Franceso Petrarch (1304-1374), creator of the sonnet form, remained for more than three hundred years the most influential poet in Europe, his works more widely read than even those of Dante. This collection contains English language versions of his poems from across six centuries, in a wide variety of translations and reinterpretations. Spanning the Trionfi series and the Canzoniere - Petrarch's empassioned sonnet-sequence concerning his beloved Laura - it also includes great English poems influenced by Petrarch. From Chaucer's early adaptation of a Petrarchan sonnet in Troilus and Criseyde to the sixteenth century translations by the Earl of Surrey, Byron's mocking consideration of the Canzoniere in Don Juan and Ezra Pound's parody Silet, all provide a unique insight into the significance of the founder of the European lyric tradition.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), scholar and man of letters, is considered the father of sonnet-writing. Thomas P Roche is Professor of English at Princeton University. He has written widely on Renaissance literature and has edited Spenser's Faerie Queene for Penguin Classics.