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The Portable Renaissance Reader Paperback – August 25, 1977
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With excepts from Galileo, Kepler, Erasmus, Pius II, Teresa of Avila, Luther, Di Vinci and many other lesser known writers of the age The writings provide a glimpse (and little more) into the politics and philosophies of the times. Few of the writings, with the exception of some of the poetry, is complete, or even complete enough to dig in to in any depth. For instance, the excerpt from Cervantes Don Quixote is only 4 pages or so long.
Having noted that limitation, the anthology is interesting enough, and will point the reader to other authors and works to dig deeper. The account of the election of Pius II alone is worth picking up a used copy of this book. An interesting anthology that provides a flavor of the age to the reader.
It will give you a good idea of how much language has shifted in the last couple centuries. You'll also get a feel for how the individual writers whose letters are included wrote and thought. My only serious complaint is a lack of explanatory text around each document like a short summary of 100 or less words and maybe a topic index.