The Sexual Culture of the French Renaissance

The Sexual Culture of the French Renaissance

by Katherine Crawford
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521769892

ISBN-13: 9780521769891

Pub. Date: 05/31/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

When the French invaded Italy in 1494, they were shocked by the frank sexuality expressed in Italian cities. By 1600, the French were widely considered to be the most highly sexualized nation in Christendom. What caused this transformation? This book examines how, as Renaissance textual practices and new forms of knowledge rippled outward from Italy, the sexual

Overview

When the French invaded Italy in 1494, they were shocked by the frank sexuality expressed in Italian cities. By 1600, the French were widely considered to be the most highly sexualized nation in Christendom. What caused this transformation? This book examines how, as Renaissance textual practices and new forms of knowledge rippled outward from Italy, the sexual landscape and French notions of masculinity, sexual agency, and procreation were fundamentally changed. Exploring the use of astrology, the infusion of Neoplatonism, the critique of Petrarchan love poetry, and the monarchy's sexual reputation, the book reveals that the French encountered conflicting ideas from abroad and from antiquity about the meanings and implications of sexual behavior. Intensely interested in cultural self-definition, humanists, poets, and political figures all contributed to the rapid alteration of sexual ideas to suit French cultural needs. The result was the vibrant sexual reputation that marks French culture to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521769891
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2010
Series:
Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories Series
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: sexual culture? France? Renaissance?; 1. The renaissance of sex: Orpheus, mythography and making sexual meaning; 2. Heavens below: astrology, generation and sexual (un)certainty; 3. Neoplatonism and the making of heterosexuality; 4. Cupid makes you stupid: 'bad' poetry in the French Renaissance; 5. Politics, promiscuity and potency: managing the king's sexual reputation; Conclusion: dirty thoughts; Bibliography.

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