Cover image for How to do it : guides to good living for Renaissance Italians
Title:
How to do it : guides to good living for Renaissance Italians
Author:
Bell, Rudolph M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 375 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780226042107
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HQ629 .B45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

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.

"Lively and curious reading, particularly in its cascade of anecdote, offered in a breezy, cozy, journalistic style." --Lauro Martines, Times Literary Supplement

"[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." --Kate Saunders, The Independent

"An extraordinary work which blends the learned with the frankly bizarre." -- The Economist

"Professor 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." --Christopher Stace, Daily Telegraph


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 Readers
2 Conception
Boy or Girl
Frequency of Intercourse
Positions during Intercourse
Setting
Male Impotence
Infertility in Women
Menstruation
Are You Pregnant?
3 Pregnancy and Childbirth
Boy or Girl?
Maybe Twins?
Due Date
Miscarriage
Diet and Daily Activity
Midwives
Anatomy
Labor
Postpartum Care
4 Raising Your Child
Nursing: Who Should Do It?
Nursing: How to Do It
Child Rearing: Physical Health
Child Rearing: Good Character
Children's Books
5 Adolescence
Who Was an Adolescent?
The Sins of Adolescence
Making Fun
Choosing a Spouse
6 Marital Relations
From the Humanists
From the Church
From the Gentlemen
Widows
7 Then and Now
Female Authorship
The Internet
Notes
Index

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