Petrarch (Classic Reprint)

Fb&c Limited, 07/03/2018 - 172 páginas
Excerpt from Petrarch

It had long been regarded as a reproach to Italy, and especially to Florence, which was Petrarch's native state, though he never lived there, that so little had been done to condense and utilise these vast materials, to correct the errors with Which the earlier editions of the Latin works abound, and to print those portions which still existed in manuscript. The libraries of Italy contain at least forty-nine manuscripts of the Letters more or less complete. It was reserved for a Frenchman, the Abbé de Sade, himself descended from the family into which Laura de N oves, the object of Petrarch's amatory verses, married, to publish the first complete life of the poet, based on his own prose writings. This biography ap peared in three quarto. Volumes in 1764, with copious translations from the Letters and Poems into French. It was on this publication, rather than on an accurate examination of the originals, that Gibbon founded his graphic account of the triumph and coronation of Petrarch, which is to be found in the seventieth chapter of his great History; and Mr Hallam appears also to have relied mainly on the Abbé de Sade in his criticism of Petrarch's philosophical and familiar compositions. Gibbon said of the Abbé de Sade, N ot an idea or a fact in the writings of Petrarch appears to have escaped him. The minor biographies of Petrarch Which have since appeared in English by Mrs Dobson and Thomas Campbell the poet are mere compilations from the Abbe de Sade's Memoirs.

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