How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians
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
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Boy or Girl
Frequency of Intercourse
Positions during Intercourse
Infertility in Women
Raising Your Child Nursing Who Should Do It?
How to Do It
Adolescence Who Was an Adolescent?
The Sins of Adolescence
Are You Pregnant?
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Boy or Girl?
Diet and Daily Activity
Other editions - View all
adolescence advice manuals Aristotle Avicenna baby baby's Bartolomeo behavior Biagi birth body breasts Catholic Reformation century chap chapter Cherubino Christian commare Council of Trent culture daughter dialogue Dolce edition Errori popolari especially father female fetus Fioravanti Florence Fonte's Francesco friar Gioberti Giovanni girls Girolamo give Gozze Honest Courtesan humanist humors husband infant Italian Italy Latin least Leonardo Fioravanti literary Lodovico Dolce male Marinello marriage married medicine Medieval menstrual blood Mercurio merito delle donne midwife milk Moderata mother mulieres ferrarienses Palmieri parents physician Plutarch popular pregnant printed published Quintilian readers recommendations remarry Renaissance Savonarola secrets seed sexual intercourse sins sixteenth sixteenth-century sperm sure tell things tion trans translation treatise Tuscan uterine uterus Venetian Venice vernacular Veronica Franco vita warns wet nurse widows wife wine wives woman womb women writings young