowden
Local time: 22:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 140

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes, on both counts.
3 hrs

agree  DGK T-I: certain about'quality',fool meant 'naive''innocent as they suggest -I don't know the books so I can't say if:simply naive or 'court jester'(who in any case can poss.be seen as seeing/speaking the truth through thinking/speaking naively)
3 hrs

agree  Nado2002
9 hrs
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not for kudos


Explanation:
amongst 18th.century liberal English aristoctats it was fashionable to speak, act and have attitudes of revolt against the oppression of 'reactionary conservatism' - in terms of political, social, moral and intelectual attitudes. They argued for greater freedom. Such liberal aristocrats did so because they themselves felt oppressed morally, spiritually and intellectually, even if they had wealth and power, and/or out of human sympathy for the suffering of members of other classes without their advantages. Many of them would have sympathized with the poet who wrote about the outbreak of the French revolution, "bliss it was to be alive that dawn"
(or whatever it was:-).
Watching the later "terror" of the French Revolution from across the channel may have been responsible the end of this English liberal aristocratic fashion, or channeling it in different directions, in the 19th century, but Byron expressed those sort of ideas then too, eg: when he spoke in the House of Lords in defence of the machine breakers (despite being less sympathetic to his creditors).

I'm not familiar with the book, so can't say from that point of view, but it would be entirely in the spirit of the 18th century liberal aristocratic tradition to imagine the son of an earl revolting against oppression.
I leave it to those who know the book (or have studied Jane and Laurel's excellent references:-) to shed more light whether this is happening here, or otherwise.

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Note added at 12 hrs 27 mins (2003-12-03 21:34:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

typo.error \'...may have been partly responsible for...\'

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:20
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  chopra_2002
9 hrs
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