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Writing Beloveds : Humanist Petrarchism and the Politics of Gender (Hardcover) (Aileen A. Feng)
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Covering a period from the late-fourteenth to mid-sixteenth century, Aileen A. Feng’s engagingly written work identifies and analyzes a Latin humanist precursor to the poetic movement known as Renaissance Petrarchism. Though Petrachism is usually read solely as a vernacular poetic tradition, in Writing Beloveds, Feng recovers the initial political purposes in Latin prose and traces how poetry set the terms for gender, agency, and power in early modern Italy.
By revealing the literary motifs in men’s and women’s writing about gender she maps how certain figures in Petrarch’s writing transmitted gendered ideas of power and reflected a growing anxiety about women as public figures. This work includes nuanced analyses of poetry, linguistic treatises, debates on imitation, representations of gender and epistolary correspondence in Latin and Italian. Writing Beloveds is a landmark study that highlights the new social reality of women writers in early modern Europe.