What are Courtesy books in literature?
“Courtesy books” is a literary term used to describe a type of literature that emerged during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, which provided guidance on social behavior and etiquette.
These books, also known as “books of manners” or “books of conduct,” were written for young men and women of the upper classes, and aimed to instruct them on how to behave properly in social situations, including at court, in church, and in the home.
Courtesy books often emphasized the importance of good manners, proper dress, and correct speech, as well as more general virtues such as humility, honesty, and respect for others. They also provided guidance on topics such as dancing, dining, and courtship.
Example of a courtesy book:
“The Book of the Courtier” by Baldassare Castiglione is a famous example of a courtesy book from the Renaissance period. The book is a dialogue between courtiers in the court of Urbino and discusses the ideal behavior and attributes of a perfect courtier. Castiglione emphasizes the importance of balance and moderation in all things and emphasizes the need for courtiers to be well-educated, well-mannered, and knowledgeable in a variety of fields, including music, art, and literature. “The Book of the Courtier” was highly influential in shaping Renaissance culture and ideals and continues to be studied and appreciated today.
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