One of the `bestsellers' of the European Renaissance, Castiglione depicts, debates and has fun with articulating the virtues of the ideal Renaissance courtier. Engaging, witty, and entertaining, this is set up as a series of discussions set over four evenings at the court of Urbino, with the various characters agreeing, disagreeing and contesting each others' assertions. Everything from the courtier's ability to play tennis (really!) to his love life is up for debate, and this at least purports to give a female as well as male view.
The translation is now an old one, but it is elegant and unobtrusive. The introduction is probably a little slight as are the notes, but this is still a good price for an unexpectedly engaging read.