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Old 02-13-2015, 06:42 PM   #1
AlexBell
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Erasmus Translation copyright questions

I'm working on The Praise of Folly for the MR library. All of the source files I've looked at use the John Wilson translation of 1668, which to me is stilted and archaic.

There is a version on the Internet Archive at

https://archive.org/details/erasmusinpraiseo00erasiala

which uses a more modern looking translation, and was published in by the Peter Eckler Publishing Co. in 1922. But I can't find the name of the translator to check on his or her date of death, nor the date of the translation.

Can anyone point me to the name of the translator, please? Or where to look?

If I can't find the name of the translator would it be permissible to assume that he or she died before 1935, and do the ebook for the MR Library?
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:59 AM   #2
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Generally, if the creator a work cannot be identified, the copyright expires 70 years after the first publication of the work (assume the creator died just after publishing).

The translation you link to seems to be the same one as this one, by White Kennett (1660-1728)
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:48 AM   #3
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Thanks, Jellby.

If I understand you correctly I can't use the translation I want unless I can find some evidence that it was done by White Kennett. Several editions contained the Hans Holbein illustrations and the John Wilson 1688 translation. Do you know of any other similarities between the Peter Eckler edition and White Kennett's work? I'll see if I can track down White Kennett's translation, but that name certainly has not shown up in the searches I've already done.
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:02 PM   #4
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Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly.

If you try to find who the translator is and do not succeed, you can assume the translator is unknown. If the translator is unknown, the copyright expires 70 years after publication. If you are basing your text on a book published in 1922, the text is public domain (in life+70 countries) since 1993.

On the other hand, it seemed to me that the translation you are interested in is the same as the one I linked to (with maybe some spelling changes), and that one was done by White Kennett, who died in 1728, so, if it is indeed the same translation, it is in the public domain everywhere, regardless of when any edition was published). Have you found significant differences between both translations (ignoring the frontmatter)?

N.B. I know nothing about Erasmus translations, I just compared some random sentences of the two books, and they were the same.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:54 PM   #5
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Thanks again, Jellby. Please apologies for misunderstanding you. I appreciate your help.
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