This is William J. Kennedy’s third book on Renaissance Petrarchism. Authorizing Petrarch (1994) dealt with the astonishingly detailed tradition of critical commentary that accompanied Petrarch’s Canzoniere in its printed circulation. Such attention was overdue, but I thought the result a frustrating disappointment, valuable for its scholarship but with a meager yield of insight into the poetry of Petrarch and his international imitators. But Kennedy was just getting started. The Site of Petrarchism (2003) covered similar ground, with the commentaries constantly in play, but also paid detailed attention to another aspect of the tradition that scholars have registered but never studied systematically: its connections to the cultural and political nation building going on around it in which the poets were sometimes deeply enmeshed. The current book, while sustaining both concerns, adds yet another complex body of evidence: the revising that Petrarchan poets did...

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