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Petrarch in BritainInterpreters, Imitators, and Translators over 700 years$
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Martin McLaughlin, Letizia Panizza, and Peter Hainsworth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264133

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264133.001.0001

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Impersonations of Laura in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century Italy

Impersonations of Laura in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century Italy

(p.176) (p.177) 11 Impersonations of Laura in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century Italy
Petrarch in Britain

Letizia Panizza

British Academy

This chapter examines the impersonations of the character of Laura of Petrarch's Canzoniere in sixteenth and seventeenth century Italy. It analyses commentaries and the rewritings of Petrarch's Canzoniere that gave Laura celebrity status, either by hyperbole or denigration or outright impersonation. It suggests that the works on the ambivalence of Laura's identity are part a general questioning of the nature of the love lyric, its remote language, and its moral codes in an era of reform.

Keywords:   Petrarch, Laura, Canzoniere, Italy, literary character, love lyric, moral codes

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