Dante and Italy in British Romanticism by Frederick Burwick, Paul Douglass (eds.)

By Frederick Burwick, Paul Douglass (eds.)

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Translation” “devoid of literary merits,” “disgusting licentiousness that poisons Ariosto,” a “parody,” that “debases and belittles” the text. Given Wordsworth’s repeated admiration for Ariosto, his taking it as the only text on his first journey over the Alps, using it to teach his sister Italian, and given that the translation was a personal exercise, never intended for publication or even for sharing, I don’t understand this criticism. On no evidence, Zuccato, in Petrarch in Romantic England, claims Wordsworth “disliked” Petrarch (ix), accuses him of a “life long campaign of erasure,” of being a “conservative opportunist” for dismissing “Petrarch the love poet” as “a rhetorician and a liar” (146).

Prelude 5:515–522) Orlando shaped his perceptions. Captain Michel Beaupuy, for example, a French revolutionary officer, “wandered,” Wordsworth writes, “As through a book, an old romance, or tale / Of Fairy” (Prelude 8:305–307). ). Orlando’s madness and travels, reappear, like the folk characters of oral legend, in Wordsworth’s many thwarted romances, his own with Annette Vallon, The Borderers, The Thorn, The Forsaken Indian Woman, the Vaudracour and Julia episode in The Prelude, and even Coleridge’s obsession with Wordsworth’s sister-in-law, Sara Hutchinson.

C. L. 2:232. 4. Wordsworth himself was more than a little skeptical about this legend. In the notes dictated to Isabella Fenwick, he remarked: “Upon what evidence the belief rests, that this stone was a favourite seat of Dante, I do not know; but a man would little consult his own interest as a traveller, if he should busy himself with doubts as to the fact” (Jackson 807). There is now a restaurant of the same name at the site of the stone seat. 5. All quotations from the Memorials of a Tour in Italy, 1837, are from Wordsworth’s Sonnet Series and Itinerary Poems, 1820–1845, ed.

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