Petrarch, says Mr Bishop, 'stood between two worlds, the medieval and the modern... he was the first modern man'. And this is the first full-length biography of him to have appeared in English for many years. Mr Bishop tells us a great deal about the world in which Petrarch lived; about his versatility - as a traveller, about his opinions on generalship, geography, education, music, gardening. He includes a long abstract of The Secret Book, and many extracts from Petrarch's poetry and correspondence. Finally, he presents the love-affair with Laura in a dry and realistic light - 'One may amuse oneself by imagining that one day Laura might have decided to yield. How Petrarch would have fled! She would have ruined his whole book.'
Scholar, poet, man of the world, Petrarch did much to form the modern sensibility, heightening man's appreciation of natural beauty and teaching them a new refinement of self-scrutiny. Mr Bishop's book is a worthy tribute to one of the great founders of western culture.
Includes original dust jacket.