×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Book of the Courtier
     

The Book of the Courtier

2.5 12
by Baldesar Castiglione, George Bull (Translator)
 

See All Formats & Editions

‘The courtier has to imbue with grace his movements, his gestures, his way of doing things and in short, his every action’

In The Book of the Courtier (1528), Baldesar Castiglione, a diplomat and Papal Nuncio to Rome, sets out to define the essential virtues for those at Court. In a lively series of imaginary conversations between the

Overview

‘The courtier has to imbue with grace his movements, his gestures, his way of doing things and in short, his every action’

In The Book of the Courtier (1528), Baldesar Castiglione, a diplomat and Papal Nuncio to Rome, sets out to define the essential virtues for those at Court. In a lively series of imaginary conversations between the real-life courtiers to the Duke of Urbino, his speakers discuss qualities of noble behaviour – chiefly discretion, decorum, nonchalance and gracefulness – as well as wider questions such as the duties of a good government and the true nature of love. Castiglione’s narrative power and psychological perception make this guide both an entertaining comedy of manners and a revealing window onto the ideals and preoccupations of the Italian Renaissance at the moment of its greatest splendour.

George Bull’s elegant translation captures the variety of tone in Castiglione’s speakers, from comic interjections to elevated rhetoric. This edition includes an introduction examining Castiglione’s career in the courts of Urbino and Mantua, a list of the historical characters he portrays and further reading.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140441925
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1976
Series:
Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
233,029
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.89(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Baldesar Castiglione was born in 1478, a member of an ancient Italian aristocratic family. He received a thorough humanistic education, acquiring a refined appreciation of art. He was essentially a courtier, and his literary activities were spare-time occupations. In 1504, after an unhappy period in Mantuan employ, he entered the service of Guidobaldo of Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. The ensuing years were the most satisfying of his life. He enjoyed the confidence of the Duke, who frequently entrusted him with important missions, and in his leisure moments he participated in the literary and intellectual activities of the court, then one of the most brilliant in Italy.

After Guidobaldo's death in 1508, he remained in the service of the new Duke, Francesco Maria della Rovere, becoming, in 1513, resident ambassador in Rome. In 1515 the expulsion of Francesco Maria from Urbino deprived him of a job, and in the years 1516-19 he lived quietly on his estates near Mantua. His major work is The Book of the Courtier. He also wrote a small number of excellent poems both in Latin and Italian. In 1519 he returned to Rome, as Mantuan ambassador, and after further activities on behalf of his Mantuan masters entered Papal service in 1524. From that date until his death in 1592 he was Papal Nuncio in Spain.
George Bull is an author and journalist who has translated six volumes for the Penguin Classics: Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography, The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione, Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (two volumes), The Prince by Machiavelli and Pietro Aretino’s Selected Letters. He is also Consultant Editor to the Penguin Business Series. After reading history at Brasenose College, Oxford, George Bull worked for the Financial Times, McGraw-Hill World News, and for the Director magazine, of which he was Editor-in-Chief until 1984. His other books include Vatican Politics; Bid for Power (with Anthony Vice), a history of take-over bids; Renaissance Italy, a book for children; Venice: The Most Triumphant City; and Inside the Vatican.
George Bull is an author and journalist who has translated six volumes for the Penguin Classics: Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography, The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione, Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (two volumes), The Prince by Machiavelli and Pietro Aretino’s Selected Letters. He is also Consultant Editor to the Penguin Business Series. After reading history at Brasenose College, Oxford, George Bull worked for the Financial Times, McGraw-Hill World News, and for the Director magazine, of which he was Editor-in-Chief until 1984. His other books include Vatican Politics; Bid for Power (with Anthony Vice), a history of take-over bids; Renaissance Italy, a book for children; Venice: The Most Triumphant City; and Inside the Vatican.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Book of the Courtier 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
And Book of Five Rings - while many people would like to think of business as 'Mortal Combat' with dollars, the truth is that business is a royal court, with layers of ritual, obsequious flattery, and relationship management. For every real executive empowered to 'make the call' there are dozens of people who have only 'influence'. Castiglione virtually invents the science of how to influence those above you, and win over your peers with grace and wit. So let other people pop testosterone pills with their Lattes in the morning, thinking it will give them the 'killer edge' - you can learn to glide past them with an ease that astonishes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly liberal in it's approach, The Courtier purports to be four nights' discussion of the ideal courtier. The witty and subtle analysis yields some wonderful surprises -- for example, that the courtier should excel at everything, except chess. But the analysis is even more delightful than the conclusions reached. Nothing is left out. Discussions include how the courtier should conduct himself in combat, in society, with his betters, with his inferiors, and in love. It even discusses why one should be a courtier -- to be able to influence one's prince to make sound policy. The Courtier was very influential, coming out in over 100 editions in half a dozen languages within a century of its introduction. It's one of the best looks one can get at the Renaissance mind. I've studied this book in 3 modern English translations and one 17th century English translation, and this is the best of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FARIEQUEENE More than 1 year ago
This is one of the google books that will not open upon downloading, try another copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago