The Book of the Courtier

Overview

For centuries, Castiglione's perfect courtier provided a model for the educated classes of Europe. But although The Book of the Courtier has sometimes been read as a self-help guide for young men and women, it consists of vivid and colourful dialogues exploring key ethical issues. Should the courtier consciously use "image-management" or rely on his natural talents to attract attention? Should he obey the orders of an immoral prince or try and persuade him to behave better? Is courtliness just a passport to ...
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Overview

For centuries, Castiglione's perfect courtier provided a model for the educated classes of Europe. But although The Book of the Courtier has sometimes been read as a self-help guide for young men and women, it consists of vivid and colourful dialogues exploring key ethical issues. Should the courtier consciously use "image-management" or rely on his natural talents to attract attention? Should he obey the orders of an immoral prince or try and persuade him to behave better? Is courtliness just a passport to social success or an inspiring spiritual idea?

Sexual equality, wit and humour are among the many issues debated in this deliciously fresh picture of Renaissance court society in Italy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140441925
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/28/1976
  • Series: Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 225,083
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.87 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2001

    Forget the Art of War

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2005

    Best Translation Available

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book will not open

    This is one of the google books that will not open upon downloading, try another copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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