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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
Yulia Ryzhik

‘In no poetry more than the religious did the English genius in the seventeenth century declare its strong individuality, its power of reacting to the traditions and fashions which, in the Elizabethan age, had flowed in upon it from the Latin countries in Europe’, announced Herbert Grierson in the introduction of his 1921 Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems . 1 One of the ‘traditions and fashions’ to which Grierson alludes is of course Petrarchism: from Donne’s choice of the sonnet as a locus of repentance to Herbert’s or Quarles’s amorous

in Spenser and Donne
Accounts of the quatorzain in Italy, France and England in the second half of the sixteenth century
Carlo Alberto Girotto, Jean-Charles Monferran, and Rémi Vuillemin

Introduction According to Stephen Clucas, the last decades of the sixteenth century in England witnessed ‘a compressed reception of the Petrarchan tradition’: 1 poets, including sonneteers, were inspired by Petrarch, by his Italian and French imitators and, to a large extent, by the imitators of those imitators. This sense of temporal compression

in The early modern English sonnet