The Trilingual Courtier

This lovely edition of Hoby’s translation of Castiglione from 1588 advertises itself on the title page as ‘Verie necessarie and profitable for young Gentlemen and Gentlewomen abiding in Court, Pallace, or Place’, making clear its utility as a handbook and also extending its range to new contexts beyond the court. The title page tells us only that the work has been ‘done into English by Thomas Hobby’ [sic], disguising the true nature of this edition. Similarly, almost all the book’s paratexts are taken directly from the English edition.

Baldassare Castiglione, translated by Thomas Hoby and anon, The Courtier of Count Baldessar Castilio (London: John Wolfe, 1588), title page. St John’s College, Cambridge, A.2.47(3). By permission of the Master and Fellows of St John’s College, Cambridge.

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