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Author photo. Credit: George Jansoone, 2005, Florence, Italy

Credit: George Jansoone, 2005, Florence, Italy

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Son of an exiled Florentine clerk, Petrarch was born in Arezzo, Italy, but was raised at the court of the Pope in Avignon in southern France. He studied the classics in France and continued his education at the University of Bologna in Italy. Less than a year after his return to Avignon in 1326, Petrarch fell in love with the woman he referred to as Laura in his most famous poetry. Although he never revealed her true name, nor, apparently, ever expressed his love to her directly, he made her immortal with his Canzoniere (date unknown), or songbook, a collection of lyric poems and sonnets that rank among the most beautiful written in Italian, or in any other language. Like the major Italian poet Dante Alighieri, Petrarch chose to write his most intimate feelings in his native Italian, rather than the Latin customary at that time. Petrarch used Latin for his more formal works, however. He incorrectly assumed that he would be remembered for the Latin works, but it was his Italian lyric poetry that influenced both the content and form of all subsequent European poetry. Petrarch's sonnet form was prized by English poets as an alternative to English poet William Shakespeare's sonnet form. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Canzoniere… (more)
Canzoniere 734 copies, 10 reviews
Petrarch's Lyric Poems 221 copies, 3 reviews
Secretum 181 copies, 2 reviews
The Poetry of Petrarch 146 copies, 4 reviews
Trionfi 62 copies
The Ascent of Mont Ventoux (Author) 60 copies, 2 reviews
Sonetos y canciones 36 copies, 1 review
Sonnetten en andere gedichten 35 copies, 1 review
Het geheim 25 copies
Kärleksdikter 21 copies, 1 review
Brieven 19 copies, 1 review
Africa 17 copies
Sonnetten 16 copies
Lauweringsrede 11 copies
Cancionero II 11 copies
Opere 10 copies
Il codice degli abbozzi (Author) 8 copies
Le senili 7 copies
Prose (Author) 6 copies
Rime e trionfi (Author) 4 copies
Le familiari 4 copies
Il Canzoniere 4 copies
Vita di Petrarca (Author) 4 copies
Opere latine (Author) 4 copies
Gabbiani 4 copies
Remedios para la vida 4 copies, 1 review
Letters 3 copies
Sonnets 3 copies
Poesie latine 3 copies
Petrarca 3 copies
Obras 3 copies
Epistole (Author) 3 copies
Poesie 2 copies
Madonna Laura 2 copies
Obra poética 2 copies
Los sonetos 2 copies
I quattro poeti Italiani (Author) 2 copies
Italia mia 2 copies
Libro primo 2 copies
DİVAN 1 copy
Prose. 1 copy
Obra poetica (II) 1 copy, 1 review
Opere 1 copy
Selections 1 copy
Antologia 1 copy
Opere italiane 1 copy, 1 review
Poesía 1 copy
Poesías 1 copy
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Short biography
Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch is called the father of Italian humanism. His earliest years were spent in Tuscany. His father, a law clerk, moved the family to Pisa and later to Avignon, France, then a seat of the Papacy. He was trained at the universities of Montpellier and Bologna for the legal profession but disliked it as a career and instead devoted himself to literature. He took minor clerical orders and entered the service of Cardinal Colonna. It was at Avignon in 1327 that Petrarch saw for the first time Laura, the lady who was to be the inspiration of his famous love poetry. His work was admired throughout Europe and became a model for other writers such as Boccaccio and Dante. Both Laura and Cardinal Colonna died in 1348; Petrarch thereafter became dedicated to the cause of Italian unification, pleaded for the return of the Popes to Rome, and served the Visconti family of Milan.
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