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Palgrave Macmillan

Love in Print in the Sixteenth Century

The Popularization of Romance

ISBN 9781137392671
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Early Modern Cultural Studies Series

Examining the representation of love in conduct books, philosophical treatises, letter-writing manuals, and medical texts, Love in Print in the Sixteenth Century explores the impact of printing on conflicting cultural notions about romantic love in the sixteenth century. This popularization of romantic love through the book market led to profound transformations in the rhetoric, ideology, and social function of love - transformations that continue to shape cultural notions about love today.

Ian Frederick Moulton is Professor of English in Arizona State University's School of Letters and Sciences, USA. He has published widely on the representation of gender and sexuality in early modern European literature. His books include Before Pornography and an edition of Antonio Vignali's La Cazzaria.

Introduction: Love, The Book Market, and the Popularization of Romance
1. Baldassare Castiglione's Book of the Courtier: Love and Ideal Conduct
2. Mario Equicola's De Natura d'amore: Love and Knowledge
3. Antonio Tagliente's Opera amorosa: Love and Letterwriting
4. Jacques Ferrand's On Lovesickness: Love and Medicine
Conclusion: Romeo + Juliet


"The argument the eminently readable Love in Print presents is relatively simple. Before the advent of print, love was not as perplexing as it was afterwards. As access to printed books increased, discourses on love, no longer restricted to the elite coteries, discovered new audiences among merchants and millers. Love became as much a subject of the piazza as the palazzo, and there was a corresponding cultural shift, a destabilization of how love was conceived of rhetorically, ideologically and socially." - Times Literary Supplement
"Beautifully written, and devoid of jargon, Love in Print in the Sixteenth Century: The Popularization of Romance is much more than a study of four specific books that treat love as either a philosophical, ideological, rhetorical or physical question. It is an erudite analysis of love as a broad cultural phenomenon with concrete and tangible effects in the sixteenth century, with Moulton's erudition manifesting in his extensive research, the complex tissue of ideas he has interwoven, and the many thoughtful questions he raises. This book will interest a host of readers in many disciplines." - Margaret F. Rosenthal, Professor of Italian, University of Southern California, USA
"Love may be a many splendored thing today, but as Ian Frederick Moulton demonstrates in this fascinating book on the Renaissance it was a very troubled and often contested one. Disease, dangerous emotion, uplifting passion, the tie that bound for good and evil often all at once - Moulton brilliantly shows how Renaissance love was a powerful emotion that we have largely lost for better and worse." - Guido Ruggiero, Professor of History, University of Miami, USA
"In its philosophical ambitions, Moulton's Love in Print in the Sixteenth Century takes its place alongside classic books like Irving Singer's The Nature of Love. In its historical exactitude, Love in Print grounds philosophy in material realities - in this case, in four printed books that help to democratize romantic love in the sixteenth century." - Bruce R. Smith, Dean's Professor of English, University of Southern California, USA
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