Baldassare Castiglione, the Perfect Courtier: His Life and Letters, 1478-1529 - Vol. 1

Baldassare Castiglione, the Perfect Courtier: His Life and Letters, 1478-1529 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Baldassare Castiglione, the Perfect Courtier: His Life and Letters, 1478-1529 - Vol. 1

Baldassare Castiglione, the Perfect Courtier: His Life and Letters, 1478-1529 - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Count BALDASSARE CASTIGLIONE is known to the world as the author of Il Cortegiano. He was a distinguished soldier, diplomat, and poet, but his title to immortality rests on this one book. 'The best book that was ever written upon good breeding,' said Dr. Johnson, when he was travelling with Boswell in Skye -- 'the best book, I tell you, Il Cortegiano, byCastiglione, grew up at the little court of Urbino, and you should read it.' This frank and decisive utterance, eminently characteristic of the speaker, and yet hardly what we should have expected from him, did but confirm the unanimous verdict of the last two hundred years. Castiglione's book first issued from the Aldine Press at Venice in April, 1528, and before the close of the century more than a hundred editions of the work had already seen the light. Spanish, French, English, and German versions followed each other in rapid succession, and the Cortegiano was universally acclaimed as the most popular prose work of the Italian Renaissance. 'Have you readCastiglione Cortegiano?' asks the courtier Malpiglio, in Tasso's dialogue. 'The beauty of the book is such that it deserves to be read in all ages; and as long as courts endure, as long as princes reign and knights and ladies meet, as long . . .

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