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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.50
  • March 2002
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97606-9
  • 424 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Book of the Courtier

Norton Critical Editions


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Baldesar Castiglione (Author), Charles S. Singleton (Translator, Johns Hopkins University), Daniel Javitch (Editor, New York University)


The Book of the Courtier (1528) is a series of fictional conversations by courtiers of the Duke of Urbino that takes place in 1507, while Castiglione was himself attaché to the Duke.

Today the Book remains the most reliable and illuminating account of Renaissance court life and of what it took to be the "Perfect Courtier" and "Court Lady." The Singleton translation—the most acclaimed and accurate available—is accompanied by annotations. "Criticism" features ten essays on The Book of the Courtier, which represent the best interpretations from the United States, Italy, and England including the backgrounds-rich essays by Amedeo Quondam and James Hankins. A Selected Bibliography, a Chronology, and an Index are included.


    The Text of The Book of the Courtier


    1. Amedeo Quondam - On the Genesis of The Book of the Courtier
    2. Harry Berger, Jr. - Sprezzatura and the Absence of Grace
    3. Virginia Cox - Castiglione’s Cortegiano: The Dialogue as a Drama of Doubt
    4. Daniel Javitch - Il Cortegiano and the Constraints of Despotism
    5. Eduardo Saccone - The Portrait of the Courtier in Castiglione
    6. Joan Kelly-Gadol - Did Women Have a Renaissance?
    7. David Quint - Courtier, Prince, Lady: The Design of The Book of the Courtier
    8. Wayne Rebhorn - Ottaviano’s Interruption
    9. James Hankins - Renaissance Philosophy and Book IV of Il Cortegiano
    10. Peter Burke - The Courtier Abroad, or the Uses of Italy

    Baldesar Castiglione: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography