Renæssanceforum 3 • 2007

Lene Østermark-Johansen
Laura Answers Back: Lord Byron, Christina Rossetti and the Canzoniere in Nineteenth-Century England

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This essay partly gives a brief survey of the status of the Canzoniere in nineteenth- century England when the collection was finally translated in full into English, and partly traces the significance of Laura in English literature after eighteenth-century biographies had transformed her from a vague Platonic ideal into a real, existing woman. The essay therefore traces the complex interrelationship between biography, translation, fiction and poetry and the ongoing dialogue with Petrarch in such highly self-conscious writers as Byron, Foscolo, Collins and Christina Rossetti.