Petrarch’s Second (and Third) Death

Jonathan Usher

in Petrarch in Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264133
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734649 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 146

Petrarch’s Second (and Third) Death

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter examines the concept of the solitary Petrarch and suggests that Petrarch's theory of secular fame and the various stages of death, fame, time, and eternity are already present in nuce in the early Latin elegy on his mother's death. It highlights the influence of Dante's Inferno in Petrarch's development of an iterative mortality/vitality related to memory early in his career and on his Metrica on the death of his mother.

Keywords: Petrarch; solitary life; secular fame; death; fame; eternity; Latin elegy; Dante; Inferno; mother's death

Chapter.  9650 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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