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The Book of the Courtier has ratings and reviews. Fionnuala said: When I opened this book today to attempt to review it, a bookmark fell out. I. An insider’s view of court life and culture during the Renaissance, ‘The Book of the Courtier’ is the handiwork of a diplomat who was called upon to resolve the. 1 THE BOOK OF THE COURTIER BY COUNT BALDESAR CASTIGLIONE () TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY LEONARD ECKSTEIN OPDYCKE.

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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The Book of the Courtier Il Cortegianodescribing the behaviour of the ideal courtier and or lady was one of the most widely distributed books in the 16th century.

It remains the definitive account of Renaissance court life. This edition, Thomas Hoby’s English translation, greatly influenced the English ideal of the “gentleman”.

Baldesar Castiglione, a courtier at the court of Urbino, at that time the most refined and elegant of the Italian courts. Practising his principles, counted many of the leading figures of his time as friends, and was employed on sensitive diplomatic missions.

He was a close personal friend of Raffaello Cadtiglione da Urbino, better known as Raphael, who painted the sensitive portrait of Castiglione on the cover of this edition. Also available in hardcover.

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The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

The Prince Dover Thrift Editions. The Family in Renaissance Florence: Benediction Classics July 18, Language: Start reading The Book of the Courtier on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 45 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Singleton’s translation is very faithful and readable, and exudes the spirit of the original.

The book takes the form lf a dialogue set at the court of Urbino in or and carried out over the course of four consecutive evenings; thus it consists of four books, each with its own focus and principal speakers.

The first book is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in the times, as it discusses such topics as the nature of nobility, sprezzatura nonchalanceimitation in the arts, and the relation between letters and arms. The second book seems less essential–at least in our age–as its main topic is the art of courtly discussion, including a long section on witticisms.


The third book is about the ideal lady, though most of it is taken up with a debate about whether women are less perfect than men or their equals, and then there is a long section on courtly love. This chapter offers a window into the range of views about women at that time and also into the relations between aristocratic men and women.

The chapter is heavily coloured by the values of chivalry and is perhaps the one which most reveals the gulf in values between Renaissance culture and our own. These courtiers are ill from love and often near the point of death for all their pining. Especially in the third book they seem so dainty and polite it is hard to picture them even yielding a sword.

Their ideal courtier and lady are so refined their every breath seems mannered and measured. While reading the book I kept wishing to see the portrayal of such fine manners and subtle glances on the screen since where else could one see them today? Fortunately the fourth book corrects all that by arguing that all of the previously mentioned qualities of a courtier are justified by only one end: In order to show how that may be done the first part of book 4 draws heavily on Aristotle’s “Ethics” and “Politics.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The original Handbook for Gentlemen. While, you are unlikely to ever approach the diversity of excellencies described herein, this text motivates and inspires the average to good, the good to better, and the better to best.

Discovery the “Order of cqstiglione Garter” baldassaare qualifications, extraordinary thhe, acceptance, and glorification of intelligent and powerful women, the emergence of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare’s patron, founder of the British Empire, and bridge to the Protestant Reformation and Enlightenment Science. Well, contemporary for Niccolo Machiavelli. But this book has enduring relevance for balcassare who has to spend time among those courting the politically powerful.

The book is formatted as a series of fictional or fictionalized discussions among the influential. This was a common style for non-fiction, from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, but does feel a little odd to many modern readers.

Over the course of several evenings, the topic is “What makes the perfect courtier? Many attributes an behaviors are discussed as appropriate for a courtier, and two things jumped out at me. First, castiglipne this could be a textbook for a political castigluone or a climber in the business world.

Second, how shallow the desired traits were. Social graces, from a good family, a good dancer, a good athlete, but never a skilled planner, a thoughtful or reflective nature, and definitely not someone who will tell the boss the ugly news. There is also great deal of discussion of how to backstab with grace and style.


Reading this was something of a secret and dirty pleasure; the conformation that so little in human behavior has changed in xourtier centuries, the underhanded social techniques, the unbridled ambition of the players. If you are headed for an entry level position in the political arena, read this, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

I enjoy reading history, and this book gives a different and very interesting insight into the norms and practices of years ago at least of the “nobler” class. What I appreciated the most was relating “yesterday’s” social and societal practices to today’s.

In so many ways, we can see ourselves in these would-be practitioners of the “code”. And in many ways, we feel the loss of a certain gentility that was expressed in this book. Another excellent book that gets into the mind of late medieval thinkers is “The Art of Worldly Wisdom” by Baltasar Gracian.

One person found this helpful. A great book to learn some life lessons. I found some parts to be sorta progressive in theory, but others definitely not so much.

I’m glad I read this and I recommend to any young adult on their way up. This book won’t read on my Kindle very well. It has lots of typos and some kind of coding problem.

I’d suggest getting the penguin edition instead, if you are interested in Castiglione. It isn’t general history. One requires some background in Renaissance social history to place it in context. It abldassare a kind of Anne Landers for guys like Bill Shakespeare. See all 45 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in castiglioje to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

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The Book of the Courtier

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