Praise of Folly was formed in 1990 by Brady Ray Renick (guitar/vocals), Ryan Thompson (drums/vocals), and Thomas McFarlan (bass/lead vocals). They began composing music under the band name Divination. After disputes over the band name, Brady came up with In Praise of Folly after reading excerpts from the book written by Erasmus Desiderius. The same year of their formation, In Praise of Folly played at the Roxy in Los Angeles. The band later dropped the In from their name.
From the existing discography, the songs In My Eyes, Delicate Pallor, The Hanged Man, He Stands Cross Armed, Mortal Wound, and Evelyn Widow were composed by the original lineup (Brady, Ryan, & Thomas). Not to be misconstrued as the only songs ever composed by the original lineup. Evelyn Widow was revamped by the latter lineup. The studio versions of the songs feature Mike Naz on guitar, except for Mortal Wound.
In 1992, Mike Naz was invited to play guitar and Brady switched to playing bass. This new lineup composed The Envisioned during their first practice. By 1993, Brady had left the band and chose Mike Naz as his replacement on guitar. In 1994, Ryan left the band and Drew joined as keyboardist and drum programmer. The new lineup continued to compose and record new material and toured as far as Mexico City. Individual members of Praise of Folly decided to pursue other musical endeavors and career paths, subsequently parting ways in 1997.