The Book of the Courtier
By Baldassare Castiglione
Published in 1528
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
This is the kind of book that men who stuff their pants with socks read. Literally. The codpiece was in fashion among court men at the time - men would stuff bulges of cloth into their pants to make their wee-wees look big.
The author gives instructions on how to maintain appearances, even if dishonestly. The book gives advice such as “know a little about many topics to appear smart”; “pretend to like whatever your lord likes”; or literally “boast about everything that you are good at in a way that will make it look like others are praising you.”
Stuffing cloth into one’s pants is an excellent metaphor for this book as a whole.
It is worth reading. Its schemes are so over the top and the advice it gives is so hilarious that it will be a fun read. I didn’t finish it; but after about half got the point. I recommend spending a good 30 - 45 minutes doing the same; although read more at your own peril.
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