How to Do It

How to Do It

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

How to Do It shows us sixteenth-century Italy from an entirely new perspective: through manuals which were staples in the households of middlebrow Italians merely trying to lead better lives. Addressing challenges such as how to conceive a boy, the manuals offered suggestions such as tying a tourniquet around your husband's left testicle. Or should you want to goad female desires, throw 90 grubs in a liter of olive oil, let steep in the sun for a week and apply liberally on the male anatomy. Bell's journey through booklets long dismissed by scholars as being of little literary value gives us a refreshing and surprisingly fun social history. qLively and curious reading, particularly in its cascade of anecdote, offered in a breezy, cozy, journalistic style.q a€”Lauro Martines, Times Literary Supplement q[Bell's] fascinating book is a window on a lost world far nearer to our own than we might imagine. . . . How pleasant to read his delightful, informative and often hilarious book.q a€”Kate Saunders, The Independent qAn extraordinary work which blends the learned with the frankly bizarre.q a€”The Economist qProfessor Bell has a sly sense of humor and an enviably strong stomach. . . . He wants to know how people actually behaved, not how the Church or philosophers or earnest humanists thought they should behave. I loved this book.q a€”Christopher Stace, Daily TelegraphNo sensible father would prefer a learned daughter of suspect reputation over one who is ignorant but pure. ... Stick with needlework and tasks done with the distaff, spindle, and loom a€” all this in a book to assist elite female readers in ... and Italian.16 Another and far more curious variation on the popular-advice manual is a little work by Orazio Lombardelli, ... more serious work.17 In a solidly scholarly vein, Lombardelli wrote in defense of pure Tuscan pronunciation, including use of Zanbsp;...

Title:How to Do It
Author:Rudolph M. Bell
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2000-09-01


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