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Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)

Author of Canzoniere

402+ Works 3,568 Members 45 Reviews 12 Favorited

About the Author

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, show more 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) show less
Image credit: Credit: George Jansoone, 2005, Florence, Italy


Works by Francesco Petrarca

Canzoniere (1470) 795 copies
Petrarch's Lyric Poems (1976) 231 copies
Secretum (1353) 198 copies
The Poetry of Petrarch (2004) 159 copies
The Sonnets of Petrarch (1966) 94 copies
Trionfi (1956) 68 copies
Songs and Sonnets from Laura's Lifetime (0014) — Author — 68 copies
The Ascent of Mont Ventoux (1350) — Author — 67 copies
Phisicke Against Fortune (1991) 48 copies
Sonetos y canciones (1946) 39 copies
Reisroute naar Jeruzalem (1999) 33 copies
De vita solitaria (1346) 31 copies
The Essential Petrarch (2010) 29 copies
Het geheim (1990) 26 copies
On Religious Leisure (1958) 21 copies
Kärleksdikter (1989) 21 copies
Brieven (2011) 19 copies
Sonnetten (1981) 19 copies
Africa (1977) 18 copies
Sonnets and Shorter Poems (2012) 18 copies
The Complete Canzoniere (2015) 13 copies
Francesco Petrarca (1993) 12 copies
Lauweringsrede (1995) 11 copies
Cancionero II (1989) 11 copies
Opere (1992) 10 copies
Il codice degli abbozzi (2000) — Author — 8 copies
Remedios para la vida (2023) 8 copies
Le senili (1993) 7 copies
Petrarch: Selected Poems (1977) 6 copies
Prose (1955) — Author — 6 copies
Francesco Petrarca (2016) 6 copies
Res seniles. Libri 5-8 (2009) 5 copies
Vita di Petrarca (2004) — Author — 5 copies
Rime e trionfi (1960) — Author — 5 copies
Le familiari (1997) 4 copies
Epistole — Author — 4 copies
Gabbiani (2008) 4 copies
Longing for Laura (2001) 4 copies
Il canzoniere e i trionfi (1993) 4 copies
Opere latine (1975) — Author — 4 copies
La Vertu et la grâce (1990) 4 copies
Il Canzoniere (1980) 4 copies
Res seniles. Libri 9-12 (2014) 4 copies
Sonnets 3 copies
Obra poética (1985) 3 copies
Dal canzoniere 3 copies
Lettres familières (2015) 3 copies
Res Seniles: Aggiunte e correzioni: Indici (2019) — Author — 3 copies
Love rimes of Petrarch (1980) 3 copies
Res seniles. Libri 1.-4. (2006) 3 copies
Poesie (1996) 3 copies
Letters 3 copies
Poesie latine 3 copies
Petrarca (1976) 3 copies
Obras (1978) 3 copies
Francesco Petrarca (2016) 2 copies
Salmi penitenziali (1997) 2 copies
Correspondance choisie (2019) 2 copies
De viris illustribus. 1 (2007) 2 copies
I quattro poeti Italiani — Author — 2 copies
Gli uomini illustri (2007) 2 copies
Rerum memorandarum libri (2014) 2 copies
De gestis Cesaris (2003) 2 copies
The Canzoniere [Part II] (2003) 2 copies
Elogio della vecchiaia (2009) 2 copies
Los sonetos (1981) 2 copies
Italia mia 2 copies
Madonna Laura 2 copies
Libro primo (1991) 2 copies
Letters from Petrarch (1966) 2 copies
Drobne wiersze wloskie (2005) 1 copy
DİVAN (2012) 1 copy
Le opere 1 copy
Opere 1 copy
Mon secret_1_ere_ed (2019) 1 copy
Lyric Poems 1 copy
The Life of Solitude (1924) 1 copy
Selections 1 copy
Antologia 1 copy
Séjour à Vaucluse (2009) 1 copy
Pjesme Lauri 1 copy
Prose. 1 copy
Epistole autografe (1968) 1 copy
De Viris Illustribus (2010) 1 copy
ˆLe ‰rime 1 copy
Opere italiane (1996) 1 copy
Secretum de contemptu mundi — Author — 1 copy
Il Petrarcha 1 copy
Poesía 1 copy
Il Petrarca 1 copy
Poesías 1 copy
Liber sine nomine (2015) 1 copy
Lettera ai posteri (1990) 1 copy
Poesie d'amore (1994) 1 copy
Lettere di viaggio (1996) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Canterbury Tales [Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed.] (2005) — Contributor — 632 copies
The Decameron : A New Translation, Contexts, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) (1977) — Contemporary Reaction, some editions; Contributor, some editions — 343 copies
Agrā renesanse (1981) 1 copy
Hymne an die Provence — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Legal name
Petrarca, Francesco
Date of death
Burial location
Arqua, Italy
Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy
Place of death
Arquà, Veneto, Italy
Places of residence
Avignon, France
Rome, Italy
Milan, Italy
Venice, Italy
University of Montpellier
University of Bologna
Awards and honors
Poet Laureate (1341)
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.



filbo_2024 | Apr 24, 2024 |
This is a very good introduction and sampling of Petrarch's writings. The introduction is quite informative. Of course, translating poetry is always iffy, and Hainsworth's efforts won't satisfy everyone. Petrarch's sonnets and canzoni are rhymed hendecasyllables and there's not much hope in replicating that in English. Hainsworth's translations sacrifice delicacy and rhyme for clarity, and that may turn some people off. But I'm happy with their readability and the frequent footnotes. The inclusion of some of Petrarch's Latin writings is valuable, too, for rounding out his picture. My only real complaint was that I would like to see the originals alongside the translations in the Canzoniere. There was plenty of white space on each page to do that without increasing the number of pages by much. Check out my longer reflection on substack: https://robertboydskipper.substack.com/p/selected-sonnetspetrarch-francesco… (more)
skippersan | Apr 23, 2024 |
archivomorero | Dec 15, 2022 |



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Guido Martellotti Editor, Author
D. Tol Translator
Chris Tazelaar Translator
Ugo Dotti Editor, Author, Translator
Joseph Auslander Translator
Frans van Dooren Translator
Monica Berté Contributor, Editor
Morris Bishop Translator
Geoffrey Chaucer Translator
Mark Musa Translator
Barbara Manfredi Introduction
Germaine Warkentin Introduction
Peter Verstegen Translator
Miquel Desclot Translator
Sandro Botticelli Cover artist
Jacobo Cortines Translator
David Young Translator
Karl Förster Translator
Carl Appel Editor
Anthony Mortimer Translator
Virgil Burnett Illustrator
David Marsh Translator
Francis Wrangham Translator
C. B. Cayley Translator
R. G. Macgregor Translator
Basil Kennet Translator
Susan Wollaston Translator
Albert Compton Translator
Thomas Campbell Contributor
Harm Meijer Cover designer
John Penn Translator
Richard Garnett Translator
Warburton Pike Translator
Ghirlandaio Cover artist
Thomas Wyatt Translator
Henry Howard Translator
John Nott Translator
Mario Martelli Introduction
Giacinto Namia Translator
Basile Aracri Contributor
David R. Slavitt Translator
Pere J. Quetglas Translator
Joan Bastardas Translator
Virgil Ani Foreword
Enrico Carrara Contributor
H. Salden Cover artist


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