Monday, November 5, 2012

Free eBook for November

The University of Chicago Press is offering, for free, an ebook which gives us a glimpse into the the social history of sixteenth-century Italy during the month of November.

How to Do It: guides to good living for Renaissance Italians by Rudolph M. Bell 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.

Get your free copy here.

Happy reading,


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