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From commentary on poetry to poetry as commentary
William John Kennedy

meanings from ancient texts came to include modern vernacular texts by Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. The development of print technology in the fifteenth century spread printed editions of these authors with accompanying commentaries throughout Europe. Through these channels sixteenth-century English poets received Petrarch’s Rime sparse in richly annotated editions that

in The early modern English sonnet
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Classical and Renaissance intertextuality
Author: Syrithe Pugh

For educated poets and readers in the Renaissance, classical literature was as familiar and accessible as the work of their compatriots and contemporaries – often more so. Their creative response to it was not a matter of dry scholarship or inert imitation, but rather of engagement in an ancient and lively conversation which was still unfolding, both in the modern languages and in new Latin verse. This volume seeks to recapture that sense of intimacy and immediacy, as scholars from both sides of the modern disciplinary divide come together to eavesdrop on the conversations conducted through allusion and intertextual play in works from Petrarch to Milton and beyond, and offer their perspectives on the intermingling of ancient and modern strains in the reception of the classical past and its poetry. The essays include illuminating discussions of Ariosto, Du Bellay, Spenser, Marlowe, the anonymous drama Caesars Revenge, Shakespeare and Marvell, and look forward to the grand retrospect of Shelley’s ‘Adonais’. Together, they help us to understand how poets across the ages have thought about their relation to their predecessors, and about their own contributions to what Shelley would call ‘that great poem, which all poets… have built up since the beginning of the world’.

Petrarch’s Triumphs and the Elizabethan icon
Heather Campbell

Prominent among the personae adopted by Elizabeth I in her self-presentation is Petrarch’s Laura, the unattainable love-focus of the Canzoniere and the central figure in the Triumphs . 1 It is easy to blur these two Lauras into one another, and indeed at various points in her life Elizabeth gained political capital from identification with each of them. In

in Goddesses and Queens
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Syrithe Pugh

’s capacity to bridge not only spatial but temporal distance, we may look to a famous moment often seen as marking the birth of the Renaissance. In 1345, Petrarch visited the cathedral library at Verona and discovered, lying buried in obscurity there, a collection of hundreds of Cicero’s private letters to his friend Atticus, with some to his brother Quintus and to Brutus. Moved by the freshness and immediacy of Cicero’s voice in these letters, and taken aback by the human character flaws they reveal in a writer famed for his moral teachings in the orations and

in Conversations
Modern language learning in Elizabethan England
Jason Lawrence

also provides extracts from Petrarch and Alciati in this chapter, and it is a technique that he continues to utilise in the Second Frutes . The final chapter of the later manual contains further extracts from both Ariosto and Petrarch, including a substantial quotation and translation from the latter’s Trionfo della Pudicizia , this time replicating the terza rima in English. There is

in ‘Who the devil taught thee so much Italian?’
Italy and irony in Beppo and Don Juan
Diego Saglia

. To be sure, intertextual references in these cantos are not limited to Italian writers. Yet, of all the hints and echoes resonating in them, those about Italian literature stand out as the most numerous to be consistently drawn from one national tradition, and because they concern the three pillars of that tradition (Dante, Petrarch and, to a lesser extent, Boccaccio) alongside such stalwarts as Pulci and Ariosto. References to Italian authors in the early cantos of Don Juan also stand out because of their textual distribution. Though Pulci and Ariosto are the most

in Byron and Italy
Emulation, adaptation, and anachronism
M. L. Stapleton

for analysis. These were not simply labels but signifiers of a multiplex educational and rhetorical system that authors imbibed from their Erasmian humanist schooling and that dominated their professional writing lives. They helped integrate the promulgation of literacy, the teaching of languages, the art of memory, and the production of salient discourse. Accordingly, as Heywood originally translated the Ars in his deftly undermining way, he reconfigured it into his language and time by inhabiting the ancient poet and poem as Ben Jonson, Petrarch, and Quintilian

in Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition
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Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins

, Heather Campbell in ‘“And in their midst a sun”: Petrarch’s Triumphs and the Elizabethan Icon’ notes that a good deal has been written on the subject of Elizabeth’s identification with Petrarch’s Laura, but that the emphasis tends to have been placed on the Laura of the sonnets. Campbell contends, however, that before 1558 I Trionfi was by far the more popular of Petrarch’s vernacular works and, in

in Goddesses and Queens
The iconography of Elizabeth I

The visual images of Queen Elizabeth I displayed in contemporary portraits and perpetuated and developed in more recent media, such as film and television, make her one of the most familiar and popular of all British monarchs. This book is a collection of essays that examine the diversity of the queen's extensive iconographical repertoire, focusing on both visual and textual representations of Elizabeth, in portraiture, literature, contemporary sermons, speeches and alchemical treatises. It falls into three sections. The first part looks at the diverse range of religious and quasi-religious images that were employed by and about Elizabeth, such as the Prophetesse Deborah, the suggestive parallel with Joan of Arc, and finally Lady Alchymia, the female deity in alchemical treatises. When Queen Elizabeth I, the first female Protestant monarch, was enthroned in 1558, male poets, artists, theologians, and statesmen struggled to represent this new phenomenon. The second part turns to one of the major enterprises of the Elizabethan era, the attempt to colonise the New World, during which the eastern seaboard of America was renamed Virginia in celebration of the Virgin Queen. The last part focuses on the ways in which the classical world was plundered for modes of imaging and figuring the queen. Finally, the book summarises the enormously wide range of Elizabeth's iconographical repertoire of its appeal, and provides a fitting end to a book which ranges so widely across the allegorical personae of the queen.

Ever in motion

This volume questions and qualifies commonly accepted assumptions about the early modern English sonnet: that it was a strictly codified form, most often organised in sequences, which emerged only at the very end of the sixteenth century and declined as fast as it had bloomed at the turn of the century – and that minor poets merely participated in the sonnet fashion by replicating established conventions. Drawing from book history, using the tools of close reading and textual criticism, it aims to offer a more nuanced history of the form in early modern England – and especially of the so-called ‘sonnet craze’. It does so by exploring the works of such major poets as Shakespeare, Sidney and Spenser but also of lesser-studied sonneteers such as Barnabe Barnes and Gabriel Harvey. It discusses how sonnets were written, published, received and repurposed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, taking into account interactions with the French and Italian literary traditions. The collection also discusses current editorial practices and provides the first modern edition of an early seventeenth-century Elizabethan miscellany which claims the Earl of Essex, Spenser and ‘S.P.S.’ (presumably Sir Philp Sidney) as authors.