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 aLauro 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 aKate Saunders, The Independent qAn extraordinary work which blends the learned with the frankly bizarre.q aThe 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 aChristopher 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|