Baldassare Castiglione: Il Libro del Cortegiano [The Courtier] (3140 words)


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First published in 1528, Baldassar Castiglione’s Il libro del cortegiano (The Book of the Courtier) enjoyed immediate international success. In the first century alone it appeared in 120 editions, including translations into many European languages, among them Hoby’s English version of 1561 (Burke). The Italian original is a classic of Western literature: a conduct book describing the ideal courtier of the Renaissance (and to some degree the ideal court lady too), it is also a highly polished literary dialogue rich in classical lore and representative of the avant-garde culture of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. Responsible for transmitting fundamental cultural ideas abroad, among them the notion of …

Citation: Pugliese, Olga. "Il Libro del Cortegiano". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 September 2009 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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