Active Readers

This copy is extensively annotated throughout in a single, sixteenth-century hand. Someone has mined the text heavily for information, as well as correcting the Latin in places. Marginal notes track and amplify the argument, and frequent underlinings demonstrate the reader’s close attention to particular passages. Evidence of this kind of close reading reflects the work’s reception in England, in both its English and its Latin versions, as a manual or handbook to be mined for practical lessons and examples for imitation. The ambiguities that characterise the original Italian work are effectively annotated out of existence by this enthusiastic reader.

Baldassare Castiglione, translated by Bartholomew Clerke, De curiali siue aulico libri quatuo (London: Thomas Dawson, 1585), sig. B2r. Cambridge University Library, Peterborough.C.4.11.

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