Bartholomew Clerke's Castiglione: Can a pedant be a gentleman?
Universidad de León
From the early fourteenth century until well into the sixteenth, Italy was setting the tone in the arts of graceful living, in sophistication, good manners and general culture, much to the somewhat reluctant gratitude of other parts of Europe. Baldassare Castiglione's " Cortegiano (1528) was one of the majar books that taught Italian manners and the arts of sophistication to the rest of Europe. His Cortegiano was more than the modern "courtier": he was a statesman who added his social savoir-faire to statecraft, ethics and all the virtues he could put at the service of his sovereign, his friends and, at times, his inferiors. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries " Cortegiano was translated into four languages, and each of these translations had a fair market. The first of these versions was the French of Jean Colin revised by Etienne Dolet, published in 1538 and reprinted in 1540 and 1545. The Spanish of Juan Boscán appeared in 1540, and was reprinted until 1569. The 1561 English version by Sir Thomas Hoby had only one printing, being superseded in 1571 by the Latin of Bartholomew Clerke. This had several reprints in England, and in Germany it was reprinted up to 1713. Finally there was a second French version by Gabriel Chapuis (ca 1580), reprinted in 1585.
- Livius- nº 03 (1993)