The Renaissance Reader by author and film producer Kenneth Atchity, who also happens to hold a Ph.D. in comparative literature, is his introductory historical source text sampler, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Story Merchant Books.
This was originally published in 1996 by Collins Reference, a division of HarperCollins, as part of their Reader Series series, credited as Kenneth J. Atchity. This volume provides an introduction to the culture and mindset of the Renaissance via selected excerpts from authentic period writings—both fiction and non-fiction covering a diversity of subject matter—from well- and lesser-known figures from the 14th through 17th centuries, alongside some biographical and bibliographical commentary for each one, explaining the significance of the person or their work in the context of the times.
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Free for a limited time, available DRM-free worldwide @ Amazon
As the transition period between the Middle Age and modern times, the Renaissance is perhaps the most distinguished age since that of Classical Greece. Moreover, the consciousness of our time was largely formed by those who were given the freedom to express themselves by the rebirth of the art and sciences of the Renaissance.
The Renaissance Reader allows the men and women of that turbulent time of change to speak in their on voices–sane and insane, brilliant and mundane, inspired and possessed, oblivious and decisive. Organized chronologically and covering the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries, the book provides readers with the literary and artistic; social, religious, and political; and scientific and philosophic texts that shaped Renaissance thinking from the death of Dante in 1321 to the deaths of Cervantes and Shakespeare in 1616.
Selections include such familiar texts as Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, and Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. The book also contains works by many less familiar writers, including such prominent Renaissance omen as Christine de Pizan, Isabella d’Este, and Catherine Zell. With the inclusion of the works of such brilliant artists as Giotto, da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Raphael, Brueghel, and others, The Renaissance Reader brings the age to life with all its vibrance and excitement.
Kenneth Atchity holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale University, is the author of numerous books in a variety of fields, and has lectured extensively on literature, film, and mythology. He was assisted in preparing this volume by an advisory board of distinguished professors from both American and European universities.