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 TelegraphOther prescriptions provide fascinating glimpses into the writing and reading habits of a burgher wife. ... aWhat is built in a year of reading good books crumbles in a week of reading bad onesa (144) , so stay away from love stories and battle epics. ... On this lugubrious note, his comportment manual for Delia ends, to be shared with other newly married women in a 1 583 ... whatever you allow, do not let her stop off at your childa#39;s godfather so she can cuckold you in the Boccaccio style.
|Title||:||How to Do It|
|Author||:||Rudolph M. Bell|
|Publisher||:||University of Chicago Press - 2000-09-01|