How to do it : guides to good living for Renaissance Italians
Chicago & London, University of Chicago Press, 1999
(24 cm), xiii, 375 pp.,  leaf of plates, text illustrations. Publisher’s boards, pictorial dust jacket. - First edition (reprinted in 2000 as a paperback). “How to Do It shows us sixteenth-century Italy from an entirely new perspective: through manuals which were staples in the households of middlebrow Italians merely trying to lead better lives. Addressing challenges such as how to conceive a boy, the manuals offered suggestions such as tying a tourniquet around your husband’s left testicle. Or should you want to goad female desires, throw 90 grubs in a litre of olive oil, let steep in the sun for a week and apply liberally on the male anatomy. Bell’s journey through booklets long dismissed by scholars as being of little literary value gives us a refreshing and surprisingly fun social history” (publisher’s advertisement). ¶ Fine, unmarked copy.