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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione ,. Leonard Eckstein Opdycke Translator. Widely acknowledged as the sixteenth century's most significant handbook on leadership, The Book of the Courtier offers an insider's view of court life and culture during the Renaissance. All aspects of l Widely acknowledged as the sixteenth century's most significant handbook on leadership, The Book of the Courtier offers an insider's view of court life and culture during the Renaissance.
All aspects of leadership come under discussion, but the primary focus rests upon the relationship between advisors and those whom they counsel.
Ever-relevant subjects include the decision-making process, maintaining an ethical stance, and the best ways of interacting with authority figures. Frequently assigned in university courses on literature, history, and Renaissance studies, the Dover edition of this classic work will be the lowest-priced edition available.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 2nd by Dover Publications first published More Details Original Title. Mikael Agricola -palkinto Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Book of the Courtier , please sign up. How can I find this book? Is there anyone's advice? Lucia Sofia Abonandi One of my best readings! A way to explore history through details and 'good manners'. See 2 questions about The Book of the Courtier….
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Book of the Courtier. When I opened this book today to attempt to review it, a bookmark fell out. It isn't a real bookmark but simply a leaflet I picked up in a gallery when I was in Northern Italy last September.
Reviewing the book now feels like finally closing the chapter on that trip. I had set out for Italy with three books in my bag, one of which was this one. Although it is three months since I returned home, and although the other two books have been finished and reviewed months ago, this book has hung on, if When I opened this book today to attempt to review it, a bookmark fell out. Although it is three months since I returned home, and although the other two books have been finished and reviewed months ago, this book has hung on, if not to my attention, at least to its place on my reading pile — though fifteen further books were finished in the meantime.
And so, as the December evenings got longer and darker, I forced myself to return to the The Book of the Courtier and to the discussions by a group of Italian noblemen and women which Baldesar Castiglione has recorded in this book. The discussions took place over the course of four winter evenings in , in the salon of the Duchess Elisabetta Montefeltro of Urbino on the occasion of a visit to the ducal palace by a group of dignitaries from Rome. The subject was the ideal courtier, how he should behave, how he should dress, how he should converse, and how he should love.
That final aspect lead to a discussion of the ideal lady. She was allowed to be witty but mostly she had to be coy, and especially, never to speak out of turn or call attention to herself in any way. What was interesting for me in this book, apart from the way it documents a particular moment in history, was the way it overlapped with other books I'd been reading, in particular Alison Cole's Italian Renaissance Courts which included sections on several of the people mentioned in Castiglione's book and which explained the relationship between the Montefeltros and the other noble families in fifteenth and sixteenth century Italy.
The other main interest for me was the way the book echoed places I visited on my Italian trip. The bookmark I mentioned at the beginning was a leaflet I picked up when I visited the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche which is located in the Ducal Palace in Urbino where the conversations in this book took place.
So there I was, moving from one sumptuous room of the palace to another, viewing the art treasures in the Marche collection, when, around a corner and across a little corridor, I found myself entering the room that had belonged to Elisabetta, Duchess of Montefeltro.
This was the salon in which the discussion of the ideal courtier took place more than years ago. As I had read a third of the book at that stage, I was quite thrilled to be there. The focus of the room today is Raphael's 'La Muta' which is thought to be a representation of one of the Montefeltro noblewomen. La Muta means the silent one — which fits well with the role of the women in this book.
Speeches by women take up about 5 pages out of , and they are very short and always to the point. The rest of the book is taken up with long and involved speeches by men. A further echo of my trip lies in Castiglione's introduction to the final section of the book. He mentions that although almost all of the people present in the discussions were dead by the time he published this account in , the new Duke of Montefeltro, Francesco della Rovere, was still living.
Francesco was only seventeen in but he was nevertheless present at the discussions in Elisabetta's salon. I didn't fully understand how significant that visit was until I came across the reference to Francesco and Eleanora in Castiglione's book. It was convergences like this that made reading this book memorable for me. View all 25 comments. Through his set of Renaissance-era conversations in Book of the Courtier, Castiglione suggests an ideal - the one way to be a man, the one way to be a woman, imitation of man after man after man.
This expresses the Renaissance ideal of perfect duality: it is not good to be talented at one thing, and rather, we must all be talented in many areas. This stands as a contrast to Western culture today. While some level, we in Western culture are expected to exhibit perfection in many areas at once - for example, people are generally expected to be fairly beautiful and charismatic to be well-liked - many among our culture recieve popularity and success via only one talent.
In the Renaissance, it was considered important to be all things, and flaws were not forgiven; in the US, we regularly elect politicians who are widely known to be somewhat rude. This, in contrast to the first point, does parallel Western culture.
This culture definitely has good results: when used correctly, it can take away from the normalization of homophobic and racist comments in our culture. But it can lead to a culture, especially on social media, of publicly shaming people for minor actions; expressing political viewpoints that may be liberal, but are not liberal enough.
Another similarity comes in the idea that women may be stained more easily than men; the idea of calling out celebrities often seems to apply to women far more than it does to men, and callouts often follow them for longer. But that's another topic. So while Renaissance society is not always the same as ours, it is often similar. And while I found this book itself rather boring, I find it interesting that the past is so like the present.
Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram Youtube View all 4 comments. Jan 20, A. This is a book for people without the stomach for Machiavelli. It's a nice window into early renaissance court life——it'll give you an idea about some of what Shakespeare's plays include, people like Henry VIII, etc. Is the read as pleasant as a bagful of kittens? No, not really. It's long, often tedious, and for those of you who have absolutely no interest in history, a root canal might be preferable.
But you see, a guy The theme of the book is pretty straightforward. What would the perfect courtier a person who serves at court look like?
Argument ensues via a list of historical people who are fictionalized for the debate. I'm not one of the cool kids, so that part was lost on me, but I did enjoy some of the more historical references and factual information about figures like Caesar and Alexander who are used frequently in developing this perfect courtier. Bottom line: I can't recommend this to anyone I know isn't personally fascinated by the renaissance, or applying to work at a court somewhere.
For your average Joe, I imagine this would be less entertaining than Al Gore debating geology with your high school algebra teacher. For history buffs only. View 2 comments. Jul 06, Caroline rated it really liked it Shelves: italian , philip-wardbooks. The first section discusses the qualities of the ideal courtier, and focuses on accomplishments such as dancing, fencing, etc.
The Book of The Courtier provided invaluable advice on just how to do this. As modern readers, we are likely to find these rules of etiquette pedantic and long-winded — but they contain much that might amuse us, too. The Book of The Courtier reflects how aspects of court culture were shared across early modern Europe. Throughout the 16th century it was translated, published and widely distributed in many different editions. This edition was published in , in London, and is unusual because it provides Italian, French and English versions of the text side-by-side. Therefore, this tri-lingual edition not only gave advice on how to be the model courtier, but also provided the means by which to learn, practise and achieve one of the fundamental courtly skills. He praises the French king, and describes his efforts to rid his court of sycophants, troublemakers and false advisors.
Baldassare Castiglione is chiefly known for his prose dialogues titled The Book of the Courtier, which passed through more than 40 editions in the century after its original publication in Written in Italian based on Dante's Tuscan, it helped to establish Tuscan as the national literary language. The book was celebrated throughout Europe as a manual of courtly manners. However, the attentive reader senses the peculiarly Italian atmosphere that envelops the four main participants in the dialogue as they avoid talking of the political realities that had prompted Machiavelli to write The Prince just a few years before. The Book of the Courtier.