Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self, and Society in the Italian Renaissance

Overview

Machiavelli in Love introduces an exciting new concept of sex and sexual identity and their roles in the culture and politics of the Italian Renaissance. Guido Ruggiero's study counters the consensus among historians and literary critics that there was little sense of individual identity and almost no sense of sexual identity before the modern period.

"Ruggiero's intent in Machiavelli in Love is much more than a recasting of Machiavelli: it is to examine self and identity in the...

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Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self, and Society in the Italian Renaissance

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Overview

Machiavelli in Love introduces an exciting new concept of sex and sexual identity and their roles in the culture and politics of the Italian Renaissance. Guido Ruggiero's study counters the consensus among historians and literary critics that there was little sense of individual identity and almost no sense of sexual identity before the modern period.

"Ruggiero's intent in Machiavelli in Love is much more than a recasting of Machiavelli: it is to examine self and identity in the Renaissance... One can applaud his insertion of the playful into our sense of the Renaissance."— Renaissance Quarterly

"One of the book's achievements is that it shows the extent to which the literature of high culture had deep roots in everyday experience. Few will ever again doubt the importance of sex in creating Renaissance identity."— Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This provocative and complicated work about sex and self-fashioning sits at the nexus of historical and literary studies... It challenges readers to rethink both traditional literary interpretations and historical understanding."— Choice

Guido Ruggiero is professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Miami. He is coeditor and cotranslator of Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance, also published by Johns Hopkins, and author of several books, including Sex and Gender in Historical Perspective, Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and Power at the End of the Renaissance and The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime, and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

This provocative and complicated work about sex and self-fashioning sits at the nexus of historical and literary studies... It challenges readers to rethink both traditional literary interpretations and historical understanding.

Renaissance Quarterly
Ruggiero's intent in Machiavelli in Love is much more than a recasting of Machiavelli: it is to examine self and identity in the Renaissance... One can applaud his insertion of the playful into our sense of the Renaissance.

— Thomas Kuehn

Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

Add to your reading list Johns Hopkins' study of sex, self, and society.

American Historical Review
Innovative in its technique, subtle and revealing in its arguments, and whenever it turns to the theme of sodomy, throws off brilliant light.

— Randolph Trumbach

Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Readers of Machiavelli in Love will certainly come away with a feeling for the playfulness of Renaissance sexuality. One of the book's achievements is that it shows the extent to which the literature of high culture had deep roots in everyday experience. Few will ever again doubt the importance of sex in creating Renaissance identity.

— William J. Connell

Political Studies Review
Ruggiero provides challenging accounts of public ethics and private morality by analysing a selection of literary and archival material. Armed with humour and determination, he deciphers the subtle codes of Renaissance narratives, and comments on the various ways in which identity and sexuality were constructed, understood and politicised.

— Stamatoula Panagakou

Annali d' Italianistica
Written in the accessible narrative style that Ruggiero’s readers will recognize, the study is a lively investigation that raises a central question about how the construction of self was dependent on sexual reputation.

— Gerry Milligan

European History Quarterly
Ultimately makes a remarkable case for the integration of individual and societal identity within an understanding of the Italian Renaissance.

— Jason Hardgrave

Sixteenth-Century Journal
Having to think creatively and act daringly under changing circumstances, this diaspora presents scholars with a fascinating and complex challenge of probing a spectrum of hybrid, fluid, and shifting identities.

— Louis Haas

Journal of the History of Sexuality
Suggestive new readings of an unusual range of texts.

— Gary Cestaro

Renaissance Quarterly - Thomas Kuehn

Ruggiero's intent in Machiavelli in Love is much more than a recasting of Machiavelli: it is to examine self and identity in the Renaissance... One can applaud his insertion of the playful into our sense of the Renaissance.

American Historical Review - Randolph Trumbach

Innovative in its technique, subtle and revealing in its arguments, and whenever it turns to the theme of sodomy, throws off brilliant light.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History - William J. Connell

Readers of Machiavelli in Love will certainly come away with a feeling for the playfulness of Renaissance sexuality. One of the book's achievements is that it shows the extent to which the literature of high culture had deep roots in everyday experience. Few will ever again doubt the importance of sex in creating Renaissance identity.

Political Studies Review - Stamatoula Panagakou

Ruggiero provides challenging accounts of public ethics and private morality by analysing a selection of literary and archival material. Armed with humour and determination, he deciphers the subtle codes of Renaissance narratives, and comments on the various ways in which identity and sexuality were constructed, understood and politicised.

H-Italy, H-Net Reviews - Thomas Cohen

This is a veteran historian’s book of literary speculation... It is also, I suspect, a teacher’s book. It favors texts that enliven an English-speaking classroom on Italian history both because they support good lessons and because they bring students into engagement with the Italian past. How better to stir up Anglo-Saxon students, after all, than with tales, tragic or comical, that touch on passion, tenderness, deception, loss, or ribaldry!

Annali d’ Italianistica - Gerry Milligan

Written in the accessible narrative style that Ruggiero’s readers will recognize, the study is a lively investigation that raises a central question about how the construction of self was dependent on sexual reputation.

European History Quarterly - Jason Hardgrave

Ultimately makes a remarkable case for the integration of individual and societal identity within an understanding of the Italian Renaissance.

Sixteenth Century Journal - Louis Haas

Having to think creatively and act daringly under changing circumstances, this diaspora presents scholars with a fascinating and complex challenge of probing a spectrum of hybrid, fluid, and shifting identities.

Journal of the History of Sexuality - Gary Cestaro

Suggestive new readings of an unusual range of texts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801885167
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Guido Ruggiero is professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Miami. He is coeditor and cotranslator of Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance, also published by Johns Hopkins, and author of several books, including Sex and Gender in Historical Perspective; Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and Power at the End of the Renaissance; and The Boundaries of Eros: Sex, Crime, and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Of Birds, Figs, and Sexual Identity in the Renaissance, or The Marescalco's Boy Bride     19
Playing with the Devil: The Pleasures and Dangers of Sex and Play     41
The Abbot's Concubine: Renaissance Lies, Literature, and Power     71
Brunelleschi's First Masterpiece, or Mean Streets, Familiar Streets, Masculine Spaces, and Identity in Renaissance Florence     85
Machiavelli in Love: The Self-Presentation of an Aging Lover     108
Death and Resurrection and the Regime of Virtu, or Of Princes, Lovers, and Prickly Pears     163
Afterword. How Machiavelli Put the Devil Back in Hell     212
Notes     223
Bibliography     261
Index     279
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