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Download The Courtier: Il Cortegiano Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Courtier: Il Cortegiano (Unabridged), by Baldassare Castiglione
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (782 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Baldassare Castiglione Narrator: Peter Batchelor Publisher: Trout Lake Media Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Book of the Courtier remains the definitive account of Renaissance court life. Because of this, it is considered one of the most important Renaissance works.

The book is organized as a series of fictional conversations that occur between the courtiers of the Duke of Urbino in 1507 (when Baldassare was in fact part of the Duke's Court). In the book, the courtier is described as having a cool mind, a good voice (with beautiful, elegant and brave words) along with proper bearing and gestures. At the same time though, the courtier is expected to have a warrior spirit, to be athletic, and have good knowledge of the humanities, Classics and fine arts. Over the course of four evenings, members of the court try to describe the perfect gentleman of the court. In the process they debate the nature of nobility, humor, women, and love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alex | 2/15/2014

    " "Do you not see that what you are calling nonchalance in messer Roberto is really affection, because we clearly see him making every effort to show that he takes no thought of what he is about, which means taking too much thought; and because it exceeds certain limits of moderation, such nonchalance is affected, is unbecoming, and results in the opposite of the desired effect, which is to conceal the art." p33 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jess | 1/29/2014

    " Written in the 15th century, this is a must-read for anyone who's interested in the Italian Renaissance. Castiglione instructs his readers in that which a courtier should be educated, in court life, politics, and romance. I love this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gabriel | 1/28/2014

    " I read an abridged version of this felt to me like a medieval Coltrane, in that what began as a humorous and popular booklet took flight in the theological realm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mike | 1/28/2014

    " As good, if not indeed better than, Machiavelli's famed The Prince and with more beautiful writing, at that. This book teaches the virtues of gentlemen of the court via fictional (though very realistic, it appears) dialog sketches between leading statesmen. The language is lively, astute, and though obviously dressed up in the poetics of the time, gives a good window to the intimate lives of the highest levels of society. If you're interested in the spider's web of intrigue that truly was the Italian states in the Renaissance, this is a mighty good place to start. "

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